Migrating from MySQL/MariaDB to PostgreSQL

Our recommended database for all production installations is PostgreSQL. Support for MySQL/MariaDB will be removed in pretix 5.0.

In order to follow this guide, your pretix installation needs to be a version that fully supports MySQL/MariaDB. If you already upgraded to pretix 5.0, downgrade back to the last 4.x release using pip.


We have tested this guide carefully, but we can’t assume any liability for its correctness. The data loss risk should be low as long as pretix is not running while you do the migration. If you are a pretix Enterprise customer, feel free to reach out in advance if you want us to support you along the way.

Update database schema

Before you start, make sure your database schema is up to date:

# sudo -u pretix -s
$ source /var/pretix/venv/bin/activate
(venv)$ python -m pretix migrate

Install PostgreSQL

Now, install and set up a PostgreSQL server. For a local installation on Debian or Ubuntu, use:

# apt install postgresql

Having the database server installed, we still need a database and a database user. We can create these with any kind of database managing tool or directly on our database’s shell. Please make sure that UTF8 is used as encoding for the best compatibility. You can check this with the following command:

# sudo -u postgres psql -c 'SHOW SERVER_ENCODING'

Without Docker

For our standard manual installation, create the database and user like this:

# sudo -u postgres createuser pretix
# sudo -u postgres createdb -O pretix pretix

With Docker

For our standard docker installation, create the database and user like this:

# sudo -u postgres createuser -P pretix
# sudo -u postgres createdb -O pretix pretix

Make sure that your database listens on the network. If PostgreSQL on the same same host as docker, but not inside a docker container, we recommend that you just listen on the Docker interface by changing the following line in /etc/postgresql/<version>/main/postgresql.conf:

listen_addresses = 'localhost,'

You also need to add a new line to /etc/postgresql/<version>/main/pg_hba.conf to allow network connections to this user and database:

host    pretix          pretix           md5

Restart PostgreSQL after you changed these files:

# systemctl restart postgresql

If you have a firewall running, you should also make sure that port 5432 is reachable from the subnet.

Of course, instead of all this you can also run a PostgreSQL docker container and link it to the pretix container.

Stop pretix

To prevent any more changes to your data, stop pretix from running:

# systemctl stop pretix-web pretix-worker

Change configuration

Change the database configuration in your /etc/pretix/pretix.cfg file:

password=  ; only required for docker or remote database, can be kept empty for local auth
host=      ; set to in docker setup, keep empty for local auth

Create database schema

To create the schema in your new PostgreSQL database, use the following commands:

# sudo -u pretix -s
$ source /var/pretix/venv/bin/activate
(venv)$ python -m pretix migrate

Migrate your data

Install pgloader:

# apt install pgloader


If you are using Ubuntu 20.04, the pgloader version from the repositories seems to be incompatible with PostgreSQL 12+. You can install pgloader from the PostgreSQL repositories instead. See also this discussion.

Create a new file /tmp/pretix.load, replacing the MySQL and PostgreSQL connection strings with the correct user names, passwords, and/or database names:

    FROM mysql://pretix:password@localhost/pretix  -- replace with mysql://username:password@hostname/dbname
    INTO postgresql:///pretix                      -- replace with dbname

WITH data only, include no drop, truncate, disable triggers,
     create no indexes, drop indexes, reset sequences

ALTER SCHEMA 'pretix' RENAME TO 'public'           -- replace pretix with the name of the MySQL database

    SET SCHEMA 'public'

SET timezone TO '+00:00'

     maintenance_work_mem to '128MB',
     work_mem to '12MB';

Then, run:

# sudo -u postgres pgloader /tmp/pretix.load

The output should end with a table summarizing the results for every table. You can ignore warnings about type casts and missing constraints.

Afterwards, delete the file again:

# rm -rf /tmp/pretix.load

Start pretix

Now, restart pretix. Maybe stop your MySQL server as a verification step that you are no longer using it:

# systemctl stop mariadb
# systemctl start pretix-web pretix-worker

And you’re done! After you’ve verified everything has been copied correctly, you can delete the old MySQL database.


Don’t forget to update your backup process to back up your PostgreSQL database instead of your MySQL database now.