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Why is /var/lib/postgres/ owned by root?

Having a UNIX user which does not have permissions to write into its own home directory is somewhat perverse. It causes multiple problems, e.g. [1], psql run as postgres cannot write to ~/.psql_history and so on.

Even the official documentation says that it is recommended to have /usr/local/pgsql (their equivalent of /var/lib/postgres) to be owned by the postgres user.

Does anybody disagree or shall I create a bug report to change it in the Arch package?

-- Lahwaacz (talk) 16:02, 23 November 2017 (UTC)

While your points are valid but then in normal case only data directory is accessed by postgres. So why give additional permission? psql can be run as normal user instead of postgres user if psql_history is required at all.
Also many other system users have / as home directory which is also owned by root. So its not compulsory that home directory must be write-able.
I do not disagree with you but I would also say its not necessary.
-- Amish (talk) 17:29, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
It's not necessary for running postgresql.service itself, but the postgres user is used for maintenance as well. Other system users with / as home directory are never used for interactive shell so they also specify either /usr/bin/nologin or /bin/false as the default shell. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:07, 23 November 2017 (UTC)
My point is that if things are working without permission then why give permission? Not giving permission does not break or disturb any maintenance. And psql can be run as psql -U postgres from own user account if one wants history.
-- Amish (talk) 00:53, 24 November 2017 (UTC)
Currently there is no point in changing permissions for /var/lib/postgres/ indeed, since only the subfolder data is used. This is because the default upstream configuration is to have this {{ic|data} folder where postgresql is installed (i.e. `/usr/local/postgresql/` by default), in which case you want to have your DB as a subdir and no rights for postgres on the folder above, which contains the binary in particular. If we ever remove that uneeded level (and thus use /var/lib/postgres/ for DBs), this would obviously change. Archange (talk) 08:58, 5 June 2018 (UTC)
Finally, I’ve seen a valid point in changing that, since the current situation prevented a simplification of the upgrade path for major version as it was hinted in So maybe we should reconsider… Archange (talk) 22:43, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Upgrade from 10 to 11

I've just (belatedly) updated Postgresql from version 10 to 11, and had a couple of problems.

pg_upgrade failed, and I couldn't see anything that looked like a helpful error message, so I resorted to the manual method as described in section 7.1 of this page.

That initially failed too, but I got it to work by using /opt/pgsql-10/bin/pg_dumpall instead of just pg_dumpall. So the steps I used were:

 # systemctl stop postgresql.service
 # mv /var/lib/postgres/data /var/lib/postgres/olddata
 # mkdir /var/lib/postgres/data
 # chown postgres:postgres /var/lib/postgres/data
 [postgres]$ initdb -D '/var/lib/postgres/data'
 [postgres]$ /opt/pgsql-10/bin/pg_ctl -D /var/lib/postgres/olddata/ start
 [postgres]$ /opt/pgsql-10/bin/pg_dumpall -f /tmp/old_backup.sql
 [postgres]$ /opt/pgsql-10/bin/pg_ctl -D /var/lib/postgres/olddata/ stop
 # systemctl start postgresql.service
 [postgres]$ psql -f /tmp/old_backup.sql postgres

ChrisDennis (talk) 18:26, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

It is hard to argue about errors without seeing them. Upstream recommends to use pg_dumpall from the newer version, so you should probably ask upstream about the problems. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:43, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
I failed to note the exact errors at the time, but one related to a version of a library being missing, so I assumed that the problems were caused by the fact that my whole system had been very out of date before I did a system update and then upgraded postgresql. My point was that a tweak to the instructions on this page was required to solve the problem. ChrisDennis (talk) 18:45, 23 November 2018 (UTC)

pg_upgrade problem if extensions (like postgis) are used

If a database has an extension installed that required extra libraries (like the case of postgis), one ends up with a serious problem with the pg_upgrade path.

The reason is that the postgresql-old-upgrade package does not have any extra libraries but the postgresql itself.

For instance if I try to migrate the 11 database (I am migrating to 12), I get:

 $ pg_upgrade -b /opt/pgsql-$PG_VERSION/bin -B /usr/bin -d /var/lib/postgres/data11 -D /var/lib/postgres/data -c
 Performing Consistency Checks
 Checking cluster versions                                   ok
 Checking database user is the install user                  ok
 Checking database connection settings                       ok
 Checking for prepared transactions                          ok
 Checking for reg* data types in user tables                 ok
 Checking for contrib/isn with bigint-passing mismatch       ok
 Checking for tables WITH OIDS                               ok
 Checking for invalid "sql_identifier" user columns          ok
 Checking for presence of required libraries                 fatal
 Your installation references loadable libraries that are missing from the
 new installation.  You can add these libraries to the new installation,
 or remove the functions using them from the old installation.  A list of
 problem libraries is in the file:
 Failure, exiting
 $ cat loadable_libraries.txt 
 n'a pas pu charger la bibliothèque « $libdir/postgis-2.5 » : ERREUR:  n'a pas pu accéder au fichier « $libdir/postgis-2.5 » : Aucun fichier ou dossier de ce type
 Base de données : rechtem
 n'a pas pu charger la bibliothèque « $libdir/rtpostgis-2.5 » : ERREUR:  n'a pas pu accéder au fichier « $libdir/rtpostgis-2.5 » : Aucun fichier ou dossier de ce type
 Base de données : rechtem

This was because postgis was just upgraded to 3.0, but even restoring the 2.5 package failed:

 $ cat loadable_libraries.txt 
 could not load library "$libdir/postgis-2.5": ERREUR:  n'a pas pu charger la bibliothèque « /usr/lib/postgresql/ » : /usr/lib/postgresql/ undefined symbol:   AllocSetContextCreateExtended
 Database: rechtem
 could not load library "$libdir/rtpostgis-2.5": ERREUR:  bibliothèque « /usr/lib/postgresql/ » incompatible : versions différentes
 DETAIL:  La version du serveur est 12, celle de la bibliothèque est 11.
 Database: rechtem

I think a warning should be placed about that problem. Backup to 11 may not be obvious in case the problem is discovered too late.

—This unsigned comment is by Mrechte (talk) 14:07, 29 November 2019 (UTC). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!