pg_chameleon is available on pypi for download

The documentation is available on

Live community available on gitter

Please submit your bug reports on GitHub.

Platform and versions

The tool is developed using Linux Slackware 14.2. Is currently tested with python 2.7 and python 3.6.

The database server is a FreeBSD 11.0 with MySQL: 5.6 and PostgreSQL: 9.5

Example scenarios

  • Analytics
  • Migrations
  • Data aggregation from multiple MySQL databases


  • Read the schema and data from MySQL and restore it into a target PostgreSQL schema
  • Setup PostgreSQL to act as a MySQL slave
  • Support for enumerated and binary data types
  • Discards of rubbish data coming from the replica. The problematic rows are saved in the table sch_chameleon.t_discarded_rows
  • Replica from multiple MySQL schema or servers
  • Basic replica monitoring
  • Detach replica from MySQL for migration support


Python: CPython 2.7/3.3+ on Linux

MySQL: 5.5+

PostgreSQL: 9.5+

Optionals for building documentation


The replica requires the tables to have a primary key. Tables without primary key are initialised during the init_replica process but the replica doesn’t update them.

Multiple replica sources are supported. However is required a separate process for each replica. Each replica must have a unique destination schema in PostgreSQL.

The copy_max_memory is just an estimate. The average rows size is extracted from mysql’s informations schema and can be outdated. If the copy process fails for memory error check the failing table’s row length and the number of rows for each slice.

The batch is processed every time the replica stream is empty, when a DDL is captured or when the MySQL switches to another log segment (ROTATE EVENT). Therefore the replica_batch_size is the limit for when a write happens in PostgreSQL. The parameter controls also the size of the batch replayed by pg_engine.process_batch.

The current implementation is sequential.

Read the replica -> Store the rows -> Replays the stored rows.

The version 2.0 will improve this aspect.

Python 3 is supported but only from version 3.3 as required by mysql-replication .

The lag is determined using the last received event timestamp and the postgresql timestamp. If the mysql is read only the lag will increase because no replica event is coming in.

The detach replica process resets the sequences in postgres to let the database work standalone.

The foreign keys from the source MySQL schema are extracted and created initially as NOT VALID. The foreign keys are created without the ON DELETE or ON UPDATE clauses. A second run tries to validate the foreign keys. If an error occurs it gets logged out according to the source configuration.

Quick Setup

  • Create a virtual environment (e.g. python3 -m venv venv)
  • Activate the virtual environment (e.g. source venv/bin/activate)
  • Install pgchameleon with pip install pg_chameleon. If you get an error upgrade your pip first.
  • Create a user on mysql for the replica (e.g. usr_replica)
  • Grant access to usr on the replicated database (e.g. GRANT ALL ON sakila.* TO ‘usr_replica’;)
  • Grant RELOAD privilege to the user (e.g. GRANT RELOAD ON *.* to ‘usr_replica’;)
  • Grant REPLICATION CLIENT privilege to the user (e.g. GRANT REPLICATION CLIENT ON *.* to ‘usr_replica’;)
  • Grant REPLICATION SLAVE privilege to the user (e.g. GRANT REPLICATION SLAVE ON *.* to ‘usr_replica’;)

Configuration parameters

The system wide install is now supported correctly.

The first time is executed it creates a configuration directory in $HOME/.pg_chameleon. Inside the directory there are two subdirectories.

  • config is where the configuration files live. Use config-example.yaml as template for the other configuration files. Please note the logs and pid directories with relative path will no longer work. The you should either use an absolute path or provide the home alias. Again, check the config-example.yaml for an example.
  • pid is where the replica pid file is created. it can be changed in the configuration file
  • logs is where the replica logs are saved if log_dest is file. It can be changed in the configuration file

The file config-example.yaml is stored in ~/.pg_chameleon/config and should be used as template for the other configuration files.

do not use config-example.yaml directly. The tool skips this filename as the file gets overwritten when pg_chameleon is upgraded.

Is it possible to have multiple configuration files for configuring the replica from multiple source databases. It’s compulsory to chose different destination schemas on postgresql.

Each source requires to be started in a separate process (e.g. a cron entry).

The configuration file is a yaml file. Each parameter controls the way the program acts.

  • my_server_id the server id for the mysql replica. must be unique among the replica cluster.
  • copy_max_memory the max amount of memory to use when copying the table in PostgreSQL. Is possible to specify the value in (k)ilobytes, (M)egabytes, (G)igabytes adding the suffix (e.g. 300M).
  • my_database mysql database to replicate. a schema with the same name will be initialised in the postgres database.
  • pg_database destination database in PostgreSQL.
  • copy_mode the allowed values are ‘file’ and ‘direct’. With direct the copy happens on the fly. With file the table is first dumped in a csv file then reloaded in PostgreSQL.
  • hexify is a yaml list with the data types that require coversion in hex (e.g. blob, binary). The conversion happens on the copy and on the replica.
  • log_dir directory where the logs are stored.
  • log_level logging verbosity. allowed values are debug, info, warning, error.
  • log_dest log destination. stdout for debugging purposes, file for the normal activity.
  • my_charset mysql charset for the copy. Please note the replica library read is always in utf8.
  • pg_charset PostgreSQL connection’s charset.
  • tables_limit yaml list with the tables to replicate. If the list is empty then the entire mysql database is replicated.
  • sleep_loop seconds between a two replica batches.
  • pause_on_reindex determines whether to pause the replica if a reindex process is found in pg_stat_activity
  • sleep_on_reindex seconds to sleep when a reindex process is found
  • reindex_app_names lists the application names to check for reindex (e.g. reindexdb). This is a workaround which required for keeping the replication user unprivileged.
  • source_name this must be unique along the list of sources. The tool detects if there’s a duplicate when registering a new source
  • dest_schema this is also a unique value. once the source is registered the dest_schema can’t be changed anymore
  • log_days_keep: specifies the amount how many days to keep the logs which are rotated automatically on a daily basis
  • batch_retention the max retention for the replayed batches rows in t_replica_batch. The field accepts any valid interval accepted by PostgreSQL
  • out_dir the directory where the csv files are dumped during the init_replica process if the copy mode is file
  • type_override maps the mysql data types with the corresponding postgresql data type and the tables where the override is applied

The following example overrides tinyint(1) to boolean for all tables and tinyint(3) to smallint only for the tables foo and bar.

    override_to: boolean
        - "*"
    override_to: smallint
        - "foo"
        - "bar"

As there is no validation for the data type when replied if any incopatible value is sent trough this mechaninsm the replica will break.

Reindex detection example setup

#Pause the replica for the given amount of seconds if a reindex process is found
pause_on_reindex: Yes
sleep_on_reindex: 30

#list the application names which are supposed to reindex the database
- 'reindexdb'
- 'my_custom_reindex'

MySQL connection parameters

    host: localhost
    port: 3306
    user: replication_username
    passwd: never_commit_passwords

PostgreSQL connection parameters

    host: localhost
    port: 5432
    user: replication_username
    password: never_commit_passwords


The scriptt requires one of the following commands.

  • drop_schema Drops the service schema sch_chameleon with cascade option.
  • create_schema Create the service schema sch_chameleon.
  • upgrade_schema Upgrade an existing schema sch_chameleon to an newer version.
  • init_replica Create the table structure from the mysql into a PostgreSQL schema with the same mysql’s database name. The mysql tables are locked in read only mode and the data is copied into the PostgreSQL database. The master’s coordinates are stored in the PostgreSQL service schema. The command drops and recreate the service schema.
  • start_replica Starts the replication from mysql to PostgreSQL using the master data stored in sch_chameleon.t_replica_batch. The master’s position is updated time a new batch is processed. The command upgrade the service schema if required.
  • list_config List the available configurations and their status (‘ready’, ‘initialising’,’initialised’,’stopped’,’running’)
  • add_source register a new configuration file as source
  • drop_source remove the configuration from the registered sources
  • stop_replica ends the replica process gracefully
  • disable_replica ends the replica process and disable the restart
  • enable_replica enable the replica process
  • sync_tables synchronise specific tables to the replica. The tables are dropped and created from scratch. Requires the – table option.
  • show_status displays the replication status for each source, with the lag in seconds and the last received event
  • detach_replica stops the replica stream, discards the replica setup and resets the sequences in PostgreSQL to work as a standalone db.

the optional command –config followed by the configuration file name, without the yaml suffix, allow to specify different configurations. If omitted the configuration defaults to default.


Create a virtualenv and activate it

python3 -m venv venv
source venv/bin/activate

Install pg_chameleon

pip install pg_chameleon

Run the script in order to create the configuration directory.

cd in ~/.pg_chameleon/config and copy the configuration-example.yaml to default.yaml. Please note this is the default configuration and can be omitted when executing the script.

In MySQL create a user for the replica.

CREATE USER usr_replica ;
SET PASSWORD FOR usr_replica=PASSWORD('replica');
GRANT ALL ON sakila.* TO 'usr_replica';
GRANT RELOAD ON *.* to 'usr_replica';
GRANT REPLICATION CLIENT ON *.* to 'usr_replica';
GRANT REPLICATION SLAVE ON *.* to 'usr_replica';

Add the configuration for the replica to my.cnf (requires mysql restart)

binlog_format= ROW
log-bin = mysql-bin
server-id = 1

If you are using a cascading replica configuration ensure the parameter log_slave_updates is set to ON.

log_slave_updates= ON

In PostgreSQL create a user for the replica and a database owned by the user

CREATE USER usr_replica WITH PASSWORD 'replica';
CREATE DATABASE db_replica WITH OWNER usr_replica;

Check you can connect to both databases from the replication system.


mysql -p -h derpy -u usr_replica sakila
Enter password:
Reading table information for completion of table and column names
You can turn off this feature to get a quicker startup with -A

Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 116
Server version: 5.6.30-log Source distribution

Copyright (c) 2000, 2016, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.


For PostgreSQL

psql  -h derpy -U usr_replica db_replica
Password for user usr_replica:
psql (9.5.5)
Type "help" for help.

Setup the connection parameters in default.yaml

#global settings
my_server_id: 100
replica_batch_size: 1000
my_database:  sakila
pg_database: db_replica

#mysql connection's charset.
my_charset: 'utf8'
pg_charset: 'utf8'

#include tables only

#mysql slave setup
    host: derpy
    port: 3306
    user: usr_replica
    passwd: replica

#postgres connection
    host: derpy
    port: 5432
    user: usr_replica
    password: replica

Initialise the schema and the replica with create_schema add_source --config default init_replica --config default

Start the replica with start_replica --config default

Detaching the replica from MySQL detach_replica --config default