ALTER DATABASE ... RENAME TO

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The RENAME TO statement is part of ALTER DATABASE, and changes the name of a database.

Synopsis

ALTER DATABASE name RENAME TO name

Required privileges

Only members of the admin role can rename databases. By default, the root user belongs to the admin role.

Parameters

Parameter Description
name The first instance of name is the current name of the database. The second instance is the new name for the database. The new name must be unique and follow these identifier rules. You cannot rename a database if it is set as the current database or if sql_safe_updates = true.

Limitations

If an ALTER DATABASE ... RENAME statement is issued on a single gateway node and a successful result is returned, it is possible to observe the old database names in transactions on other gateway nodes for a short amount of time after the rename is executed. This issue is specific to databases, which have their metadata stored in an incoherent cache, unlike tables. Note that this issue is resolved in v20.2.

Additionally, it is not possible to rename a database if:

  • The database is referenced by a view. For more details, see View Dependencies.
  • The database is explicitly specified in a reference to a sequence. In this case, you can drop the column in the table that references the sequence, or you can modify the reference so that it does not specify the database name.

    For example, suppose you create a database db, and in that database, a sequence seq:

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    > CREATE DATABASE db;
      USE db;
      CREATE SEQUENCE seq;
    

    Then you reference the sequence in a table tab:

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    > CREATE TABLE tab (
      id UUID DEFAULT gen_random_uuid(),
      count INT DEFAULT nextval('db.seq')
    );
    

    Attempting to rename the database will result in an error:

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    > SET sql_safe_updates=false;
      ALTER DATABASE db RENAME TO mydb;
    
    ERROR: cannot rename database because relation "db.public.tab" depends on relation "db.public.seq"
    SQLSTATE: 2BP01
    HINT: you can drop the column default "count" of "db.public.seq" referencing "db.public.tab" or modify the default to not reference the database name "db"
    

    In order to rename the database db, you need to drop or change the reference in the default value for the seq column to not explicitly name the database db:

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    > ALTER TABLE tab ALTER COLUMN count SET DEFAULT nextval('seq');
    
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    > USE defaultdb;
      ALTER DATABASE db RENAME TO mydb;
    

Examples

Rename a database

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> CREATE DATABASE db1;
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> SHOW DATABASES;
  database_name
-----------------
  db1
  defaultdb
  movr
  postgres
  system
(5 rows)
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> ALTER DATABASE db1 RENAME TO db2;
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> SHOW DATABASES;
  database_name
-----------------
  db2
  defaultdb
  movr
  postgres
  system
(5 rows)

Rename fails (new name already in use)

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> ALTER DATABASE db2 RENAME TO movr;
ERROR: the new database name "movr" already exists
SQLSTATE: 42P04

See also

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