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Install PostgreSQL on MacOS

PostgreSQL is a powerful, open-source relational database system. It’s available on all major operating systems, and has a proven track record of reliability and extensibility. PostgreSQL has been proven to be highly scalable both in the quantity of data it can manage and in the number of concurrent users it can accommodate.

Let’s get it installed on MacOS.

Install PostgreSQL on Mac with Homebrew

Homebrew is a popular package manager for MacOS. A package manager provides the ability to quickly install packages, their dependency packages, and keep the packages up to date. “Packages” are software libraries and executables generally runnable from a command-line interface.

1. Install Homebrew

While we will use Homebrew to install PostgreSQL and its dependencies, we first need to install the Homebrew package itself. If you do not already have Homebrew installed, run the following from a MacOS commandline:

$ /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

2. Install PostgreSQL

$ brew update
$ brew install postgresql
$ postgres --v

3. Create a database cluster

A database storage area on disk must be initialized before. A database cluster is a collection of databases that is managed by a single instance of a running database server. In file system terms, it is a single directory in which all data will be stored. There is no default location for this to be stored; we will set the location to be /usr/local/var/postgres:

$ initdb /usr/local/var/postgres

You may see the error message: initdb: directory "/usr/local/var/postgres" exists but is not empty. It means the folder you are attempting to create already exists. You are safe to move on to the next step.

4. Start the database server

Use the command pg_ctl to control PostgreSQL database servers. The parameter to the -D flag indicates the data directory. Use the data directory created in the previous step via initdb.

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

This will log the initialization processes, output server started, and return function of the CLI to the user. This command started the database process in the background. To stop the database process, run

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

5. Create a database

Within the database cluster, the initdb command created a database named postgres. Make an additional database named by your MacOS username with the following command:

$ createdb $USER


Managing Postgres users and privileges:

PostgreSQL Security Best Practices: PDFs/PostgreSQL_Security_Best_Practices_Whitepaper.pdf