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


Version 8.1, for the PostgreSQL 8.1.1-1 RPMset.
Lamar Owen <> 

 0.)	Quick note about '-i'
 1.)	Introduction, QuickStart, and credits
 2.)	PostgreSQL RPM packages and rationale
 3.)	Starting multiple postmasters
 4.)	Regression Testing
 5.)	Starting postmaster automatically on startup
 6.)	Grand Unified Configuration(GUC) File
 7.)	Logging set up
 8.)	Rebuilding from the source RPM
 9.)	Contrib files
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.

This document exists to explain the layout of the RPMs for PostgreSQL, to 
describe various RPM specifics, and to document special features found
in the RPMset.

This document is written to be applicable to version 8.1 of PostgreSQL, 
which is the current version of the RPMs as of this writing. More to the 
point, versions prior to 8.1 are not documented here.

Official PostgreSQL Global Development Group RPMs have from version 7.1.2
on carried a 'PGDG' after the release number.  Other RPMsets 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 no longer support any sort of upgrading process other than that
documented in the regular documentation.  That is, you must dump, upgrade,
initdb, and restore your data.  Dump first, then remove the old server
subpackage, install the new package, and restore the data from dump. (A new
method of running multiple versions of PostgreSQL, along with the capability
to run multiple postmasters, is in development, but was not ready for this

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

For a fresh installation on a recent Red Hat or similar system, a simple
	service postgresql start
as root will prepare a new database (initdb), and start a postmaster that
will listen on localhost and Unix socket 5432 only.  Edit
/var/lib/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf and pg_hba.conf if you want to allow
remote access -- see the section on Grand Unified Configuration.

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 it 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 Glomsrd
Mark Knox
Mike Mascari
Nicolas Huillard
Karl DeBisschop
Roger Luethi
Jeff Johnson
Reinhard Max
Peter Eisentraut
Joe Conway
Andrew Overholt
David Jee
Kaj J. Niemi

PostgreSQL is split up into multiple packages so that users can 'pick and
choose' what pieces are needed, and what dependencies are required.

The RPMset is packaged in the following subpackages:

postgresql:		Key clients and libraries, and documentation
postgresql-libs:	Client shared libraries
postgresql-server:	Server executables and data files
postgresql-devel:	Development libraries and include files
postgresql-jdbc:	JARs for the JDBC client library
postgresql-python:	The PygreSQL client library
postgresql-tcl:		Tcl client library (Pgtcl)
postgresql-test:	The regression tests and associated files
postgresql-docs:	Extra documentation, such as the tutorial files
postgresql-contrib:	The contrib source tree, as well as selected binaries
postgresql-pl:		PL/Perl (if possible on this dist), PL/Python, and PL/Tcl

You have to install postgresql and postgresql-libs to do anything.
postgresql-server is needed unless you only plan to use the clients to work
with a remote PostgreSQL server. The others are optional.

Note that there is no postgresql-perl, postgresql-odbc, postgresql-tk, or
postgresql-plperl package any longer.  This is due to these portions being
removed from the PostgreSQL source tarball.

While PygreSQL was split out from the core PostgreSQL distribution, thanks to
Kaj's work it is still included as the python subpackage.  Also, Pgtcl is
still included as the tcl subpackage, although it is not part of the core
distribution anymore.

To be in compliance with the Linux FHS, the PostgreSQL RPMs 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 subdirectories.

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/Fedora locations are listed below. On SuSE <7.1, substitute 'postgres'
for 'postgresql' below.

However, the RPMs install the files like this:
Executables:		/usr/bin
Libraries:		/usr/lib
Documentation:		/usr/share/doc/postgresql-x.y.z
Contrib documentation:	/usr/share/doc/postgresql-contrib-x.y.z
Source:			not installed
Data:			/var/lib/pgsql/data
Backup area:		/var/lib/pgsql/backup
Templates:		/usr/share/pgsql
Procedural Languages:	/usr/lib/pgsql
Development Headers:	/usr/include/pgsql
Localization data:	/usr/share/locale
Other shared data:	/usr/share/pgsql
Regression tests:	/usr/lib/pgsql/test/regress  (in the -test package)
Tutorial:		/usr/lib/pgsql/tutorial (in the -docs package)
Extra documentation:	/usr/share/doc/postgresql-docs-x.y.z

On some 64-bit architectures, /usr/lib64 is used instead of /usr/lib.

The above list describes the Red Hat/Fedora layout.  These locations may 
change for other distributions.  Use of 'rpm -ql' for each package is
recommended as the 'official' information 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.

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

The postgresql-server RPM contains an 'initscript' that is used to start the
postmaster.  The current version of this script has logic to be able to start
multiple postmasters, with different data areas, listening on different ports,
etc.  To use this functionality requires root access.

As an example, let us create a secondary postmaster called, creatively enough,
'secondary'.  Here are the steps:
1.)	create a hard link in /etc/rc.d/init.d (or equivalent location)
	to postgresql named 'secondary' : ln postgresql secondary   Pick
	a name not already used in /etc/rc.d/init.d!
2.)	create a file in /etc/sysconfig/pgsql named secondary.  This file is
	a shell script -- typically you would define PGDATA, PGPORT, and PGOPTS
	here.  Since $PGDATA/postgresql.conf will override many of these
	settings, except PGDATA, you might be surprised on startup.
3.)	create the target PGDATA.
4.)	Initdb the targe PGDATA as documented in the main documentation.  
	Automatic initdb may or may not work for you, so a manual one is
	preferred.  This must be done as user 'postgres'
5.)	Edit postgresql.conf to change the port, address, tcpip settings, etc.
6.)	Start the postmaster with 'service secondary start'.

Note that there may be problems with the standard symlink -- consider this
support experimental at this point in time.

If you install the postgresql-test RPM then you can run the PostgreSQL
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 "make check".
This command will start the regression tests and will both show the
results to the screen and store the results in the file regress.out.

If any tests fail, see the file regression.diffs in that directory for details,
and read the "Regression Tests" section of the PostgreSQL documentation to
find out whether the differences are actually significant.  If you need help
interpreting the results, contact the pgsql-ports list at

After testing, say "make clean" to remove the files generated by the test

Red Hat Linux uses the System V Init package.  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 the postmaster down,
	service postgresql stop
There are other possible commands to this script -- execute
'service postgresql' for a listing.

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
	chkconfig --level 345 postgresql on
and the proper symlinks will be created.  See the chkconfig man page for more
information.  Note that this is manual -- while the startup script can include
tags to allow chkconfig to automatically perform the symlinking, this is not
done at this time.

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
nonlocal 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 
'listen_addresses' -- you need to both uncomment the line and set the value
to '*' to get the postmaster to accept nonlocal connections.  You'll also need
to adjust pg_hba.conf appropriately.

By default, the postmaster's stderr log is directed into files placed in a
pg_log subdirectory of the data directory (ie, /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_log).
The out-of-the-box configuration rotates among seven files, one for each
day of the week.  You can adjust this by changing postgresql.conf settings.

If your distribution is not supported by the binary RPMs 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 or Fedora Core 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:

beta		0	#build with cassert and do not strip the binaries
tcl		1	#build the postgresql-tcl package.
jdbc		1	#build the postgresql-jdbc package.
pls		1	#build the postgresql-pl package.
test		1	#build the postgresql-test package.
python		1	#build the postgresql-python package.
pltcl		1	#build the pltcl portion of the postgresql-pl package.
plperl		1	#build the plperl portion of the postgresql-pl package.
ssl		1	#use OpenSSL support.
kerberos	1	#use Kerberos 5 support.
nls		1	#build with national language support.
pam		1	#build with PAM support.
runselftest	1	#do "make check" during the build.
xml		1	#build contrib/xml2
pgfts		1	#build with --enable-thread-safety

To use these defines, invoke a rebuild like this:
rpmbuild --rebuild --define 'python 0' --define 'tcl 0' \
	--define 'test 0' --define 'runselftest 1' --define 'kerberos 0' \
This line would disable the python, tcl, and test subpackages, enable the
regression test run during build, and disable kerberos support.

You might need to disable runselftest if there is an installed version of
PostgreSQL that is a different major version from what you are trying to
build.  The self test tends to pick up the installed shared library
in place of the one being built :-(, so if that isn't compatible the test will
fail.  Also, you can't use runselftest when doing the build as root.

More of these conditionals will be added in the future.

The contents of the contrib tree are packaged into the -contrib subpackage
and are processed with make and make install.  There is documentation in
/usr/share/doc/postgresql-contrib-VERSION for these modules.  Most of the
modules are in /usr/lib/pgsql for loadable modules, and binaries are in 
/usr/bin.  In the future these files may be split out, depending upon function
and dependencies.

You can get more information at and

Please help make this packaging better -- let us know if you find problems, or
better ways of doing things.  You can reach us by e-mail at

SUSE products usually ship with the latest version of PostgreSQL that
was available at the time they were released. RPMs for newer versions
of PostgreSQL can be found on the SUSE FTP server and it's mirrors.
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