14.5. 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. (You can also run configure in a directory outside the source tree if you want to keep the build directory separate.)

    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. However, if you leave these with their defaults, the installation will be relocatable, meaning you can move the directory after installation. (The man and doc locations are not affected by this.)

    For relocatable installs, you might want to use configure's --disable-rpath option. Also, you will need to tell the operating system how to find the shared libraries.


    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.


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


    Documentation files, except "man" pages, will be installed into this directory. The default is PREFIX/doc. If the option --without-docdir is specified, the documentation will not be installed by make install. This is intended for packaging scripts that have special methods for installing documentation.

    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. The public C 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 documentation of each interface for information about how to get at the its header files. 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 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; see above.


    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 PL/Perl server-side language.


    Build the PL/Python server-side language.


    Build the PL/Tcl server-side language.


    Tcl installs the file, which contains configuration information needed to build modules interfacing to Tcl. This file is normally found automatically at a well-known location, but if you want to use a different version of Tcl you can specify the directory in which to look for it.


    Build with support for Kerberos 5 authentication. On many systems, the Kerberos system is not installed in a location that is searched by default (e.g., /usr/include, /usr/lib), so you must use the options --with-includes and --with-libraries in addition to this option. configure will check for the required header files and libraries to make sure that your Kerberos installation is sufficient before proceeding.


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


    Build with support for SSL (encrypted) connections. This requires the OpenSSL package to be installed. 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.


    Build with LDAP support for authentication and connection parameter lookup (see Section 29.15 and Section 20.2.5 for more information). On Unix, this requires the OpenLDAP package to be installed. configure will check for the required header files and libraries to make sure that your OpenLDAP installation is sufficient before proceeding. On Windows, the default WinLDAP library is used.


    Prevents use of the Readline library (and libedit as well). This option disables command-line editing and history in psql, so it is not recommended.


    Favors the use of the BSD-licensed libedit library rather than GPL-licensed Readline. This option is significant only if you have both libraries installed; the default in that case is to use Readline.


    Build with Bonjour support. This requires Bonjour support in your operating system. Recommended on Mac OS X.


    Use 64-bit integer storage for datetimes and intervals, rather than the default floating-point storage. This reduces the range of representable values but guarantees microsecond precision across the full range (see Section 8.5 for more information). Note also that the integer datetimes code is newer than the floating-point code, and we still find bugs in it from time to time.


    Allow the build to succeed even if PostgreSQL has no CPU spinlock support for the platform. The lack of spinlock support will result in poor performance; therefore, this option should only be used if the build aborts and informs you that the platform lacks spinlock support. If this option is required to build PostgreSQL on your platform, please report the problem to the PostgreSQL developers.


    Make the client libraries thread-safe. This allows concurrent threads in libpq and ECPG programs to safely control their private connection handles. This option requires adequate threading support in your operating system.


    Prevents use of the Zlib library. This disables support for compressed archives in pg_dump and pg_restore. This option is only intended for those rare systems where this library is not available.


    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.


    Compiles with support for the dynamic tracing tool DTrace. Operating system support for DTrace is currently only available in Solaris.

    To point to the dtrace program, the environment variable DTRACE can be set. This will often be necessary because dtrace is typically installed under /usr/sbin, which might not be in the path. Additional command-line options for the dtrace program can be specified in the environment variable DTRACEFLAGS.

    To include DTrace support in a 64-bit binary, specify DTRACEFLAGS="-64" to configure. For example, using the GCC compiler:

    ./configure CC='gcc -m64' --enable-dtrace DTRACEFLAGS='-64' ...

    Using Sun's compiler:

    ./configure CC='/opt/SUNWspro/bin/cc -xtarget=native64' --enable-dtrace DTRACEFLAGS='-64' ...

    If you prefer a C compiler different from the one configure picks, you can set the environment variable CC to the program of your choice. By default, configure will pick gcc if available, else the platform's default (usually cc). Similarly, you can override the default compiler flags if needed with the CFLAGS variable.

    You can specify environment variables on the configure command line, for example:

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

    Here is a list of the significant variables that can be set in this manner:


    C compiler


    options to pass to the C compiler


    C preprocessor


    options to pass to the C preprocessor


    location of the dtrace program


    options to pass to the dtrace program


    options to pass to the link editor


    linker options for shared library linking


    msgfmt program for native language support


    Full path to the Perl interpreter. This will be used to determine the dependencies for building PL/Perl.


    Full path to the Python interpreter. This will be used to determine the dependencies for building PL/Python.


    Full path to the Tcl interpreter. This wil be used to determine the dependencies for building PL/Tcl.


    Yacc program (bison -y if using Bison)

  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.) Chapter 28 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, be sure to back up your data and shut down the old server before proceeding, as explained in Section 14.4 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.

    You can use gmake install-strip instead of gmake install to strip the executable files and libraries as they are installed. This will save some space. If you built with debugging support, stripping will effectively remove the debugging support, so it should only be done if debugging is no longer needed. install-strip tries to do a reasonable job saving space, but it does not have perfect knowledge of how to strip every unneeded byte from an executable file, so if you want to save all the disk space you possibly can, you will have to do manual work.

    The standard installation provides all the header files needed for client application development as well as for server-side program development, such as custom functions or data types written in C. (Prior to PostgreSQL 8.0, a separate gmake install-all-headers command was needed for the latter, but this step has been folded into the standard install.)

    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

    src/bin has a few binaries for server-only use, but they are small.

Registering eventlog on Windows: To register a Windows eventlog library with the operating system, issue this command after installation:

regsvr32 pgsql_library_directory/pgevent.dll

This creates registry entries used by the event viewer.

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

Cleaning: After the installation you can make room by removing the built files from the source tree with the command gmake clean. 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 within the same source tree you must do this and re-configure for each build. (Alternatively, use a separate build tree for each platform, so that the source tree remains unmodified.)

If you perform a build and then discover that your configure options were wrong, or if you change anything that configure investigates (for example, software upgrades), 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.