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1.5. Installation Procedure

  1. Configuration

    The first step of the installation procedure is to configure the source tree for your system and choose the options you would like. This is done by running the configure script. For a default installation simply enter


    This script will run a number of tests to guess values for various system dependent variables and detect some quirks of your operating system, and finally will create several files in the build tree to record what it found.

    The default configuration will build the server and utilities, as well as all client applications and interfaces that require only a C compiler. All files will be installed under /usr/local/pgsql by default.

    You can customize the build and installation process by supplying one or more of the following command line options to configure:


    Install all files under the directory PREFIX instead of /usr/local/pgsql. The actual files will be installed into various subdirectories; no files will ever be installed directly into the PREFIX directory.

    If you have special needs, you can also customize the individual subdirectories with the following options.


    You can install architecture-dependent files under a different prefix, EXEC-PREFIX, than what PREFIX was set to. This can be useful to share architecture-independent files between hosts. If you omit this, then EXEC-PREFIX is set equal to PREFIX and both architecture-dependent and independent files will be installed under the same tree, which is probably what you want.


    Specifies the directory for executable programs. The default is EXEC-PREFIX/bin, which normally means /usr/local/pgsql/bin.


    Sets the directory for read-only data files used by the installed programs. The default is PREFIX/share. Note that this has nothing to do with where your database files will be placed.


    The directory for various configuration files, PREFIX/etc by default.


    The location to install libraries and dynamically loadable modules. The default is EXEC-PREFIX/lib.


    The directory for installing C and C++ header files. The default is PREFIX/include.


    Documentation files, except "man" pages, will be installed into this directory. The default is PREFIX/doc.


    The man pages that come with PostgreSQL will be installed under this directory, in their respective manx subdirectories. The default is PREFIX/man.

    Note: Care has been taken to make it possible to install PostgreSQL into shared installation locations (such as /usr/local/include) without interfering with the namespace of the rest of the system. First, the string "/postgresql" is automatically appended to datadir, sysconfdir, and docdir, unless the fully expanded directory name already contains the string "postgres" or "pgsql". For example, if you choose /usr/local as prefix, the documentation will be installed in /usr/local/doc/postgresql, but if the prefix is /opt/postgres, then it will be in /opt/postgres/doc. Second, the installation layout of the C and C++ header files has been reorganized in the 7.2 release. The public header files of the client interfaces are installed into includedir and are namespace-clean. The internal header files and the server header files are installed into private directories under includedir. See the Programmer's Guide for information about how to get at the header files for each interface. Finally, a private subdirectory will also be created, if appropriate, under libdir for dynamically loadable modules.


    DIRECTORIES is a colon-separated list of directories that will be added to the list the compiler searches for header files. If you have optional packages (such as GNU Readline) installed in a non-standard location, you have to use this option and probably also the corresponding --with-libraries option.

    Example: --with-includes=/opt/gnu/include:/usr/sup/include.


    DIRECTORIES is a colon-separated list of directories to search for libraries. You will probably have to use this option (and the corresponding --with-includes option) if you have packages installed in non-standard locations.

    Example: --with-libraries=/opt/gnu/lib:/usr/sup/lib.


    Enables locale support. There is a performance penalty associated with locale support, but if you are not in an English-speaking environment you will most likely need this.


    Enables single-byte character set recode support. See Section 5.3 about this feature.


    Allows the use of multibyte character encodings (including Unicode) and character set encoding conversion. Read Section 5.2 for details.

    Note that some interfaces (such as Tcl or Java) expect all character strings to be in Unicode, so this option will be required to correctly support these interfaces.


    Enables Native Language Support (NLS), that is, the ability to display a program's messages in a language other than English. LANGUAGES is a space separated list of codes of the languages that you want supported, for example --enable-nls='de fr'. (The intersection between your list and the set of actually provided translations will be computed automatically.) If you do not specify a list, then all available translations are installed.

    To use this option, you will need an implementation of the gettext API. Some operating systems have this built-in (e.g., Linux, NetBSD, Solaris), for other systems you can download an add-on package from here: If you are using the gettext implementation in the GNU C library then you will additionally need the GNU gettext package for some utility programs. For any of the other implementations you will not need it.


    Set NUMBER as the default port number for server and clients. The default is 5432. The port can always be changed later on, but if you specify it here then both server and clients will have the same default compiled in, which can be very convenient. Usually the only good reason to select a non-default value is if you intend to run multiple PostgreSQL servers on the same machine.


    Build the C++ interface library.


    Build the Perl interface module. The Perl interface will be installed at the usual place for Perl modules (typically under /usr/lib/perl), so you must have root access to perform the installation step (see step 4). You need to have Perl 5 installed to use this option.


    Build the Python interface module. You need to have root access to be able to install the Python module at its default place (/usr/lib/pythonx.y). To be able to use this option, you must have Python installed and your system needs to support shared libraries. If you instead want to build a new complete interpreter binary, you will have to do it manually.


    Builds components that require Tcl/Tk, which are libpgtcl, pgtclsh, pgtksh, PgAccess, and PL/Tcl. But see below about --without-tk.


    If you specify --with-tcl and this option, then programs that require Tk (pgtksh and PgAccess) will be excluded.


    Tcl/Tk installs the files and, which contain configuration information needed to build modules interfacing to Tcl or Tk. These files are normally found automatically at their well-known locations, but if you want to use a different version of Tcl or Tk you can specify the directory in which to find them.


    Build the ODBC driver. By default, the driver will be independent of a driver manager. To work better with a driver manager already installed on your system, use one of the following options in addition to this one. More information can be found in the Programmer's Guide.


    Build the ODBC driver for use with iODBC.


    Build the ODBC driver for use with unixODBC.


    Specifies the directory where the ODBC driver will expect its odbcinst.ini configuration file. The default is /usr/local/pgsql/etc or whatever you specified as --sysconfdir. It should be arranged that the driver reads the same file as the driver manager.

    If either the option --with-iodbc or the option --with-unixodbc is used, this option will be ignored because in that case the driver manager handles the location of the configuration file.


    Build the JDBC driver and associated Java packages. This option requires Ant to be installed (as well as a JDK, of course). Refer to the JDBC driver documentation in the Programmer's Guide for more information.


    Build with support for Kerberos authentication. You can use either Kerberos version 4 or 5, but not both. The DIRECTORY argument specifies the root directory of the Kerberos installation; /usr/athena is assumed as default. If the relevant header files and libraries are not under a common parent directory, then you must use the --with-includes and --with-libraries options in addition to this option. If, on the other hand, the required files are in a location that is searched by default (e.g., /usr/lib), then you can leave off the argument.

    configure will check for the required header files and libraries to make sure that your Kerberos installation is sufficient before proceeding.


    The name of the Kerberos service principal. postgres is the default. There's probably no reason to change this.


    Build with support for SSL (encrypted) connections. This requires the OpenSSL package to be installed. The DIRECTORY argument specifies the root directory of the OpenSSL installation; the default is /usr/local/ssl.

    configure will check for the required header files and libraries to make sure that your OpenSSL installation is sufficient before proceeding.


    Build with PAM (Pluggable Authentication Modules) support.


    Enables the PostgreSQL server to use the syslog logging facility. (Using this option does not mean that you must log with syslog or even that it will be done by default, it simply makes it possible to turn that option on at run time.)


    Compiles all programs and libraries with debugging symbols. This means that you can run the programs through a debugger to analyze problems. This enlarges the size of the installed executables considerably, and on non-GCC compilers it usually also disables compiler optimization, causing slowdowns. However, having the symbols available is extremely helpful for dealing with any problems that may arise. Currently, this option is recommended for production installations only if you use GCC. But you should always have it on if you are doing development work or running a beta version.


    Enables assertion checks in the server, which test for many "can't happen" conditions. This is invaluable for code development purposes, but the tests slow things down a little. Also, having the tests turned on won't necessarily enhance the stability of your server! The assertion checks are not categorized for severity, and so what might be a relatively harmless bug will still lead to server restarts if it triggers an assertion failure. Currently, this option is not recommended for production use, but you should have it on for development work or when running a beta version.


    Enables automatic dependency tracking. With this option, the makefiles are set up so that all affected object files will be rebuilt when any header file is changed. This is useful if you are doing development work, but is just wasted overhead if you intend only to compile once and install. At present, this option will work only if you use GCC.

    If you prefer a C or C++ compiler different from the one configure picks then you can set the environment variables CC or CXX, respectively, to the program of your choice. Similarly, you can override the default compiler flags with the CFLAGS and CXXFLAGS variables. For example:

    env CC=/opt/bin/gcc CFLAGS='-O2 -pipe' ./configure
  2. Build

    To start the build, type


    (Remember to use GNU make.) The build may take anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour depending on your hardware. The last line displayed should be

    All of PostgreSQL is successfully made. Ready to install.
  3. Regression Tests

    If you want to test the newly built server before you install it, you can run the regression tests at this point. The regression tests are a test suite to verify that PostgreSQL runs on your machine in the way the developers expected it to. Type

    gmake check

    (This won't work as root; do it as an unprivileged user.) It is possible that some tests fail, due to differences in error message wording or floating point results. Chapter 14 contains detailed information about interpreting the test results. You can repeat this test at any later time by issuing the same command.

  4. Installing The Files

    Note: If you are upgrading an existing system and are going to install the new files over the old ones, then you should have backed up your data and shut down the old server by now, as explained in Section 1.4 above.

    To install PostgreSQL enter

    gmake install

    This will install files into the directories that were specified in step 1. Make sure that you have appropriate permissions to write into that area. Normally you need to do this step as root. Alternatively, you could create the target directories in advance and arrange for appropriate permissions to be granted.

    If you built the Perl or Python interfaces and you were not the root user when you executed the above command then that part of the installation probably failed. In that case you should become the root user and then do

    gmake -C src/interfaces/perl5 install
    gmake -C src/interfaces/python install

    If you do not have superuser access you are on your own: you can still take the required files and place them in other directories where Perl or Python can find them, but how to do that is left as an exercise.

    The standard installation provides only the header files needed for client application development. If you plan to do any server-side program development (such as custom functions or data types written in C), then you may want to install the entire PostgreSQL include tree into your target include directory. To do that, enter

    gmake install-all-headers

    This adds a megabyte or two to the installation footprint, and is only useful if you don't plan to keep the whole source tree around for reference. (If you do, you can just use the source's include directory when building server-side software.)

    Client-only installation: If you want to install only the client applications and interface libraries, then you can use these commands:

    gmake -C src/bin install
    gmake -C src/include install
    gmake -C src/interfaces install
    gmake -C doc install

    To undo the installation use the command gmake uninstall. However, this will not remove any created directories.

After the installation you can make room by removing the built files from the source tree with the gmake clean command. This will preserve the files made by the configure program, so that you can rebuild everything with gmake later on. To reset the source tree to the state in which it was distributed, use gmake distclean. If you are going to build for several platforms from the same source tree you must do this and re-configure for each build.

If you perform a build and then discover that your configure options were wrong, or if you change anything that configure investigates (for example, you install GNU Readline), then it's a good idea to do gmake distclean before reconfiguring and rebuilding. Without this, your changes in configuration choices may not propagate everywhere they need to.