PostgreSQL Tutorial: BYTEA Data Type

June 8, 2024

Summary: In this tutorial, you will learn about PostgreSQL BYTEA data type and how to use it to store binary strings in the database.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the PostgreSQL BYTEA data type

In PostgreSQL, BYTEA is a binary data type that you can use to store binary strings or byte sequences. BYTEA stands for the binary array.

The following shows how to define a table column with the BYTEA data type:

column_name BYTEA

The maximum size of a BYTEA column is 1GB. It means you can only store binary data up to 1GB in a single BYTEA column. However, storing a large amount of binary data in a BYTEA column is not efficient.

If files are larger than a few megabytes, you can store them externally and save the paths to the files in the database.

If you work with Python and want to know how to store binary data in a BYTEA column, you can follow this tutorials: Storing images in a BYTEA column using Python.

PostgreSQL BYTEA data type example

First, create a table called binary_data to store binary strings:

CREATE TABLE binary_data(
    data BYTEA

Second, insert a binary string into the binary_data table:

INSERT INTO binary_data(data) 
VALUES ('\x012345');

Third, retrieve data from the BYTEA column:

SELECT * FROM binary_data;


 id |   data
  1 | \x012345
(1 row)


Use the BYTEA data type to store small binary data in the database.

See more

PostgreSQL Tutorial: Data Types

PostgreSQL Documentation: Binary Data Types