PostgreSQL commands to remember

List of commands to remember using postgres DB managment system.

Login, Create user and password

# login to psql client
psql postgres # OR
psql -U postgres
create database mydb; # create db
create user abhilash with SUPERUSER CREATEDB CREATEROLE encrypted password 'abhilashPass!'; 
grant all privileges on database mydb to myuser; # add privileges

Connect to DB, List tables and users, functions, views, schema

\l # lists all the databases
\c dbname # connect to db
\dt # show tables
\d table_name # Describe a table
\dn # List available schema
\df #  List available functions
\dS [your_table_name] # List triggers
\dv # List available views
\du # lists all user accounts and roles 
\du+ # is the extended version which shows even more information.

Show history, save to file, edit using editor, execution time, help

SELECT version(); # version of psql
\g  # Execute the previous command
\s # Command history
\s filename # save Command history to a file
\i filename # Execute psql commands from a file
\? # help on psql commands
\h ALTER TABLE # To get help on specific PostgreSQL statement
\timing #  Turn on/off query execution time
\e # Edit command in your own editor
\e [function_name] # It is more useful when you edit a function in the editor. Do \df for functions
\o [file_name] # send all next query results to file
    \o out.txt
    \o # switch

Change output, Quit psql

# Switch output options
\a command switches from aligned to non-aligned column output.
\H command formats the output to HTML format.
\q # quit psql


PostgreSQL 9.3 : Installation on ubuntu 14.04

Hi guys, I just started installing postgres on my ubuntu VM. I referred some docs, and followed this one:

Its pretty much explained in this page. But just explaining here the important things.

You can install postgres by ubuntu’s own apt packaging system. Update local apt repository.

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib

Postgres uses role based access for the unix users. After the installation a default role called ‘postgres’ will be created. You can login to postgres account and start using or creating new roles with Postgres.

Sign in as postgres user

$ sudo -i -u postgres

Access the postgres console by

$ psql

But i cannot enter into the console and I got the following error:

postgres@8930a29k5d05:/home/rails/my_project$ psql
psql: could not connect to server: No such file or directory
        Is the server running locally and accepting
        connections on Unix domain socket "/var/run/postgresql/.s.PGSQL.5432"?

What could be the reason for this error?

So just gone through Postgres doc ( You can see the same error under the section 17.3.2. Client Connection Problems. But the solution is not mentioned.

Original Reason: PostgreSQL Server was not running after the installation.

I tried rebooting the system and via init script the server should run automatically. But the server is not running again. I understood that something prevents postgres from running the server. What is it?

Just check your postgres server is running or not

$ sudo -aux | grep post
postgres@8930a29k5d05:/home/rails/my_project$ ps -aux | grep postgres
root       136  0.0  0.2  47124  3056 ?        S    06:10   0:00 sudo -u postgres -s
postgres   137  0.0  0.3  18164  3220 ?        S    06:10   0:00 /bin/bash
postgres   140  0.0  0.2  15572  2192 ?        R+   06:10   0:00 ps -aux
postgres   141  0.0  0.0   4892   336 ?        R+   06:10   0:00 grep post

The server is not running.

Run the server manually by

root@8930a29k5d05:/home/rails/my_project#  /etc/init.d/postgresql start
 * Starting PostgreSQL 9.3 database server
                                                                                                                                                         [ OK ] 
root@8930a29k5d05:/home/rails/my_project# ps aux | grep postgres
postgres   158  0.1  2.0 244928 20752 ?        S    06:28   0:00 /usr/lib/postgresql/9.3/bin/postgres -D /var/lib/postgresql/9.3/main -c config_file=/etc/postgresql/9.3/main/postgresql.conf
postgres   160  0.0  0.3 244928  3272 ?        Ss   06:28   0:00 postgres: checkpointer process

postgres   161  0.0  0.4 244928  4176 ?        Ss   06:28   0:00 postgres: writer process

postgres   162  0.0  0.3 244928  3272 ?        Ss   06:28   0:00 postgres: wal writer process

postgres   163  0.0  0.5 245652  6000 ?        Ss   06:28   0:00 postgres: autovacuum launcher process

postgres   164  0.0  0.3 100604  3336 ?        Ss   06:28   0:00 postgres: stats collector process

root       178  0.0  0.0   8868   884 ?        S+   06:28   0:00 grep --color=auto post

Now the server starts running. If still not works, then try to reconfigure your locales as mentioned here

$ dpkg-reconfigure locales

It is strange that, after installing such a popular database software, it doesn’t provide any information regarding the failure of its own server. It should give the developers some clue so that they can save their precious time.

The reason of this failure, what I concluded is
1. After installation we have to run the server manually
2. I tried resetting the locales (So if no locales set in the machine may prevented the postgres from starting automatically?)