Migrating your manual-installation OpenProject database to PostgreSQL

This guide will migrate your MySQL installation on a manual installation to a PostgreSQL installation using pgloader.

Backing up

Before beginning the migration, please ensure you have created a backup of your current installation. Please follow our backup and restore documentation for Docker-based installations.

Set up a PostgreSQL database

Please first set up a PostgreSQL database. These are generic apt-based installation steps, please adapt them appropriately for your distribution.

OpenProject requires at least PostgreSQL 9.5 installed. Please check https://www.postgresql.org/download/ if your distributed package is too old.

[root@host] apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib libpq-dev

Once installed, switch to the PostgreSQL system user.

[root@host] su - postgres

Then, as the PostgreSQL user, create the system user for OpenProject. This will prompt you for a password. We are going to assume in the following guide that password were 'openproject'. Of course, please choose a strong password and replace the values in the following guide with it!

[postgres@host] createuser -W openproject

Next, create the database owned by the new user

[postgres@host] createdb -O openproject openproject

Lastly, exit the system user

[postgres@host] exit
# You will be root again now.


Note down or copy the current MySQL DATABASE_URL. The following command exports it to the curent shell as MYSQL_DATABASE_URL:

# Will look something something of the kind
# mysql2://user:password@localhost:3306/dbname

# Pass into the container but replace mysql2 with mysql!
export MYSQL_DATABASE_URL="mysql://user:password@localhost:3306/dbname"

Please note: Ensure that the URL starts with mysql:// , not with mysql2:// !


Pass in DATABASE_URL pointing to your new PostgreSQL database. Fill the template below with the password you entered above.

export POSTGRES_DATABASE_URL="postgresql://openproject:<PASSWORD>@localhost/openproject"

Running the migration via Docker

OpenProject provides a simple conversion script that you can run as a single command via Docker.

To run the migration script within the container, simply run the following command, replacing the content of the environment variables with your actual values.

Adapting the hostname

Note: Depending on your docker installation and networking, you may need to replace the hostname localhost in the database URLs with host.docker.internal to access the docker host. On Mac for example, localhost will refer to the docker client.

docker run -it \

This will perform all necessary steps to perform the migration. Afterwards, simply remove the MYSQL_DATABASE_URLenvironment variable again and start your container as usual.

Running the migration without Docker

Installation of pgloader

Apt Systems

For systems with APT package managers (Debian, Ubuntu), you should already have pgloader available and can install as root with with:

[root@host] apt-get install pgloader

For other installations, please see the project page itself for steps on installing with Docker or from source.

After installation, check that pgloader is in your path and accessible:

[root@host] pgloader --version

# Should output something of the kind
pgloader version "3.5.2"
compiled with SBCL 1.4.5.debian

Performing the migration

You are now ready to use pgloader. You simply point it the old and new database URL while specifying the option --with "preserve index names" which ensures that index names are kept identical.

pgloader --verbose --with "preserve index names" $MYSQL_DATABASE_URL $POSTGRES_DATABASE_URL

This might take a while depending on current installation size.

Index attachments for fulltext search

One of the benefits of using PostgreSQL over MySql is the support for fulltext search on attachments. The fulltext search feature relies on the existence of two additional columns for attachments that need to be added now ff the migration to PostgreSql is done for an OpenProject >= 8.0. If the OpenProject version is below 8.0 the next two commands can be skipped.

In order to add the necessary columns to the database, run

openproject run rails db:migrate:redo VERSION=20180122135443

After the columns have been added, the index has to be created for already uploaded attachments

openproject run rails attachments:extract_fulltext_where_missing

If a large set of attachments already exists, executing the command might take a while.

Indexes on relations table

You will also need to rebuild the index on the relations table. Simply run the following command to re-run the migration.

openproject run rails db:migrate:redo VERSION=20180105130053

Optional: Uninstall MySQL

If you installed MySQL only for the installation of OpenProject, evaluate whether you want to remove MySQL server.

You can check the output of dpkg - l | grep mysql to check for packages removable. Only keep libmysqlclient-dev for Ruby dependencies on the mysql adapter.

The following is an exemplary removal of an installed version MySQL 5.7.

[root@host] apt-get remove mysql-server

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