Introduction to PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is an advanced object-relational database management system (ORDBMS), derived from the Berkeley Postgres database management system.

There may be a more recent release available from the PostgreSQL home page. You can check and probably use the existing BLFS instructions. Note that versions other than the one shown in the download URLs have not been tested in a BLFS environment.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-7.4 platform.

Package Information

PostgreSQL Dependencies


Python-2.7.5, Tcl-8.6.0, OpenSSL-1.0.1e, libxml2-2.9.1, libxslt-1.1.28, OpenLDAP-2.4.36, Linux-PAM-1.1.7, MIT Kerberos V5-1.11.3 and Bonjour

Optional (To Regenerate Documentation)

docbook-4.5, docbook-dsssl-1.79, OpenJade-1.3.2, and SGMLSpm-1.1

User Notes:

Installation of PostgreSQL

Install PostgreSQL with the following commands:

sed -e "s@DEFAULT_PGSOCKET_DIR  \"/tmp\"@DEFAULT_PGSOCKET_DIR  \"/run/postgresql\"@" \
    -i src/include/pg_config_manual.h &&
sed -i -e 's@psql\\"@& -h /tmp@' src/test/regress/pg_regress{,_main}.c &&
sed -i -e 's@gres\\"@& -k /tmp@' src/test/regress/pg_regress.c &&
./configure --prefix=/usr          \
            --enable-thread-safety \
            --docdir=/usr/share/doc/postgresql-9.3.0 &&

To test the results, issue: make check.

There are a number of programs in the contrib/ directory. If you are going to run this installation as a server and wish to build some of them, enter make -C contrib or make -C contrib/<SUBDIR-NAME> for each subdirectory.

Now, as the root user:

make install      &&
make install-docs

If you made any of the contrib/ programs, as the root user:

make -C contrib/<SUBDIR-NAME> install

If you only intend to use PostgreSQL as a client to connect to a server on another machine, your installation is complete and you should not run the remaining commands.



If you are upgrading an existing system and are going to install the new files over the old ones, then you should back up your data, shut down the old server and follow the instructions in the official PostgreSQL documentation.

Initialize a database cluster with the following commands issued by the root user:

install -v -dm700 /srv/pgsql/data &&
install -v -dm755 /run/postgresql &&
groupadd -g 41 postgres &&
useradd -c "PostgreSQL Server" -g postgres -d /srv/pgsql/data \
        -u 41 postgres &&
chown -Rv postgres:postgres /srv/pgsql /run/postgresql &&
su - postgres -c '/usr/bin/initdb -D /srv/pgsql/data'

As the root user, start the database server with the following command:

su - postgres -c '/usr/bin/postmaster -D /srv/pgsql/data > \
    /srv/pgsql/data/logfile 2>&1 &'

Still as user root, create a database and verify the installation:

su - postgres -c '/usr/bin/createdb test' &&
echo "create table t1 ( name varchar(20), state_province varchar(20) );" \
    | (su - postgres -c '/usr/bin/psql test ') &&
echo "insert into t1 values ('Billy', 'NewYork');" \
    | (su - postgres -c '/usr/bin/psql test ') &&
echo "insert into t1 values ('Evanidus', 'Quebec');" \
    | (su - postgres -c '/usr/bin/psql test ') &&
echo "insert into t1 values ('Jesse', 'Ontario');" \
    | (su - postgres -c '/usr/bin/psql test ') &&
echo "select * from t1;" | (su - postgres -c '/usr/bin/psql test')

Command Explanations

sed -e ...: These seds change server socket location from /tmp to /run/postgresql and fix up the regression tests to use /tmp so that they can work reliably.

--docdir=/usr/share/doc/postgresql-9.3.0: This switch puts the documentation in a versioned directory.

--enable-thread-safety: This switch makes the client libraries thread-safe by allowing concurrent threads in libpq and ECPG programs to safely control their private connection handles.

make -C contrib/<SUBDIR-NAME> ...: replace <SUBDIR-NAME> with the name of the subdirectory you wish to build or install.

--with-openssl: build with support for OpenSSL encrypted connections.

--with-perl: build the PL/Perl server-side language.

--with-python: build the PL/Python server-side language.

--with-tcl: build the PL/Tcl server-side language.

groupadd ...; useradd ...: These commands add an unprivileged user and group to run the database server.

createdb test; create table t1; insert into t1 values...; select * from t1: Create a database, add a table to it, insert some rows into the table and select them to verify that the installation is working properly.

Configuring PostgreSQL

Config Files

$PGDATA/pg_ident.con, $PGDATA/pg_hba.conf and $PGDATA/postgresql.conf

The PGDATA environment variable is used to distinguish database clusters from one another by setting it to the value of the directory which contains the cluster desired. The three configuration files exist in every PGDATA/ directory. Details on the format of the files and the options that can be set in each can be found in file:///usr/share/doc/postgresql-9.3.0/html/index.html.

Boot Script

Install the /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql init script included in the blfs-bootscripts-20130908 package.

make install-postgresql


Installed Programs: clusterdb, createdb, createlang, createuser, dropdb, droplang, dropuser, ecpg, initdb, pg_basebackup, pg_config, pg_controldata, pg_ctl, pg_dump, pg_dumpall, pg_isready, pg_resetxlog, pg_restore, pltcl_delmod, pltcl_listmod, pltcl_loadmod, postgres, postmaster, psql, reindexdb, and vacuumdb. Optionally (in contrib/) oid2name, pg_archivecleanup, pgbench, pg_standby, pg_test_fsync, pg_test_timing, pg_upgrade, pg_xlogdump, vacuumlo,
Installed Libraries: libecpg.{so,a}, libecpg_compat.{so,a}, libpgport.a, libpgtypes.{so,a}, libpq.{so,a}, and various charset (and optionally, programming language) modules.
Installed Directories: /srv/pgsql, /usr/include/libpq, /usr/include/postgresql, /usr/lib/postgresql, /usr/share/doc/postgresql-9.3.0, and /usr/share/postgresql

Short Descriptions


is a utility for reclustering tables in a PostgreSQL database.


creates a new PostgreSQL database.


defines a new PostgreSQL procedural language.


defines a new PostgreSQL user account.


removes a PostgreSQL database.


removes a PostgreSQL procedural language.


removes a PostgreSQL user account.


is the embedded SQL preprocessor.


creates a new database cluster.


resolves OIDs (Object IDs) and file nodes in a PostgreSQL data directory.


clean up PostgreSQL WAL (write-ahead log) archive files.


takes base backups of a running PostgreSQL cluster.


retrieves PostgreSQL version information.


returns information initialized during initdb, such as the catalog version and server locale.


controls stopping and starting the database server.


dumps database data and metadata into scripts which are used to recreate the database.


recursively calls pg_dump for each database in a cluster.


check the connection status of a PostgreSQL server.


clears the write-ahead log and optionally resets some fields in the pg_control file.


creates databases from dump files created by pg_dump.


supports the creation of a PostgreSQL warm standby server.


determine fastest wal_sync method for PostgreSQL.


measure timing overhead.


upgrade a PostgreSQL server instance.


display a human-readable rendering of the write-ahead log of a PostgreSQL database cluster.


run a benchmark test on PostgreSQL.


is a support script used to delete a module from a PL/Tcl table. The command requires the Pgtcl package to be installed also.


is a support script used to list the modules in a PL/Tcl table. The command requires the Pgtcl package to be installed also.


is a support script used to load a module into a PL/Tcl table. The command requires the Pgtcl package to be installed also.


is a single user database server, generally used for debugging.


(a symlink to postgres) is a multi-user database daemon.


is a console based database shell.


is a utility for rebuilding indexes in a database.


compacts databases and generates statistics for the query analyzer.


remove orphaned large objects from a PostgreSQL database.


contains functions to support embedded SQL in C programs.


is the ecpg compatibility library.


is the port-specific subsystem of the Postgres backend.


contains functions for dealing with Postgres data types.


is the C programmer's API to Postgres.

Last updated on 2013-09-13 07:20:27 -0700