Postgres CheatSheet

Aman Kumar
3 min readNov 17, 2022

Cheatsheet containing Postgres Commands you need, Missing Anything? Kindly add a response or comment will add that 😄.

Connect to a PostgreSQL Database

The following command connects to a database under a specific user. After pressing Enter PostgreSQL will ask for the password of the user.

psql -d database -U  user -W

Switch the connection to a new database

Once you are connected to a database, you can switch the connection to a new database under a user-specified by user. The previous connection will be closed. If you omit the user parameter, the current user is assumed.

\c dbname username

List available databases

Lists available databases in the current PostgreSQL database server,

\l

Show table

Show table definition including indexes, constraints & triggers (psql)

\d TABLE_NAME

Describe a Table

More detailed table definition including description and physical disk size (psql)

\d+

List tables from current schema

List tables from the current schema (psql)

\dt 

List available schema

To list all schemas of the currently connected database, you use the \dn command.

\dn

List available functions

To list available functions in the current database, you use the \df command.

\df

List available views

To list available views in the current database, you use the \dv command.

\dv

List users and their roles

To list all users and their assigned roles, you use \du command:

\du

List tables from all schemas

List tables from all schemas

\dt *.*

List tables for a schema

List the tables in a specific schema

\dt <name-of-schema>.*

Execute the previous command

If you want to save time, type the previous command again. You can use \g Command to execute the previous command:

\g

Command history

To display command history, you use the \s command.

\s

If you want to save the command history to a file, you need to specify the file name followed the \s command as follows:

\s filename

Execute psql commands from a file

In case you want to execute psql commands from a file, you use \i Command as follows:

\i filename

Copy table data to CSV file

Export a table as CSV

\copy (SELECT * FROM __table_name__) TO 'file_path_and_name.csv' WITH CSV

Check indexes for a table using sql

Show table indexes (SQL)

SELECT * FROM pg_indexes WHERE tablename='__table_name__' AND
schemaname='__schema_name__';

Collects statistics about the contents of tables

Analyze a table and store the results in the pg_statistic system catalog (SQL)

ANALYZE [__table__]

Adding comment on table/column

Comment on table (SQL)

Comment on table employee is 'Stores employee records';

Comment on column (SQL)

Comment on column employee.ssn is 'Employee Social Security Number';

Approximate Table Row count / Table Cardinality

SELECT reltuples AS card FROM pg_class WHERE relname = '<table_name>';

Check Max Connections [1] [2] [3]

SHOW max_connections;

Get the Current Number of Connections [1]

SELECT sum(numbackends) FROM pg_stat_database;

Explain Code [1] [2] [3]

EXPLAIN SELECT * FROM post LIMIT 50;

Count Total Rows in a Table [1] [2]

SELECT count(*) AS exact_count FROM myschema.mytable;

Get Sizes of all databases [1]

\l+

Get the Size of a Single Database

\l+ <database_name>

Get help on psql commands

To know all available psql commands, you use the \? command.

\?

To get help on specific PostgreSQL statements, you use the \h command.

For example, if you want to know detailed information on ALTER TABLE statement, you use the following command:

\h ALTER TABLE

Switch output options

psql supports some types of output format and allows you to customize how the output is formatted on the fly.

  • \a Command switches from aligned to non-aligned column output.
  • \H Command formats the output to HTML format.

Quit psql

To quit psql, you use \q the command and press enter to exit psql.

\q

--

--