14th September 2023: PostgreSQL 16 Released!
Unsupported versions: 7.0 / 6.5 / 6.4
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You may want to view the same page for the current version, or one of the other supported versions listed above instead.

Environment Variables

The following environment variables can be used to select default connection parameter values, which will be used by PQconnectdb or PQsetdbLogin if no value is directly specified by the calling code. These are useful to avoid hard-coding database names into simple application programs.

  • PGHOST sets the default server name. If a non-zero-length string is specified, TCP/IP communication is used. Without a host name, libpq will connect using a local Unix domain socket.

  • PGPORT sets the default port or local Unix domain socket file extension for communicating with the Postgres backend.

  • PGDATABASE sets the default Postgres database name.

  • PGUSER sets the username used to connect to the database and for authentication.

  • PGPASSWORD sets the password used if the backend demands password authentication.

  • PGREALM sets the Kerberos realm to use with Postgres, if it is different from the local realm. If PGREALM is set, Postgres applications will attempt authentication with servers for this realm and use separate ticket files to avoid conflicts with local ticket files. This environment variable is only used if Kerberos authentication is selected by the backend.

  • PGOPTIONS sets additional runtime options for the Postgres backend.

  • PGTTY sets the file or tty on which debugging messages from the backend server are displayed.

The following environment variables can be used to specify user-level default behavior for every Postgres session:

  • PGDATESTYLE sets the default style of date/time representation.

  • PGTZ sets the default time zone.

  • PGCLIENTENCODING sets the default client encoding (if MULTIBYTE support was selected when configuring Postgres).

The following environment variables can be used to specify default internal behavior for every Postgres session:

  • PGGEQO sets the default mode for the genetic optimizer.

Refer to the SET SQL command for information on correct values for these environment variables.