|The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1B - SQL Command Reference
by The PostgreSQL Global Development Group
Paperback (6"x9"), 488 pages
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initdb -- create a new PostgreSQL database cluster
initdb [option...] --pgdata | -D | directory
initdb creates a new
PostgreSQL database cluster. A database
cluster is a collection of databases that are managed by a single
Creating a database cluster consists of creating the directories in
which the database data will live, generating the shared catalog
tables (tables that belong to the whole cluster rather than to any
particular database), and creating the
postgres databases. When you later create a
new database, everything in the
template1 database is
copied. (Therefore, anything installed in
is automatically copied into each database created later.)
postgres database is a default database meant
for use by users, utilities and third party applications.
initdb will attempt to create the
specified data directory, it might not have permission if the parent
directory of the desired data directory is root-owned. To initialize
in such a setup, create an empty data directory as root, then use
chown to assign ownership of that directory to the
database user account, then
su to become the
database user to run
initdb must be run as the user that will own the
server process, because the server needs to have access to the
files and directories that
Since the server cannot be run as root, you must not run
initdb as root either. (It will in fact refuse
to do so.)
initdb initializes the database cluster's default
locale and character set encoding. The character set encoding,
collation order (
LC_COLLATE) and character set classes
LC_CTYPE, e.g. upper, lower, digit) can be set separately
for a database when it is created.
those settings for the
template1 database, which will
serve as the default for all other databases.
To alter the default collation order or character set classes, use the
Collation orders other than
POSIX also have
a performance penalty. For these reasons it is important to choose the
right locale when running
The remaining locale categories can be changed later when the server
is started. You can also use
--locale to set the
default for all locale categories, including collation order and
character set classes. All server locale values (
be displayed via
More details can be found in Volume 3: Locale Support.
To alter the default encoding, use the
More details can be found in Volume 3: Character Set Support.
This option specifies the authentication method for local users
used in ‘pg_hba.conf’. Do not use
trustunless you trust all local users on your system.
Trustis the default for ease of installation.
This option specifies the directory where the database cluster
should be stored. This is the only information required by
initdb, but you can avoid writing it by setting the
PGDATAenvironment variable, which can be convenient since the database server (
postgres) can find the database directory later by the same variable.
Selects the encoding of the template database. This will also
be the default encoding of any database you create later,
unless you override it there. The default is derived from the locale, or
SQL_ASCIIif that does not work. The character sets supported by the PostgreSQL server are described in Volume 3: Supported Character Sets.
Sets the default locale for the database cluster. If this
option is not specified, the locale is inherited from the
initdbruns in. Locale support is described in Volume 3: Locale Support.
--locale, but only sets the locale in the specified category.
- This option specifies the directory where the transaction log should be stored.
Selects the user name of the database superuser. This defaults
to the name of the effective user running
initdb. It is really not important what the superuser's name is, but one might choose to keep the customary name
postgres, even if the operating system user's name is different.
initdbprompt for a password to give the database superuser. If you don't plan on using password authentication, this is not important. Otherwise you won't be able to use password authentication until you have a password set up.
initdbread the database superuser's password from a file. The first line of the file is taken as the password.
Other, less commonly used, parameters are also available:
Print debugging output from the bootstrap backend and a few other
messages of lesser interest for the general public.
The bootstrap backend is the program
initdbuses to create the catalog tables. This option generates a tremendous amount of extremely boring output.
initdbshould find its input files to initialize the database cluster. This is normally not necessary. You will be told if you need to specify their location explicitly.
By default, when
initdbdetermines that an error prevented it from completely creating the database cluster, it removes any files it might have created before discovering that it cannot finish the job. This option inhibits tidying-up and is thus useful for debugging.
- Print the initdb version and exit.
- Show help about initdb command line arguments, and exit.
Specifies the directory where the database cluster is to be
stored; can be overridden using the
This utility, like most other PostgreSQL utilities, also uses the environment variables supported by libpq (see Volume 2: Environment Variables).
initdb can also be invoked via
|ISBN 9781906966058||The PostgreSQL 9.0 Reference Manual - Volume 1B - SQL Command Reference||See the print edition|