Matt Moore


PostgreSQL » PostgreSQL on Mac OS X El Capitan

Aug 07, 2016

Homebrew Installation

First, I always use Homebrew. If you're using Mac OS, you really should use Homebrew. You can get it here.

Once brew is installed, run the following command:

$ brew install postgres

Let it whir and hum a bit and then you'll have Postgres installed!

Start Your Engines!

There are a couple of different ways to start Postgres on Mac OS.

You can start it up in the foreground:

$ postgres -D /usr/local/var/postgres/

But you'll probably want to run it as a background daemon (service):

$ pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres/ start

And, of course, you can stop and restart it:

$ pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres/ stop
$ pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres/ start

You can also get the current status:

$ pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres/ status
pg_ctl: server is running (PID: 20372)
/usr/local/Cellar/postgresql/9.5.3/bin/postgres "-D" "/usr/local/var/postgres"

Create Users

You can create users with the following command:

createuser -P <USERNAME>

Hit enter, and this will prompt for a password. This user won't have permissions initially to create databases though. To do that, you can create the user this way:

createuser -P --createdb <DB_NAME>

Still, you might want to create another "superuser". A superuser is an administrative user that has full privileges in Postgres, so use wisely:

createuser -P --superuser <USERNAME>

If you want to get rid of a user:

dropuser <USERNAME>

Create Databases

You will need to create a new database:

$ createdb <DB_NAME> --owner <USERNAME>

Now you can connect to the database:

$ psql -U <USERNAME> -d <DB_NAME>

Incidentally, if you named your database the same as your username, you can omit the -d option and just enter:

$ psql

It's useful to have a database named after your username so you can test various things out.

Finally, if you want to get rid of a database:

dropdb <DB_NAME>