23rd September 2021: PostgreSQL 14 RC 1 Released!
Unsupported versions: 7.0 / 6.5 / 6.4
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createdb — Create a new Postgres database
createdb [ options ] dbname [ description ]


-h, --host host

Specifies the hostname of the machine on which the postmaster is running.

-p, --port port

Specifies the Internet TCP/IP port or local Unix domain socket file extension on which the postmaster is listening for connections.

-U, --username username

Username to connect as.

-W, --password

Force password prompt.

-e, --echo

Echo the queries that createdb generates and sends to the backend.

-q, --quiet

Do not display a response.

-D, --location datadir

Specifies the alternate database location for this database installation. This is the location of the installation system tables, not the location of this specific database, which may be different.

-E, --encoding encoding

Specifies the character encoding scheme to be used with this database.


Specifies the name of the database to be created. The name must be unique among all Postgres databases in this installation. The default is to create a database with the same name as the current system user.


This optionally specifies a comment to be associated with the newly created database.

The options -h, -p, -U, -W, and -e are passed on literally to psql.



The database was successfully created.

createdb: Database creation failed.

(Says it all.)

createdb: Comment creation failed. (Database was created.)

The comment/description for the database could not be created. the database itself will have been created already. You can use the SQL command COMMENT ON DATABASE to create the comment later on.

If there is an error condition, the backend error message will be displayed. See CREATE DATABASE and psql for possibilities.


createdb creates a new Postgres database. The user who executes this command becomes the database owner.

createdb is a shell script wrapper around the SQL command CREATE DATABASE via the Postgres interactive terminal psql. Thus, there is nothing special about creating databases via this or other methods. This means that the psql must be found by the script and that a database server is running at the targeted host. Also, any default settings and environment variables available to psql and the libpq front-end library do apply.


To create the database demo using the default database server:

$ createdb demo
The response is the same as you would have gotten from running the CREATE DATABASE SQL command.

To create the database demo using the postmaster on host eden, port 5000, using the LATIN1 encoding scheme with a look at the underlying query:

$ createdb -p 5000 -h eden -E LATIN1 -e demo