I have a backup file ~/tmp/backup.sql which was created using pg_dump from a remote Postgres server. I now want to verify that the backup actually works, and that it can be imported into a new database.

List tables of a specific PostgreSQL database

Restore database

Create a PostgreSQL server container, and mount the current folder containing the database backup.

$ cd ~/tmp/backup.sql
$ docker run --rm -v $(pwd):/backup postgres

Still on the host machine, execute commands on the container with docker exec. I created the dump without CREATE DATABASE statement, so I will have to create a new target database first. Find the name of the new container with docker ls. In this example, the name is determined_pare.

$ docker exec determined_pare psql -U postgres -c "CREATE DATABASE newdb"

You can verify that the database was created by listing all available databases:

$ docker exec determined_pare psql -U postgres -l

Restore the backed up database to the new target database using the .sql file which was mounted earlier at /backup

$ docker exec determined_pare psql -U postgres -d newdb -f /backup/backup.sql

Verify that the tables were indeed created

$ docker exec determined_pare psql -U postgres -d newdb -c "\dt"

I have also written a list of useful PostgreSQL commands that I want to remember.


  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/12445608/psql-list-all-tables#12455382
  • https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10335561/use-database-name-command-in-postgresql#10338367