Installing pgloader

Several distributions are available for pgcopydb.

debian packages

You can install pgloader directly from and from official debian repositories, see

$ apt-get install pgloader

RPM packages

The Postgres community repository for RPM packages is and does include binary packages for pgloader.

Docker Images

Docker images are maintained for each tagged release at dockerhub, and also built from the CI/CD integration on GitHub at each commit to the main branch.

The DockerHub dimitri/pgloader repository is where the tagged releases are made available. The image uses the Postgres version currently in debian stable.

To use the dimitri/pgloader docker image:

$ docker run --rm -it dimitri/pgloader:latest pgloader --version

Or you can use the CI/CD integration that publishes packages from the main branch to the GitHub docker repository:

$ docker pull
$ docker run --rm -it pgloader --version
$ docker run --rm -it pgloader --help

Build from sources

pgloader is a Common Lisp program, tested using the SBCL (>= 1.2.5) and Clozure CL implementations and with Quicklisp to fetch build dependencies.

When building from sources, you should always build from the current git HEAD as it’s basically the only source that is managed in a way to ensure it builds aginst current set of dependencies versions.

The build system for pgloader uses a Makefile and the Quicklisp Common Lisp packages distribution system.

The modern build system for pgloader is entirely written in Common Lisp, where the historical name for our operation is save-lisp-and-die and can be used that way:

$ make save

The legacy build system also uses Buildapp and can be used that way:

$ make pgloader

Building from sources on debian

Install the build dependencies first, then use the Makefile:

$ apt-get install sbcl unzip libsqlite3-dev make curl gawk freetds-dev libzip-dev
$ cd /path/to/pgloader

$ make save
$ ./build/bin/pgloader --help

Building from sources on RedHat/CentOS

To build and install pgloader the Steel Bank Common Lisp package (sbcl) from EPEL, and the freetds packages are required.

It is recommended to build the RPM yourself, see below, to ensure that all installed files are properly tracked and that you can safely update to newer versions of pgloader as they’re released.

To do an adhoc build and install run for CentOS 6 or for CentOS 7 to install the required dependencies.

Building a pgloader RPM from sources

The spec file in the root of the pgloader repository can be used to build your own RPM. For production deployments it is recommended that you build this RPM on a dedicated build box and then copy the RPM to your production environment for use; it is considered bad practice to have compilers and build tools present in production environments.

  1. Install the [EPEL repo](

  2. Install rpmbuild dependencies:

    sudo yum -y install yum-utils rpmdevtools @"Development Tools"
  3. Install pgloader build dependencies:

    sudo yum-builddep pgloader.spec
  4. Download pgloader source:

    spectool -g -R pgloader.spec
  5. Build the source and binary RPMs (see rpmbuild –help for other build options):

    rpmbuild -ba pgloader.spec

Building from sources on macOS

We suppose you already have git and make available, if that’s not the case now is the time to install those tools. The SQLite lib that comes in MacOSX is fine, no need for extra software here.

You will need to install either SBCL or CCL separately, and when using [brew]( it’s as simple as:

$ brew install sbcl
$ brew install clozure-cl

NOTE: Make sure you installed the universal binaries of Freetds, so that they can be loaded correctly.

$ brew install freetds --universal --build-from-source

Then use the normal build system for pgloader:

$ make save
$ ./build/bin/pgloader --version

Building from sources on Windows

Building pgloader on Windows is supported (in theory), thanks to Common Lisp implementations being available on that platform, and to the Common Lisp Standard for making it easy to write actually portable code.

It is recommended to have a look at the issues labelled with Windows support if you run into trouble when building pgloader, because the development team is lacking windows user and in practice we can’t maintain the support for that Operating System:

If you need pgloader.exe on windows please condider contributing fixes for that environment and maybe longer term support then. Specifically, a CI integration with a windows build host would allow ensuring that we continue to support that target.

Building Docker image from sources

You can build a Docker image from source using SBCL by default:

$ docker build .

Or Clozure CL (CCL):

$ docker build -f Dockerfile.ccl .

More options when building from source

The Makefile target save knows how to produce a Self Contained Binary file for pgloader, found at ./build/bin/pgloader:

$ make save

By default, the Makefile uses SBCL to compile your binary image, though it’s possible to build using Clozure-CL.

$ make CL=ccl64 save

It is possible to to tweak the default amount of memory that the pgloader image will allow itself using when running through your data (don’t ask for more than your current RAM tho). At the moment only the legacy build system includes support for this custom build:

$ make DYNSIZE=8192 pgloader

The make pgloader command when successful outputs a ./build/bin/pgloader file for you to use.