11th October 2018: PostgreSQL 11 RC 1 Released!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the current version of PostgreSQL?
A: 10, which was released October 5, 2017. This is our 28th major release in 30 years of development. We release a new version of PostgreSQL every year, which is unique among SQL databases.

Q: What will the version number of the next release be? What will the version number of the next patch release be?
A: The next release of PostgreSQL will be version 11, and will follow a two-part version numbering scheme. So the first patch release for 10 will be 10.1. The version of PostgreSQL released in 2018 will be version 11.

Q: Why are older versions that are labeled 9.6.6 or 9.5.9?
A: Because of the long history of our project the first two decimals are major releases. Thus 9.6, 9.5 etc. were all major releases. Minor releases have numbers like 9.6.6. Since version 10, the project has adopted a two-part version numbering scheme.

Q: How is PostgreSQL licenced? How much does it cost?
A: PostgreSQL is released under the OSI-approved PostgreSQL Licence. There is no fee, even for use in commercial software products. Please see the PostgreSQL Licence.

Q: How many developers work on PostgreSQL?
A: About 200. As with other open source projects, of course, we depend on hundreds of community members for documentation, translations, advocacy, conferences, website development, infrastructure, and peer-to-peer support.

Q: How many PostgreSQL users are there, worldwide?
A: Our wide distribution through the open source world and liberal licensing make that a difficult question to answer with any accuracy. 451Research estimates that around 30% of tech companies use PostgreSQL for core applications as of 2012, and around 11% of Debian users worldwide install PostgreSQL. A previous version, 8.0, had an estimated one million downloads within a seven months of release. However, most users get PostgreSQL with a Linux distribution, or with some of the many other products, OSS software, and hardware devices that include PostgreSQL. SDMagazine in a survey in summer 2004 estimated us as the 5th most popular SQL database system in the US for new projects, we are the most popular database download on Freshmeat, and many people have called us the most popular major database system in Japan. We have approximately 35,000 people on our community mailing lists, but of course many users do not subscribe to a list.

Q: Can we talk to some of your users?
A: Please contact press@postgresql.org and our press volunteers will try to arrange a contact.

Q: What company owns PostgreSQL?
A: None. We are an unincorporated association of volunteers and companies who share code under the PostgreSQL Licence. The PostgreSQL project involves a couple dozen companies who either support PostgreSQL contributors or directly contribute corporate projects to our repository. Some of our major corporate sponsors are on the sponsors page, and there are many more companies who contribute to the project in other ways.

Q: Where can people get support for PostgreSQL?
A: There are several companies which provide paid support for PostgreSQL. Most of them are regional in nature. People should contact the nearest regional contact volunteer to be connected with one or more companies, or check our professional services list.

Q: What's the relationship between the PostgreSQL Project, EnterpriseDB, 2ndQuadrant, CommandPrompt, SRA, Heroku, Crunchy Data and others?
A: The PostgreSQL project enjoys the support of multiple companies who sell products or services built with PostgreSQL, and in turn contribute code, money and staff time to the project. None of them "own" PostgreSQL, nor is any individual company responsible for PostgreSQL code development. This is the same as Linux, Apache and FreeBSD.

Q: Does PostgreSQL run on the Cloud?
A: Yes. Like other open source databases, PostgreSQL is easy to run in both containers and virtual machines and is highly portable. Many companies have support for PostgreSQL in cloud hosting environments, including Heroku, Amazon, VMware, Compose.io, EnterpriseDB, Red Hat, Microsoft, and Google.

Q: How does PostgreSQL compare to MySQL?
A: This is a topic that can start several hours of discussion. As a quick summary, MySQL is the "easy-to-use, web developer" database, and PostgreSQL is the "feature-rich, standards-compliant" database. PostgreSQL is liberally licenced and owned by its community; MySQL is GPL-licenced and owned by Oracle. Beyond that, each database user should make his own evaluation; open source software makes doing comparisons very easy.

Q: How does PostgreSQL compare to Oracle/DB2/MS SQL Server/Informix?
A: Our feature set is generally considered to be very competitive with other leading SQL RDBMSes. Certainly there are features some of them have which we don't, and the reverse is also true. To date, only a few benchmarks have been published showing PostgreSQL to be within 10-30% of proprietary competitors (sometimes faster, sometimes slower). However, we have had many users migrate from other database systems – primarily Oracle and Informix – and they are completely satisfied with the performance of their PostgreSQL systems.

Q: How does PostgreSQL compare to "NoSQL"?
A: The term "NoSQL" covers such a diverse array of non-relational database implementations ... from tiny embedded databases like BerkeleyDB to massive clustered data processing platforms like Hadoop ... that it's impossible to comment on them as a general class. Non-relational databases preceded relational databases and have existed alongside them for forty years, so choosing between relational and nonrelational databases is nothing new. Users should choose the database whose features, implementation, and community support their current application needs. Further, using multiple different databases for large projects is fast becoming the norm, and PostgreSQL users are no exception.

Q: Are there any published benchmarks for PostgreSQL?
A: To date there is one: a SpecJAppserver2004 benchmark, which at time of publication was within 10% of the leading commercial SQL RDBMS. We are not certain when another benchmark will be published, as verifiable benchmarks are expensive and time-consuming for a not-for-profit community to undertake.

Q: When will PostgreSQL get database server clustering?
A: We already have it. Since no one type of clustering satisfies all needs, we have several different clustering tools which take various clustering approaches. The open source projects PostgresXC and Postgres-XL are available, as well as open source forks and proprietary tools such as Greenplum Database, Citus Data and several others. Also, PostgreSQL is supported by filesystem-based clustering systems for failover, including ones from Red Hat, Microsoft, Veritas and Oracle.

Q: When will PostgreSQL 11 come out?
A: The PostgreSQL project begins work on the next version of PostgreSQL in July of each year, and it generally takes 12 to 15 months to work to a release. So expect version 11 around September 2018.

Q: What features will 11 have?
A: As always, we can't be certain what will go in and what won't; the project has strict quality standards that not all patches can make before deadline. All we can tell you is what's currently being worked on, which includes numerous improvements to partitioning functionality, parallel B-tree index creation, covering indexes, JIT expression compilation support, channel binding for SCRAM authentication, performance improvements to adding a column with a non-NULL default value, and many other features. By the time 11 is released, though, this feature may have changed considerably.

Q: How do you pronounce PostgreSQL
A: post-GRES-que-ell, per this audio file. Many people, however, just say "post-GRES" or "post-GREZ".