An Almost Idiot's Guide to PostgreSQL YUM
First we'd like to thank Devrim of Command Prompt for working hard on making this new YUM repository available. In this article we will go over using the new PostgreSQL YUM repository for Redhat Fedora, Enterprise Linux and CentOS distros that is available at http://yum.pgsqlrpms.org/.
UPDATE - since Devrim's move from Command prompt - he has started a new yum repository. You may want to use
this one instead since it seems more up to date than the other. http://yum.pgrpms.org/.
We are gearing the content of this article to the described user profile
- Person has SSH root access to their PostgreSQL box
- Person is new to using Red Hat Linux
- Person may be new to using Linux in general
NOTE: We have a newer article on Installing PostgreSQL 8.4 with Yum and an even newer one for PostgreSQL 9.0
please refer to Installing PostgreSQL 9.0 via Yum. This old article is for PostgreSQL 8.3.
Steps before getting started
- SSH into your Linux box. For windows users, you can use Putty which we covered in PuTTY for SSH Tunneling to PostgreSQL Server
- Log in as root
- Determine which version of Linux you are running with the following commands:
If this returns something with el4 (then you are running Enterprise Linux 4), el5 (Enterprise Linux 5), centos (ELsmp). Also pay attention
to the bit 32-bit or 64-bit. 64bit will generally have an x64 and 32-bit will have i386 and/or i686 (for intel based).
also gives details of the version you are running
Backing up Old Version
If you are running a prior version of PostgreSQL, most likely it was installed in the /usr/local/pgsql/ folder.
The first thing you want to do if you care about your data is to back it up with commands similar to the below.
You may also want to download the backup if its really important to you and in case you screw up the server
/usr/local/pgsql/bin/pg_dumpall –U postgres postgresqlserverdbs.sql
- Now shut down the postgresql service
/usr/local/pgsql/bin/pg_ctl stop -D /usr/local/pgsql/data
- For extra good measure rename the old folder with and backup the postgresql.conf and pga_hba.conf to a safe location
mv /usr/local/pgsql /usr/local/pgsqlold
Installing new Version
- Login as root
- Follow the instructions at http://yum.pgsqlrpms.org/howtoyum.php to prevent
your YUM update from getting postgresql from other sources
- Select the appropriate repository config file for your OS and choose 8.3 from here and navigating thru:
- Note the install file - should look something like http://yum.pgsqlrpms.org/reporpms/8.3/pgdg-redhat-8.3-4.noarch.rpm
- Do a wget of the appropriate one: e.g.
- Next install the rpm config file with:
rpm -ivh pgdg-redhat-8.3-2.noarch.rpm
- Install the things that you want. For 8.3.5+ you need to add the item in red to also install the server. These are the ones we tend to install
yum install postgresql
yum install postgresql-devel
yum install postgresql-server
yum install postgis
yum install pgadmin3
yum install postgresql-contrib
- We tend to like PostgreSQL in the /usr/local/pgsql/data folder since thats where we are used to finding it. So we init there.
The default location of new install is different for each system. On EL its /var/lib/pgsql/data so you may want to init there although why
its there feels so counter intuitive. Consider
the below an example use case.
chown postgres /usr/local/pgsql/data
initdb –D /usr/local/pgsql/data
and edit the postgresql.conf and pg_hba.conf files to your hearts content.
It is fairly safe to copy over the pg_hba.conf file from your backup (using e.g
cp /usr/local/pgsqlold/data/pg_hba.conf /usr/local/pgsql/data
but for the postgresql.conf file, we would work with the new and cut in changes from the old since new things have been added between 8.2 and 8.3
Having PostgreSQL start as a service
The PostgreSQL install puts in a postgresql service script that you can tweak for your specific need. On RHEL 5, its located
in /etc/rc.d/init.d. For other installs, it varies
Note: if you don't have emacs, you can use vi, but I tend to prefer emacs for simple edits.
- Replace all references of /var/lib/pgsql/data with whereever you initD your database cluster
- In emacs Ctrlx+Ctrlc to save
service postgresql start
to test to make sure the service can start
- Next to make sure it starts automatically on boot - do the following command
the chkconfig on thing automatically copies symlinks to those rc.1 , rc.n locations that linux looks for in bootup. If
you don't have chkconfig on your box for some reason, you have to manually copy those symlinks to the right locations - a pain.
chkconfig --list (to see list of services)
chkconfig postgresql on
Installing PgAdmin pack
The PgAdmin pack comes with PgAdmin3. This comes in handy if you use PgAdmin3 a lot as it gives you stats activity, and allows you
to change pg_hba.conf and postgresql.conf files directly from PgAdmin3 even if accessing from a different computer
psql -U postgres -d postgres -f /usr/share/pgsql/contrib/adminpack.sql