See Command Line Interface (CLI) for details on running the
Before you can run CKAN for the first time, you need to run
db init to
initialize your database:
ckan -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini db init
If you forget to do this you’ll see this error message in your web browser:
503 Service Unavailable: This site is currently off-line. Database is not initialised.
This will delete all data from your CKAN database!
You can delete everything in the CKAN database, including the tables, to start from scratch:
ckan -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini db clean
Import and Export
Dumping and Loading databases to/from a file
For example, first dump your CKAN database:
sudo -u postgres pg_dump --format=custom -d ckan_default > ckan.dump
The exported file is a complete backup of the database, and includes API keys and other user data which may be regarded as private. So keep it secure, like your database server.
If you’ve chosen a non-default database name (i.e. not
then you need to adapt the commands accordingly.
Then restore it again:
ckan -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini db clean sudo -u postgres pg_restore --clean --if-exists -d ckan_default < ckan.dump
If you’re importing a dump from an older version of CKAN you must upgrade the database schema after the import.
Once the import (and a potential upgrade) is complete you should rebuild the search index.
Exporting Datasets to JSON Lines
You can export all of your CKAN site’s datasets from your database to a JSON Lines file using ckanapi:
ckanapi dump datasets -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini -O my_datasets.jsonl
This is useful to create a simple public listing of the datasets, with no user information. Some simple additions to the Apache config can serve the dump files to users in a directory listing. To do this, add these lines to your virtual Apache config file (e.g. /etc/apache2/sites-available/ckan_default.conf):
Alias /dump/ /home/okfn/var/srvc/ckan.net/dumps/
# Disable the mod_python handler for static files
Don’t serve an SQL dump of your database (created using the
command), as those contain private user information such as email
addresses and API keys.
Exporting User Accounts to JSON Lines
You can export all of your CKAN site’s user accounts from your database to a JSON Lines file using ckanapi:
ckanapi dump users -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini -O my_database_users.jsonl
You should create a backup of your database before upgrading it.
To avoid problems during the database upgrade, comment out any plugins that you have enabled in your ini file. You can uncomment them again when the upgrade finishes.
If you are upgrading to a new CKAN major release update your
CKAN database’s schema using the
ckan db upgrade command:
ckan -c /etc/ckan/default/ckan.ini db upgrade