I am searching copying a production postgres database to some development server. What is the fastest, simplest approach to take about carrying this out?
You don't have to create an itermediate file. That you can do
pg_dump -C -h localhost -U localuser dbname | psql -h remotehost -U remoteuser dbname
pg_dump -C -h remotehost -U remoteuser dbname | psql -h localhost -U localuser dbname
Using psql or pg_dump for connecting to some remote host.
Having a large database or perhaps a slow connection, dumping personal files and transfering the file compressed might be faster.
Edit As porneL stated there's you don't need to dump to some intermediate file, if you wish to work compressed that you can do having a compressed tunnel .
pg_dump -C dbname | bzip2 | ssh remoteuser@remotehost "bunzip2 | psql dbname"
or pg_dump -C dbname ssh -C remoteuser@remotehost "psql dbname"
But this solution also requires to obtain a session both in finishes.
pg_dump the_db_name > the_backup.sql
Then copy the backup for your development server, restore with:
psql the_new_dev_db < the_backup.sql