I'm trying to update a PostgreSQL+PostGIS table from an ESRI Shapefile using the ogr2ogr tool from gdal.
The Shapefile is being updated from external sources on a regular basis.
I don't want to append its content, I prefer starting again from scratch.

This is the command I run for the moment;

ogr2ogr \
  -lco OVERWRITE=yes \
  -nln vector_data.lines \
  -f "PostgreSQL" \
     PG:"host=localhost user=username dbname=my_database" \ 
  -a_srs EPSG:4326 "${shapedir}/el_lines.shp"



I get this warning message:

Warning 1: Layer creation options ignored since an existing layer is
         being appended to.

And the features are being append to the table, hence doubling the number of rows.


If I add the -overwrite option, features (i.e. records in the table) are being successfully updated, as I expect, but the downside is I lose all the views and relations which have a link to the table I want to update. Needless to say I don't want to lose these views and relations.


How to wisely use ogr2ogr so that it builds the table as if it's newly created (such as the really first time I ran ogr2ogr), but while keeping all relations to this table in the database?

Related questions



"PostgreSQL 10.12 (Ubuntu 10.12-0ubuntu0.18.04.1) on x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, \
compiled by gcc (Ubuntu 7.4.0-1ubuntu1~18.04.1) 7.4.0, 64-bit"




$ ogr2ogr --version
GDAL 2.4.0, released 2018/12/14
  • I've had good performance with loading to a new temporary table, then using INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE to drive changes to the existing table. A lot depends on whether you need to access the data from a concurrent process (e.g. a map service) or whether you can TRUNCATE and INSERT from the staged table after the initial load has taken place.
    – Vince
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 4:39

1 Answer 1


Read https://gdal.org/drivers/vector/pg.html

Configuration Options


(GDAL >= 1.11) If set to “YES”, the content of the table will be first erased with the SQL TRUNCATE command before inserting the first feature. This is an alternative to using the -overwrite flag of ogr2ogr, that avoids views based on the table to be destroyed. Typical use case:

ogr2ogr -append PG:dbname=foo abc.shp --config OGR_TRUNCATE YES”
  • Is the -append flag mandatory? It sounds strange. In addition, why I cannot find the --config option in the man of ogr2ogr (gdal.org/programs/ogr2ogr.html)? Is it the same as the -lco? And how to use several --config options in a row? Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 9:42
  • 1
    Sounds logical as well Append to existing layer instead of creating new. Usage of Config options is documented in gdal.org/programs/vector_common_options.html. Options may be driver specific and documented in the driver manuals. Some are generic and documented in gdal.org/user/configoptions.html and trac.osgeo.org/gdal/wiki/ConfigOptions. Config options are not the same as Layer Creation Options. There are also Open Options (-oo) that you may meet later when working with GDAL. Several options are used simply --config option1 value --config option2 value.
    – user30184
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 10:00
  • Ok. Actually, I noticed that the behavior is the same with or without the -append flag. Thanks for the links. Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 10:16
  • 1
    Yes, the flags should behave in the same way for all the drivers gdal.org/drivers/vector/index.html but it is not always the case. For example Oracle driver has own options for setting SRID, DIM, OVERWRITE etc. and the common ogr2ogr options do not work.
    – user30184
    Commented Apr 3, 2020 at 11:32

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