PostgreSQL is an open source, community driven, standard compliant object-relational database system.
This document describes how to set up PostgreSQL. It also describes how to configure PostgreSQL to be accessible from a remote client. If you need help setting up the rest of a web stack, see the LAMP page and follow all of the sections except the one related to MySQL.
- 1 Before you start
- 2 Installing PostgreSQL
- 3 Create your first database/user
- 4 Familiarize with PostgreSQL
- 5 Optional configuration
- 6 Administration tools
- 7 Upgrading PostgreSQL
- 8 Troubleshooting
Before you start
Several sections have instructions stating "become the postgres user". Commands that should be run as the postgres user are prefixed by
[postgres]$ in this article.
Execute the following as root to get a shell as the postgres user:
# su - postgres
If you use sudo, you can use the following:
$ sudo -i -u postgres
The postgres user will automatically be created by installing PostgreSQL.
Before PostgreSQL can function correctly the database cluster must be initialized by the postgres user:
# su - postgres -c "initdb --locale en_US.UTF-8 -E UTF8 -D '/var/lib/postgres/data'"
Start PostgreSQL and, optionally, add it to the list of daemons that start on system startup:
# systemctl start postgresql # systemctl enable postgresql
Create your first database/user
Become the postgres user. Add a new database user using the createuser command:
[postgres]$ createuser --interactive
Create a new database over which the above user has read/write privileges using the createdb command (execute this command from your login shell if the database user has the same name as your Linux user, otherwise add
-U database-username to the following command):
$ createdb myDatabaseName
Familiarize with PostgreSQL
Access the database shell
Become the postgres user. Start the primary db shell, psql, where you can do all your creation of databases/tables, deletion, set permissions, and run raw SQL commands. Use the "-d" option to connect to the database you created (without specifying a database, psql will try to access a database that matches your username)
[postgres]$ psql -d myDatabaseName
Some helpful commands:
Connect to a particular database
=> \c <database>
List all users and their permission levels
Shows summary information about all tables in the current database
exit/quit the psql shell
=> \q or CTRL+d
There are of course many more meta-commands, but these should help you get started.
Configure PostgreSQL to be accessible from remote hosts
The PostgreSQL database server configuration file is
postgresql.conf. This file is located in the data directory of the server, typically
/var/lib/postgres/data. This folder also houses the other main config files, including the
locateis not finding the conf files, this is the reason.
Edit the file
/var/lib/postgres/data/postgresql.conf. In the connections and authentications section add the
listen_addresses line to your needs:
listen_addresses = 'localhost,my_remote_ip_address'
Take a careful look at the other lines.
Host-based authentication is configured in
/var/lib/postgres/data/pg_hba.conf. This file controls which hosts are allowed to connect. Note that the defaults allow any local user to connect as any database user including the database superuser. Add a line like the following:
# IPv4 local connections: host all all my_remote_ip_address/32 md5
your_desired_ip_address is the IP address of the client.
See the documentation for pg_hba.conf.
After this you should restart the daemon process for the changes to take effect with:
# systemctl restart postgresql
For troubleshooting take a look in the server log file
$ tail /var/log/postgresql.log
Change default data directory
The default directory where all your newly created databases will be stored is
/var/lib/postgres/data. To change this, follow these steps:
Create the new directory and make the postgres user its owner:
# mkdir -p /pathto/pgroot/data # chown -R postgres:postgres /pathto/pgroot
Become the postgres user, and initialize the new cluster:
[postgres]$ initdb -D /pathto/pgroot/data
If enabled, disable
/etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/postgresql.service and edit it to change the default
Environment=PGROOT=/pathto/pgroot/ ... PIDFile=/pathto/pgroot/data/postmaster.pid
Change default encoding of new databases to UTF-8
-E UTF8these steps are not required
When creating a new database (e.g. with
createdb blog) PostgreSQL actually copies a template database. There are two predefined templates: template0 is vanilla, while template1 is meant as an on-site template changeable by the administrator and is used by default. In order to change the encoding of new database, one of the options is to change on-site template1. To do this, log into PostgresSQL shell (psql) and execute the following:
First, we need to drop template1. Templates cannot be dropped, so we first modify it so it is an ordinary database:
UPDATE pg_database SET datistemplate = FALSE WHERE datname = 'template1';
Now we can drop it:
DROP DATABASE template1;
The next step is to create a new database from template0, with a new default encoding:
CREATE DATABASE template1 WITH TEMPLATE = template0 ENCODING = 'UNICODE';
Now modify template1 so it is actually a template:
UPDATE pg_database SET datistemplate = TRUE WHERE datname = 'template1';
(OPTIONAL) If you do not want anyone connecting to this template, set datallowconn to FALSE:
UPDATE pg_database SET datallowconn = FALSE WHERE datname = 'template1';
Now you can create a new database:
[postgres]$ createdb blog
If you log in back to psql and check the databases, you should see the proper encoding of your new database:
List of databases Name | Owner | Encoding | Collation | Ctype | Access privileges -----------+----------+-----------+-----------+-------+---------------------- blog | postgres | UTF8 | C | C | postgres | postgres | SQL_ASCII | C | C | template0 | postgres | SQL_ASCII | C | C | =c/postgres : postgres=CTc/postgres template1 | postgres | UTF8 | C | C |
- phpPgAdmin — Web-based administration tool for PostgreSQL.
- pgAdmin — GUI-based administration tool for PostgreSQL.
This is for upgrading from 9.2 to 9.3.
pacman -S --needed postgresql-old-upgrade su - su - postgres -c 'mv /var/lib/postgres/data /var/lib/postgres/data-9.2' su - postgres -c 'mkdir /var/lib/postgres/data' su - postgres -c 'initdb --locale en_US.UTF-8 -E UTF8 -D /var/lib/postgres/data'
If you had custom settings in configuration files like pg_hba.conf and postgresql.conf, merge them into the new ones. Then:
su - postgres -c 'pg_upgrade -b /opt/pgsql-9.2/bin/ -B /usr/bin/ -d /var/lib/postgres/data-9.2 -D /var/lib/postgres/data'
If the "pg_upgrade" step fails with:
- cannot write to log file pg_upgrade_internal.log
Make sure you're in a directory that the "postgres" user has enough rights to write the log file to (
/tmpfor example). Or use "su - postgres" instead of "sudo -u postgres".
- LC_COLLATE error that says that old and new values are different
Figure out what the old locale was, C or en_US.UTF-8 for example, and force it when calling initdb.
sudo -u postgres LC_ALL=C initdb -D /var/lib/postgres/data
- There seems to be a postmaster servicing the old cluster.
Please shutdown that postmaster and try again.
Make sure postgres isn't running. If you still get the error then chances are these an old PID file you need to clear out.
> sudo -u postgres ls -l /var/lib/postgres/data-9.2 total 88 -rw------- 1 postgres postgres 4 Mar 25 2012 PG_VERSION drwx------ 8 postgres postgres 4096 Jul 17 00:36 base drwx------ 2 postgres postgres 4096 Jul 17 00:38 global drwx------ 2 postgres postgres 4096 Mar 25 2012 pg_clog -rw------- 1 postgres postgres 4476 Mar 25 2012 pg_hba.conf -rw------- 1 postgres postgres 1636 Mar 25 2012 pg_ident.conf drwx------ 4 postgres postgres 4096 Mar 25 2012 pg_multixact drwx------ 2 postgres postgres 4096 Jul 17 00:05 pg_notify drwx------ 2 postgres postgres 4096 Mar 25 2012 pg_serial drwx------ 2 postgres postgres 4096 Jul 17 00:53 pg_stat_tmp drwx------ 2 postgres postgres 4096 Mar 25 2012 pg_subtrans drwx------ 2 postgres postgres 4096 Mar 25 2012 pg_tblspc drwx------ 2 postgres postgres 4096 Mar 25 2012 pg_twophase drwx------ 3 postgres postgres 4096 Mar 25 2012 pg_xlog -rw------- 1 postgres postgres 19169 Mar 25 2012 postgresql.conf -rw------- 1 postgres postgres 48 Jul 17 00:05 postmaster.opts -rw------- 1 postgres postgres 80 Jul 17 00:05 postmaster.pid # <-- This is the problem > sudo -u postgres mv /var/lib/postgres/data-9.2/postmaster.pid /tmp
- ERROR: could not access file "$libdir/postgis-2.0": No such file or directory
Retrieve postgis-2.0.so from postgis package for version postgresql 9.2 () and copy it to /opt/pgsql-9.2/lib (make sure the privileges are right)
Note that these instructions could cause data loss. Use at your own risk.
It is recommended to add the following to your
IgnorePkg = postgresql postgresql-libs
This will ensure you do not accidentally upgrade the database to an incompatible version. When an upgrade is available, pacman will notify you that it is skipping the upgrade because of the entry in pacman.conf. Minor version upgrades (e.g., 9.0.3 to 9.0.4) are safe to perform. However, if you do an accidental upgrade to a different major version (e.g., 9.0.X to 9.1.X), you might not be able to access any of your data. Always check the PostgreSQL home page (http://www.postgresql.org/) to be sure of what steps are required for each upgrade. For a bit about why this is the case see the versioning policy.
There are two main ways to upgrade your PostgreSQL database. Read the official documentation for details.
For those wishing to use
pg_upgrade, a package is available in the repositories that will always run one major version behind the real PostgreSQL package. This can be installed side by side with the new version of PostgreSQL. When you are ready to perform the upgrade, you can do
pacman -Syu postgresql postgresql-libs postgresql-old-upgrade
Note also that the data directory does not change from version to version, so before running pg_upgrade it is necessary to rename your existing data directory and migrate into a new directory. The new database must be initialized, as described near the top of this page.
# systemctl stop postgresql # su - postgres -c 'mv /var/lib/postgres/data /var/lib/postgres/olddata' # su - postgres -c 'initdb --locale en_US.UTF-8 -E UTF8 -D /var/lib/postgres/data'
Reference the upstream pg_upgrade documentation for details.
The upgrade invocation will likely look something like the following (run as the postgres user). Do not run this command blindly without understanding what it does!
# su - postgres -c 'pg_upgrade -d /var/lib/postgres/olddata/ -D /var/lib/postgres/data/ -b /opt/pgsql-8.4/bin/ -B /usr/bin/'
Manual dump and reload
You could also do something like this (after the upgrade and install of postgresql-old-upgrade) (NB: below is command for postgres8.4 update, you can find similar command in /opt/ for postgres 9.2 update. )
# systemctl stop postgresql # /opt/pgsql-8.4/bin/pg_ctl -D /var/lib/postgres/olddata/ start # /opt/pgsql-8.4/bin/pg_dumpall >> old_backup.sql # /opt/pgsql-8.4/bin/pg_ctl -D /var/lib/postgres/olddata/ stop # systemctl start postgresql # psql -f old_backup.sql postgres
Improve performance of small transactions
If you are using PostgresSQL on a local machine for development and it seems slow, you could try turning synchronous_commit off in the configuration (
/var/lib/postgres/data/postgresql.conf). Beware of the caveats, however.
synchronous_commit = off
Prevent disk writes when idle
PostgreSQL periodically updates its internal "statistics" file. By default, this file is stored on disk, which prevents disks spinning down on laptops and causes hard drive seek noise. It's simple and safe to relocate this file to a memory-only file system with the following configuration option:
stats_temp_directory = '/run/postgresql'