Import Heroku databases locally

22 Apr 2012

I just discovered a way simpler solution. Add the taps gem to your Gemfile, and run heroku db:pull. Voila!

Long (non-rails) version

I recently started a pet-project which emails me a random piece of text each day, to remind me of something. I am making this as I often read something which gives an insight that I want to be reminded of in the future, for it to be properly ‘persisted’ in my brain. Stay posted for the MVP.

Backing up Postgres on Heroku

First you need to add the PG Backups addon to your app:

heroku addons:add pgbackups:auto-month

The auto-month plan is currently free, but in case that changes you can see the other plans at

With the addon installed you can now run the following script to import your production postgres database into you local postgres database.


heroku pgbackups:capture --expire

curl -o latest.dump `heroku pgbackups:url`

pg_restore --clean --no-acl --no-owner -h localhost -U <username> -d <database> latest.dump

Remember to replace the username and database parameters.

In case you don’t want to be asked for a password every time, you can create a ~/.pgpass file containing you Postgres details using the following format: hostname:port:database:username:password. Give that file chmod 0600 ~/.pgpass permissions and add the parameter -w to the script above.