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II.3.3 Install PostgreSQL

by Vinod Kurup

OpenACS docs are written by the named authors, and may be edited by OpenACS documentation staff.

Skip this section if you will run only Oracle.

OpenACS 5.3.2 will run with PostgreSQL 8.2.x or 8.1.x.  8.2.4 is the recommended version of PostgreSQL.

  • Special notes for Mac OS X.If you are running Mac OS X prior to 10.3, you should be able to install and use PostGreSQL ???. Mac OS X 10.3 requires PostGreSQL ???.

  • Special Notes for Debian.

    Debian stable user should install PostGreSQL from source as detailed below, or they should use the www.backports.org backport for Postgres to get a more current version. Debian unstable users: the following process has been known to work (but you should double-check that the version of PostGreSQL is 8.1.0 or above):

    For Debian stable users, you can use backports, by adding this line to the /etc/apt/sources.list

    deb http://www.backports.org/debian stable bison postgresql openssl openssh tcl8.4 courier debconf spamassassin tla diff patch neon chkrootkit
    apt-get install postgresql postgresql-dev postgresql-doc
    ln -s /usr/include/postgresql/ /usr/include/pgsql
    ln -s /var/lib/postgres /usr/local/pgsql
    ln -s /usr/include/pgsql /usr/local/pgsql/include
    su postgres -c "/usr/lib/postgresql/bin/createlang plpgsql template1"

    and proceed to Tune postgres. (OPTIONAL) or to the next section.

  • Special Notes for Red Hat.Red Hat users: If you install PostgreSQL ??? from the Red Hat 9 RPM, you can skip a few steps. These shell commands add some links for compatibility with the directories from a source-based install; start the service; create a new group for web service users, and modify the postgres user's environment (more information):

    [root root]# ln -s /usr/lib/pgsql/ /var/lib/pgsql/lib
    [root root]# ln -s /var/lib/pgsql /usr/local/pgsql
    [root root]# ln -s /etc/init.d/postgresql /etc/init.d/postgres
    [root root]# ln -s /usr/bin /usr/local/pgsql/bin
    [root root]# service postgresql start
    Initializing database:
                                                               [  OK  ]
    Starting postgresql service:                               [  OK  ]
    [root root]# echo "export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/pgsql/lib" >> ~postgres/.bash_profile
    [root root]# echo "export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/bin" >> ~postgres/.bash_profile
    [root root]# groupadd web
    [root root]# su - postgres
    ln -s /usr/lib/pgsql/ /var/lib/pgsql/lib
    ln -s /var/lib/pgsql /usr/local/pgsql
    ln -s /usr/bin /usr/local/pgsql/bin
    service postgresql start
    echo "export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/pgsql/lib" >> ~postgres/.bash_profile
    echo "export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/bin" >> ~postgres/.bash_profile
    groupadd web
    su - postgres

    ... and then skip to 8. Something similar may work for other binary packages as well.

  • Safe approach: install from source

    1. Unpack PostgreSQL 8.2.4.If you have not downloaded the postgresql tarball to /var/tmp/postgresql-8.2.4.tar.gz, get it.

      [root root]# cd /usr/local/src
      [root src]# tar xzf /var/tmp/postgresql-8.2.4.tar.gz
      [root src]# 
      cd /usr/local/src
      tar xzf /var/tmp/postgresql-8.2.4.tar.gz
    2. ALTERNATIVE: Unpack PostgreSQL 8.2.4.If you have not downloaded the postgresql tarball to /var/tmp/postgresql-8.2.4.tar.bz2, get it.

      [root root]# cd /usr/local/src
      [root src]# tar xfj /var/tmp/postgresql-8.2.4.tar.bz2
      [root src]# 
      cd /usr/local/src
      tar xfj /var/tmp/postgresql-8.2.4.tar.bz2
    3. Install Bison.Only do this if bison --version is smaller than 1.875 and you install PostgreSQL 8.2 from cvs instead of tarball.

      [root root]# cd /usr/local/src
      [root src]# wget http://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/bison/bison-1.875.tar.gz
      [root src]# tar xfz bison-1.875.tar.gz
      [root src]# cd bison-1.875
      [root src]# ./configure
      [root src]# make install
    4. Create the Postgres user. Create a user and group (if you haven't done so before) for PostgreSQL. This is the account that PostgreSQL will run as since it will not run as root. Since nobody will log in directly as that user, we'll leave the password blank.

      Debian users should probably use adduser instead of useradd. Type man adduser

      [root src]# groupadd web
      [root src]# useradd -g web -d /usr/local/pgsql postgres
      [root src]# mkdir -p /usr/local/pgsql
      [root src]# chown -R postgres.web /usr/local/pgsql /usr/local/src/postgresql-7.4.7
      [root src]# chmod 750 /usr/local/pgsql
      [root src]#
      groupadd web
      useradd -g web -d /usr/local/pgsql postgres
      mkdir -p /usr/local/pgsql
      chown -R postgres.web /usr/local/pgsql /usr/local/src/postgresql-7.4.7
      chmod 750 /usr/local/pgsql
      • Mac OS X: Do instead:First make sure the gids and uids below are available (change them if they are not).To list taken uids and gids:

        nireport / /groups name gid | grep "[0123456789][0123456789]"
        nireport / /users name uid | grep "[0123456789][0123456789]"

        Now you can install the users

        sudo niutil -create / /groups/web
        sudo niutil -createprop / /groups/web gid 201 sudo niutil -create / /users/postgres sudo niutil -createprop / /users/postgres gid 201 sudo niutil -createprop / /users/postgres uid 502 sudo niutil -createprop / /users/postgres home /usr/local/pgsql sudo niutil -create / /users/$OPENACS_SERVICE_NAME sudo niutil -createprop / /users/$OPENACS_SERVICE_NAME gid 201 sudo niutil -createprop / /users/$OPENACS_SERVICE_NAME uid 201 mkdir -p /usr/local/pgsql chown -R postgres:web /usr/local/pgsql /usr/local/src/postgresql-7.4.7 chmod 750 /usr/local/pgsql
      • FreeBSD users: need to add more parameters.

        [root src]# mkdir -p /usr/local/pgsql
        [root src]# pw groupadd -n web
        [root src]# pw useradd -n postgres -g web -d /usr/local/pgsql -s /bin/bash
        [root src]# chown -R postgres:web /usr/local/pgsql /usr/local/src/postgresql-7.4.7
        [root src]# chmod -R 750 /usr/local/pgsql
        [root src]#
        mkdir -p /usr/local/pgsql
        pw groupadd -n web
        pw useradd -n postgres -g web -d /usr/local/pgsql -s /bin/bash
        chown -R postgres:web /usr/local/pgsql /usr/local/src/postgresql-7.4.7
        chmod -R 750 /usr/local/pgsql
    5. Set up postgres's environment variables.They are necessary for the executable to find its supporting libraries. Put the following lines into the postgres user's environment.

      [root src]# su - postgres
      [postgres ~] emacs ~postgres/.bashrc

      Paste this line into .bash_profile:

      source $HOME/.bashrc

      Paste these lines into .bashrc:

      export PATH=/usr/local/bin/:$PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/bin
      export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/lib

      Test this by logging in as postgres and checking the paths; you should see /usr/local/pgsql/bin somewhere in the output (the total output is system-dependent so yours may vary)

      [root src]# su - postgres
      [postgres pgsql]$ env | grep PATH
      [postgres pgsql]$ exit

      Don't continue unless you see correct output from env | grep PATH

    6. Compile and install PostgreSQL. Change to the postgres user and run ./configure to set the compilation options automatically. This is the point at which you can configure PostgreSQL in various ways. For example, if you are installing on "OS X" add the flags --with-includes=/sw/include/ --with-libraries=/sw/lib. If you want to see what the other possibilities are, run ./configure --help.

      On debian woody (stable, 3.0), do ./configure --without-readline --without-zlib.

      [root src]# su - postgres
      [postgres pgsql]$ cd /usr/local/src/postgresql-7.4.7
      [postgres postgresql-8.2.4]$ ./configure
      creating cache ./config.cache
      checking host system type... i686-pc-linux-gnu
      (many lines omitted>
      linking ./src/makefiles/Makefile.linux to src/Makefile.port
      linking ./src/backend/port/tas/dummy.s to src/backend/port/tas.s
      [postgres postgresql-8.2.4$ make all
      make -C doc all
      make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/local/src/postgresql-8.2.4/doc'
      (many lines omitted)
      make[1]: Leaving directory `/usr/local/src/postgresql-8.2.4/src'
      All of PostgreSQL successfully made. Ready to install.
      [postgres postgresql-8.2.4]$ make install
      make -C doc install
      make[1]: Entering directory `/usr/local/src/postgresql-8.2.4/doc'
      (many lines omitted)
      Thank you for choosing PostgreSQL, the most advanced open source database
      su - postgres
      cd /usr/local/src/postgresql-8.2.4
      make all
      make install


    7. Edit /etc/postgresql.conf (Debian /etc/postgresql/8.2/postgresql.conf) to make sure the three following settings are correct:
      add_missing_from = true
      regex_flavor = enhanced
      default_with_oids = true
    8. Start PostgreSQL. The initdb command initializes the database. pg_ctl is used to start up PostgreSQL. If PostgreSQL is unable to allocate enough memory, see section 11 Tuning PostgreSQL (below).

      [postgres postgresql-8.2.4]$ /usr/local/pgsql/bin/initdb -D /usr/local/pgsql/data
      The files belonging to this database system will be owned by user "postgres".
      This user must also own the server process.
      (17 lines omitted)
          /usr/local/pgsql/bin/pg_ctl -D /usr/local/pgsql/data -l logfile start
      [postgres postgresql-7.4.7]$ /usr/local/pgsql/bin/pg_ctl -D /usr/local/pgsql/data -l /usr/local/pgsql/data/server.log start
      postmaster successfully started
      [postgres postgresql-7.4.7]$
      /usr/local/pgsql/bin/initdb -D /usr/local/pgsql/data
      /usr/local/pgsql/bin/pg_ctl -D /usr/local/pgsql/data -l /usr/local/pgsql/data/server.log start

      PostgreSQL errors will be logged in /usr/local/pgsql/data/server.log

    9. Install Pl/pgSQL.Set up plpgsq and allow your user to have access. Plpgsql is a PL/SQL-like language. We add it to template1, which is the template from which all new databases are created. We can verify that it was created with the createlang command in list mode.

      Additionals to install in Postgres 8.1.x

      [postgres postgresql-7.4.7]$ createlang plpgsql template1
      [postgres pgsql]$ createlang -l template1
      Procedural languages
        Name   | Trusted?
       plpgsql | t
      (1 row)
      [postgres pgsql-7.4.7]$
      createlang plpgsql template1
      createlang -l template1
    10. Test PostgreSQL (OPTIONAL).Create a database and try some simple commands. The output should be as shown.

      [postgres pgsql]$ createdb mytestdb
      [postgres pgsql]$ psql mytestdb
      Welcome to psql, the PostgreSQL interactive terminal.
      Type:  \copyright for distribution terms
             \h for help with SQL commands
             \? for help on internal slash commands
             \g or terminate with semicolon to execute query
             \q to quit
      mytestdb=# select current_timestamp;
       2003-03-07 22:18:29.185413-08
      (1 row)
      mytestdb=# create function test1() returns integer as 'begin return 1; end;' language 'plpgsql';
      mytestdb=# select test1();
      (1 row)
      mytestdb=# \q
      [postgres pgsql]$ dropdb mytestdb
      [postgres pgsql]$ exit
      [root src]#
    11. Set PostgreSQL to start on boot. First, we copy the postgresql.txt init script, which automates startup and shutdown, to the distribution-specific init.d directory. Then we verify that it works. Then we automate it by setting up a bunch of symlinks that ensure that, when the operating system changes runlevels, postgresql goes to the appropriate state. Red Hat and Debian and SuSE each work a little differently. If you haven't untarred the OpenACS tarball, you will need to do so now to access the postgresql.txt file.

      • Red Hat RPM:

        The init script is already installed; just turn it on for the appropriate run levels.

        [root root]# chkconfig --level 345 postgresql on
        [root root]# 
      • Red Hat from source:

        [root src]# cp /var/tmp/openacs-5.2.3rc1/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/postgresql.txt /etc/init.d/postgresql
        [root src]# chown root.root /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql
        [root src]# chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql
        [root src]# 
        cp /var/tmp/openacs-5.2.3rc1/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/postgresql.txt /etc/init.d/postgresql
        chown root.root /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql
        chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql

        Test the script.

        [root root]# service postgresql stop
        Stopping PostgreSQL: ok
        [root root]# 

        If PostgreSQL successfully stopped, then use the following command to make sure that the script is run appropriately at boot and shutdown. And turn it back on because we'll use it later.

        [root root]# chkconfig --add postgresql
        [root root]# chkconfig --level 345 postgresql on
        [root root]# chkconfig --list postgresql
        postgresql      0:off   1:off   2:on    3:on    4:on    5:on    6:off
        [root root]# service postgresql start
        Starting PostgreSQL: ok
        [root root]#
        chkconfig --add postgresql
        chkconfig --level 345 postgresql on
        chkconfig --list postgresql
        service postgresql start
      • Debian:

        [root ~]# cp /var/tmp/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/postgresql.txt /etc/init.d/postgresql
        [root ~]# chown root.root /etc/init.d/postgresql
        [root ~]# chmod 755 /etc/init.d/postgresql
        [root ~]# 
        cp /var/tmp/openacs-5.2.3rc1/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/postgresql.txt /etc/init.d/postgresql
        chown root.root /etc/init.d/postgresql
        chmod 755 /etc/init.d/postgresql

        Test the script

        [root ~]# /etc/init.d/postgresql stop
        Stopping PostgreSQL: ok
        [root ~]# 

        If PostgreSQL successfully stopped, then use the following command to make sure that the script is run appropriately at boot and shutdown.

        [root ~]# update-rc.d postgresql defaults
         Adding system startup for /etc/init.d/postgresql ...
           /etc/rc0.d/K20postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
           /etc/rc1.d/K20postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
           /etc/rc6.d/K20postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
           /etc/rc2.d/S20postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
           /etc/rc3.d/S20postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
           /etc/rc4.d/S20postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
           /etc/rc5.d/S20postgresql -> ../init.d/postgresql
        [root ~]# /etc/init.d/postgresql start
        Starting PostgreSQL: ok
        [root ~]#
      • FreeBSD:

        [root ~]# cp /tmp/openacs-5.2.3rc1/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/postgresql.txt /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh
        [root ~]# chown root:wheel /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh
        [root ~]# chmod 755 /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh
        [root ~]# 
        cp /tmp/openacs-5.2.3rc1/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/postgresql.txt /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh
        chown root:wheel /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh
        chmod 755 /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh

        Test the script

        [root ~]# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh stop
        Stopping PostgreSQL: ok
        [root ~]# 

        If PostgreSQL successfully stopped, then turn it back on because we'll use it later.

        [root root]# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh start
        Starting PostgreSQL: ok
        [root root]#
        /usr/local/etc/rc.d/postgresql.sh start
      • SuSE:


        I have received reports that SuSE 8.0 is different from previous versions. Instead of installing the boot scripts in /etc/rc.d/init.d/, they should be placed in /etc/init.d/. If you're using SuSE 8.0, delete the rc.d/ part in each of the following commands.

        [root ~]# cp /var/tmp/openacs-5.2.3rc1/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/postgresql.txt /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql
        [root ~]# chown root.root /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql
        [root ~]# chmod 755 /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql

        Test the script.

        [root ~]# /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql stop
        Stopping PostgreSQL: ok

        If PostgreSQL successfully stopped, then use the following command to make sure that the script is run appropriately at boot and shutdown.

        [root ~]# cd /etc/rc.d/init.d
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# ln -s /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql K20postgresql
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# ln -s /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql S20postgresql  
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# cp K20postgresql rc2.d
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# cp S20postgresql rc2.d
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# cp K20postgresql rc3.d
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# cp S20postgresql rc3.d
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# cp K20postgresql rc4.d
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# cp S20postgresql rc4.d 
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# cp K20postgresql rc5.d
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# cp S20postgresql rc5.d
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# rm K20postgresql
        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d# rm S20postgresql

        Test configuration.

        root:/etc/rc.d/init.d # cd
        root:~ # /etc/rc.d/init.d/rc2.d/S20postgresql start
        Starting PostgreSQL: ok
        root:~ # 
      • Mac OS X 10.3:

        1. Install the startup script:

          cd /System/Library/StartupItems/tar xfz /var/lib/aolserver/$OPENACS_SERVICE_NAME/packages/acs-core-docs/www/files/osx-postgres-startup-item.tgz
      • Mac OS X 10.4 can use Launchd:

        1. Install the startup script:

          cd /Library/LaunchDaemonscp

          If postgres does not start automatically on reboot, see what error you get when manually starting it with:

          $ sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.postgresql.PostgreSQL.plist
          $ sudo launchctl start org.postgresql.PostgreSQL

      From now on, PostgreSQL should start automatically each time you boot up and it should shutdown gracefully each time you shut down. (Note: Debian defaults to starting all services on runlevels 2-5. Red Hat defaults to starting services on 3-5. So, on Red Hat, PostgreSQL won't start on runlevel 2 unless you alter the above commands a little. This usually isn't a problem as Red Hat defaults to runlevel 3)

    12. Tune postgres. (OPTIONAL).The default values for PostgreSQL are very conservative; we can safely change some of them and improve performance.

      1. Change the kernel parameter for maximum shared memory segment size to 128Mb:

        [root root]# echo 134217728 >/proc/sys/kernel/shmmax
        [root root]#

        Make that change permanent by editing /etc/sysctl.conf to add these lines at the end:

        # increase shared memory limit for postgres
        kernel.shmmax = 134217728
      2. Edit the PostgreSQL config file, /usr/local/pgsql/data/postgresql.conf, to use more memory. These values should improve performance in most cases. (more information)

        #       Shared Memory Size
        shared_buffers = 15200 # 2*max_connections, min 16

        # Non-shared Memory Sizes
        sort_mem = 32168 # min 32

        # Write-ahead log (WAL)
        checkpoint_segments = 3 # in logfile segments (16MB each), min 1

        Restart postgres (service postgresql restart) or (/etc/init.d/postgres restart) so that the changes take effect.

      FreeBSD users: See man syctl, man 5 sysctl and man 5 loader.conf.

      Performance tuning resources: