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postgresql - PostgreSQL client programs and libraries.…  more info»


Version 3.7, for PostgreSQL 7.1.3
Lamar Owen <> 
Trond Eivind Glomsr�d <>

 0.)	Quickie -i note.
 1.)	Introduction, QuickStart, and credits
 2.)	PostgreSQL RPM packages and rationale
 3.)	Upgrading from an older version of PostgreSQL without losing data.
 4.)	Regression Testing
 5.)	Starting postmaster automatically on startup
 6.)	Grand Unified Configuration(GUC) File.
 7.)	Rebuilding the source RPM.
 8.)	Contrib files.
 9.)	Logging set up
10.)	Further Information Resource

The postmaster '-i' option is NOT used by default in the initscript shipped
with these RPMs.  Please do NOT modify the initscript to add the '-i' back
in -- it will get overwritten on the next package upgrade.  Rather, see the
section below on the Grand Unified Configuration file, which includes the
recommended way to get '-i' functionality back.

This document exists to explain the layout of the RPM's for PostgreSQL, to 
explain how to migrate from an older version, and to explain WHY it can be
so difficult to upgrade PostgreSQL.

This document is written to be applicable to version 7.1.2 of PostgreSQL, 
which is the current version of the RPM's as of this writing.

Official PostgreSQL Global Development Group RPM's will from version 7.1.2
on carry a 'PGDG' after the release number.  Other RPMset's as distributed
with Linux distributions may have a different release number and initials.

It is preferable for the distribution-specific set to be the one used, as
the PGDG set is intentionally generic.  So, if your distro has a set of RPMs,
use them in preference.  If you want to stay up-to-date on the PostgreSQL
core itself, use the PGDG generic set -- but understand that it is a 

These RPMs are designed to be LSB-compliant -- if you find this not to be the
case, please let me know by way of the mailing

If this is an upgrade, please go to section 3, UPGRADING.
If this is a fresh installation, simply start the postmaster using:
 /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql start  (on Red Hat Linux and TurboLinux)

On SuSE, please see the file 'README.linux' in this directory.

The file /var/lib/pgsql/.bash_profile is now packaged to help with the 
setting of environment variables. You may edit this file, and it won't be
overwritten during an upgrade.  However, enhancements and bugfixes may be added
to this file, so be sure to check .bash_profile.rpmnew after upgrading.

The user 'postgres' is created during installation of the server subpackage.
This user by default is UID and GID 26. The user has the default shell set to
bash, and the home directory set to /var/lib/pgsql.  This user also has no
default password -- in order to be able to su to from a non-root account
or login as 'postgres' you will need to set a password using passwd.

Thomas Lockhart
Uncle George
Ryan Kirkpatrick
Trond Eivind Glomsr�d <>
Mark Knox
Mike Mascari
Nicolas Huillard
Karl DeBisschop
Roger Luethi
Jeff Johnson <>
Reinhard Max

On Red Hat Linux, prior to version 6.5, PostgreSQL was packaged in RPM form in
three (or four) packages:

postgresql:		The server and documentation
postgresql-clients:	The client libraries, the cli, and the tcl interface
postgresql-devel:	Development libraries (for the client-side)
postgresql-data:	A sample database -- not shipped with the 6.4 RPMS.

However, it was decided that a different split would be more appropriate for
users.  The 7.0 splitup allows more flexibility in installation, as well as
making the new clients into their own packages.  The new packages are:

postgresql:		Some clients and libraries, and documentation
postgresql-server:	Server executables and data files
postgresql-devel:	Client-side development libraries
postgresql-tcl:		TCL/TK client libraries and the pgaccess client
postgresql-perl:	PERL client module
postgresql-python:	The PygreSQL client library
postgresql-odbc:	Linux ODBC client (not required to use ODBC from Win95)
postgresql-jdbc:	JAR of the JDBC client
postgresql-test:	The regression tests and associated files.

For version 7.0.x, another package is being shipped, and one package has been
postgresql-tk:		Tk client and pgaccess.
postgresql-tcl:		Tcl client and PL ONLY.

For version 7.1, more packages are being shipped:
postgresql-libs:	client shared libraries.
postgresql-docs:	extra documentation,such as the SGML doc sources.
postgresql-contrib:	The contrib source tree, as well as selected binaries.

For SuSE Linux <= 7.0, the packages are named differently, but with the same
functionality.  Here is a mapping:
SuSE:			Red Hat Linux:
-----			-----------------
postgres		postgresql
pg_serv			postgresql-server
pg_devel		postgresql-devel
pg_tcl			postgresql-tcl
pg_perl			postgresql-perl
pg_pyth			postgresql-python
pg_odbc			postgresql-odbc
pg_jdbc			postgresql-jdbc
pg_test			postgresql-test

There are other changes to the SuSE packages to make them conform to the
SuSE packaging standards.  SuSE Linux has been shipping their own packages.

While the repackaging will initially cause some confusion, it makes it
possible to set up a Red Hat Linux machine to be only a client -- the
server is no longer required.  The clients were split out -- after
all, a person who needs the perl client may very well not need the tcl
client, etc.  And, the regression tests were added to give some
confidence of the suitability of PostgreSQL, as well as the stability
of the server machine.  Additionally, the regression tests can be used
to help find hardware errors.

In compliance with the Linux FHS, the PostgreSQL RPM's install files in a manner
not consistent with most of the PostgreSQL documentation.  According to the
standard PostgreSQL documentation, PostgreSQL is installed under the directory
/usr/local/pgsql, with executables, source, and data existing in various 

Different distributions have different ideas of some of these file locations.
In particular, the documentation directory can be /usr/doc, /usr/doc/packages,
/usr/share/doc, /usr/share/doc/packages, or some other similar path.  The
Red Hat Linux 7 locations are listed below. On SuSE <7.1, substitute 'postgres' for 
'postgresql' below, and 'pg_tk' for 'postgresql-tk' below.

However, the RPM's install the files like this:
Executables:		/usr/bin
Libaries:		/usr/lib
Documentation:		/usr/share/doc/postgresql-x.y.z
Contrib:		/usr/share/doc/postgresql-x.y.z/contrib
Source:			not installed
Data:			/var/lib/pgsql/data
Backup area:		/var/lib/pgsql/backup
Templates:		/usr/share/pgsql
Procedural Languages:	/usr/lib/pgsql
TK client docs:		/usr/share/doc/postgresql-tk-x.y.z
Development Headers:	/usr/include/pgsql
Other shared data:	/usr/share/pgsql
Regression tests:	/usr/lib/pgsql/test/regress  (in the -test package)
Documentation SGML:	/usr/share/doc/postgresql-docs-x.y.z

The above list references the Red Hat Linux 7.x structure.  These locations may 
change for other distributions.  Use of 'rpm -ql' for each package is
recommended as the 'Official' location source.

While it may seem gratuitous to place these files in different locations, the
FHS requires it -- distributions should not ever touch /usr/local.  It may
also seem like more work to keep track of where everything is -- but, that's
the beauty of RPM -- you don't have to keep track of the files, RPM does it
for you.

CAUTION: While a semi-automatic upgrade process has been implemented, it is
STRONGLY recommended that a full dump of your database (using pg_dumpall) is
performed BEFORE upgrading the RPMs!  If you have already done the upgrade
with the RPM, and want to return to your previous version to do the dump,
find the old RPM's and use 'rpm -U --oldpackage' to downgrade.

NOTE: moving your existing data from /var/lib/pgsql to /var/lib/pgsql/data is
not currently automatic -- you will need to do this yourself at this release!
This change occurred between 6.5.3 and 7.0, so upgrading from priot to 7.0 to
7.0 or later might be difficult.  The rh-dump script is provided to ease this,
see below.

The single biggest problem with upgrading PostgreSQL RPM's has been the lack 
of a reasonably automated upgrade process.  PostgreSQL has the property of 
the binary on-disk database format changing between major versions (like 
between 6.3 and 6.4).  However, a change from 6.5 to 6.5.3 does not change 
the on-disk format.

This property (feature, misfeature, bug, whatever) has been a known
property of PostgreSQL since before it was called PostgreSQL -- it has
always been this way.  However, the means by which an upgrade is
performed is not readily performed in a fully automated fashion, as a
"dump-initdb-restore" cycle has to be performed. This doesn't appear
to be too difficult -- however, dumping the old database requires the
old executables -- and, if you've already done an rpm -U postgresql*
(or upgraded from an older version of Red Hat Linux and didn't
specifically exclude the postgresql rpms), you no longer have the
older executables to dump your data. And your data is useless (until
you reinstall the old version, that is). All RPM's prior to late
releases of version 6.5.  1 have this upgrade issue.

The newest RPM's for PostgreSQL attempt to make your job in upgrading
a little easier.  First, during the installation of the new RPM's, a
copy is made of all the executable files and libraries necessary to
make a backup of your data.  Second, the initialization script in the
new postgresql-server package detects the version of any database
found -- if the version is old, then the startup of the new version is
aborted.  However, if no database is found, a new one is made.

One thing must be remembered -- due to the restructuring of the
PostgreSQL RPM's, you will have to manually select the
postgresql-server package if you want the server -- it is not
installed by default in an upgrade. You can either select it during
the upgrade/install, or you can mount your Red Hat Linux CD and
install manually with rpm -i.

To facilitate upgrading, the postgresql-dump utility has been
provided.  Look at the man page for postgresql-dump to see its usage.
All executables to restore the immediately prior version of the
PostgreSQL database are placed in the directory /usr/lib/pgsql/backup,
and are accessed by the postgresql-dump script.  The directory
/usr/lib/pgsql/backup is owned by the postgres user -- you can use
this directory to hold dump files and preserve directories.

The basic sequence is:
(as user postgres):
postgresql-dump -t /var/lib/pgsql/backup/db.bak -p /var/lib/pgsql/backup/old -d
(you can abort the ASCII dump with 'Q', as it uses more) Then, (as user root):

***** NOTE ***** ***** NOTE *****

The above script is broken. Use " targetfile" instead, remove the
old databases (/var/lib/pgsql/base) (or safer - move them somewhere else first),
start the database and follow the insert procedure described below.

***** NOTE ***** ***** NOTE *****

service postgresql start

(which will automatically create a new database structure) And finally,

(as user postgres):
psql -e template1 </var/lib/pgsql/backup/db.bak

Once you are satisfied that the data has been restored properly, you may remove
the dump file (/var/lib/pgsql/backup/db.bak) and the preserve directory 

postgresql-dump: dumps the old database structure out, using the postmaster and 
the backend saved during the rpm upgrade. This step MUST be done as user 

/etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql start: initializes the new database structure that
the data from your old version will be restored into, does some sanity 
checking, and starts the postmaster.  Due to the nature of some of the tasks, 
this step must be done as root.

psql -e: restores the old database into the new structure created by the 
previous step.

If you have added tables, indices, or basically anything to the template1 
database which is the default administrative database this script will NOT 
upgrade your database. As a matter of fact you will lose your data included 
in the template1 database. Please look at for information 
on upgrading the template1 database. This is a known bug in the PostgreSQL
pg_dump and pg_dumpall utilities.

One of the features of the newer RPM sets is the capability to perform the 
regression tests.  These tests stress your database installation and produce
results that give you assurances that the installation is complete, and that
your database machine is up to the task.

To run the regression tests under the RPM installation, make sure that
postmaster has been started (if not, su to root and execute the
'/etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql start' init script), cd to
/usr/lib/pgsql/test/regress, su to postgres, and execute the command line:
time ./ --schedule=parallel_schedule
This command line will start the regression tests and will both show the
results to the screen and store the results in the file regress.out.
It will also give you a crude benchmark of how fast your machine performs.

If tests fail, please see the file regression.diffs in that directory.  If
you need help interpreting that file, contact the pgsql-ports list on

There are some tests that will almost always fail with Red Hat Linux
5.x and 6.x installations.  The geometry, float8, and on occassion the
random test will fail.  These failures are normal for Red Hat Linux
5.2 and 6.1.  For Red Hat Linux 6.1 with certain i18n settings, there
will be other tests fail.

For 7.1RC1, all 76 tests passed on Red Hat Linux 6.2 and RedHat
7.0. This was accomplished by fiddling with the locale settings.  In
version 7.1.2 this capability was removed -- you need to set your
locale to 'C' before executing the first postmaster startup, or many
more regression tests will fail. With the locale set to 'C', all 76
tests pass on Red Hat Linux 7.1.

For interpretation of the regression tests, see the PostgreSQL documentation.

Red Hat Linux uses the System V Init system.  A startup script for PostgreSQL
is provided in the server package, as /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql.  To start
the postmaster, with sanity checking, as root, run "service postgresql start"
to shut postmaster down, "service postgresql stop"

There are other parameters to this script -- /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql for a

To get this script to run at system startup or any time the system switches into
runlevels 3, 4, or 5, run 'chkconfig --add postgresql', and the proper symlinks 
will be created.  Check the chkconfig man page for more information.

This same script also works for TurboLinux, and any other distribution
similar enough to Red Hat Linux.  SuSE Linux uses a different
approach, using a different location and a different script, found at
either /sbin/init.d/postgres or /usr/sbin/rcpostgres.  Please see the
SuSE 'README.linux' for more information.

SuSE has maintained their own RPMset for some time -- their documentation
supercedes any found in this file.

The PostgreSQL server has many tunable parameters -- the file 
/var/lib/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf is the master configuration file for the
whole system.  

The RPM ships with the default file -- you will need to tune the
parameters for your installation.  In particular, you might want to allow
TCP/IP socket connections -- in order to allow these, you will need to edit
the postgresql.conf file.  The line in question contains the string 
'tcpip_socket' --want to both uncomment the line and set the parameter to true
in order to get the TCP/IP socket to open.  

This is the same behavior the -i command line switch provides.  It is 
preferable to use the postgresql.conf file, however, as future versions
of the RPMset will allow multiple postmaster instances -- and that will only
be possible thanks to the decoupling of settings out to each datadir.

If your distribution is not supported by the binary RPM's from, 
you will need to rebuild from the source RPM.  Download the .src.rpm for this
release.  You will need to be root to rebuild, unless you have already set up
a non-root build environment.

Install the source RPM with rpm -i, then CD to the rpm building area
(on Red Hat Linux this is /usr/src/redhat by default).  You will have
to have a full development environment to rebuild the full RPM set.

This release of the RPMset includes the ability to conditionally build 
sets of packages.  The parameters, their defaults, and the meanings are:

perl		1	#build the postgresql-perl package.
tcl		1	#build the postgresql-tcl package.
tkpkg		1	#build the postgresql-tk package.  
odbc		1	#build the postgresql-odbc package.
jdbc		1	#build the postgresql-jdbc package.
test		1	#build the postgresql-test package.
python		1	#build the postgresql-python package.
pltcl		1	#build the postgresql-pltcl package.
forceplperl	0	#don't force a build of pl/perl over libperl.a
plperl		0	#don't build the postgresql-plperl package.
ssl		1	#use OpenSSL support.
kerberos	1	#use Kerberos 5 support.
enable_mb	1	#enable multibyte encodings.
pgaccess	1	#build the pgaccess client, part of postgresql-tk.
newintarray	0	#substitute a newer intarray contrib.

To use these defines, invoke a rebuild like this:
rpm --rebuild --define 'perl 0' --define 'tcl 0' --define 'tkpkg 0'\
	--define 'test 0' --define 'newintarray 1' --define 'kerberos 0' \
This line would disable the perl, tcl, tk, and test subpackages, enable the
newer intarray code, and disable kerberos support.

More of these conditionals will be added in the future.

The contents of the contrib tree are packaged into the -contrib subpackage
and are compiled and placed into /usr/lib/pgsql/contrib with no further
processing.  Please see each directory under contrib for details on how to
install and use.

To get rollable syslog set up, see the documentation for the file
postgresql.conf, by default in the directory /var/lib/pgsql/data, as relates to
the syslog options.  Then, add a line to /etc/syslog.conf, using the man page
for syslog.conf as a source. Example:
If postgresql.conf has the following lines for the syslog settings:
syslog = 1 # range 0-2
syslog_facility = 'LOCAL0'
syslog_ident = 'postgres'

Then you need to add the line to /etc/syslog.conf:
local0.*			/var/log/postgresql 

Then set up an entry in /etc/logrotate.d to roll postgresql the way you want it

You can get more information at

Please help make this packaging better -- let me know if you find problems, or
better ways of doing things.  You can reach me by e-mail at -- please include an [RPM] string in the subject, as
I use automatic mail folder processing to put mail in the right place.

SuSE information is available at SuSE's website and information contacts.

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