Data Files

PgOSM Fle will automatically manage downloads of the appropriate data and .md5 files from the Geofabrik download server. When using the default behavior, PgOSM Flex will automatically start downloading the two necessary files:

  • <region/subregion>-latest.osm.pbf
  • <region/subregion>-latest.osm.pbf.md5

The data path on the host machine is defined via the docker run command. This documentation always uses ~/pgosm-data per the quick start.

docker run --name pgosm -d --rm \
    -v ~/pgosm-data:/app/output \

See the Selecting Region and Sub-region section for more about the default behavior.

There are two methods to override this default behavior: specify --pgosm-date or use --input-file. If you have manually saved files in the path used by PgOSM Flex using -latest in the filename, they will be overwritten if you are not using one of the methods described below.

Specific date with --pgosm-date

Use --pgosm-date to specify a specific date for the data. The date specified must be in yyyy-mm-dd format. This mode requires you have a valid .pbf and matching .md5 file in order to function. The following example shows the docker exec command along with a --pgosm-date defined.

docker exec -it \
    pgosm python3 docker/ \
    --ram=8 \
    --region=north-america/us \
    --subregion=district-of-columbia \

The output from running should confirm it finds and uses the file with the specified date. Remember, the paths reported from Docker (/app/output/) report the container-internal path, not your local path on the host.

INFO:pgosm-flex:geofabrik:PBF File exists /app/output/district-of-columbia-2024-05-14.osm.pbf
INFO:pgosm-flex:geofabrik:PBF & MD5 files exist.  Download not needed
INFO:pgosm-flex:geofabrik:Copying Archived files
INFO:pgosm-flex:pgosm_flex:Running osm2pgsql

If a date is specified without matching file(s) it will raise an error and exit.

ERROR:pgosm-flex:geofabrik:Missing PBF file for 2024-05-15. Cannot proceed.

Specific input file with --input-file

The automatic Geofabrik download can be overridden by providing PgOSM Flex with the path to a valid .osm.pbf file using --input-file. This option overrides the default file handling, archiving, and MD5 checksum validation. With --input-file you can use a custom osm.pbf you created, or use it to simply remove the need for an internet connection from the instance running the processing.

Note: The --region option is always required, the --subregion option can be used with --input-file to put the information in the subregion column of osm.pgosm_flex.

Small area / custom extract

Some of the smallest subregions provided by Geofabrik are quite large compared to the area of interest for a project. The osmium tool makes it quick and easy to extract a bounding box. The following example extracts an area roughly around Denver, Colorado. It takes about 3 seconds to extract the 3.2 MB denver.osm.pbf output from the 239 MB input.

osmium extract --bbox=-105.0193,39.7663,-104.9687,39.7323 \
    -o denver.osm.pbf \

The PgOSM Flex processing time for the smaller Denver region takes less than 20 seconds on a typical laptop, versus 11 minutes for all of Colorado.

docker exec -it \
    pgosm python3 docker/ \
    --ram=8 \
    --region=custom \
    --subregion=denver \
    --input-file=denver.osm.pbf \