Wednesday, October 26, 2011

PostgreSQL cheat sheet

A handy cheat-sheet for the PostgreSQL database, for when I'm too lazy to dig through the docs or find another cheat-sheet.

Start and stop server

sudo su postgres -c '/opt/local/lib/postgresql/bin/postgres -D /opt/local/var/db/postgres/defaultdb'


su -c 'pg_ctl start -D /opt/local/var/db/postgres/defaultdb -l postgreslog' postgres

To shutdown

sudo su postgres -c 'pg_ctl stop -D /opt/local/var/db/postgres/defaultdb'

Run client

psql -U postgres
sudo -u postgres psql


Postgres commands start with a backslash '\' character. Type \l to list databases and \c to connect to a database. \? shows help and \q quits. \d lists tables, views and sequences, \dt lists tables.

Granting access privileges

create database dbname;
create user joe_mamma with password 'password';
grant all privileges on database dbname to joe_mamma;
grant all privileges on all tables in schema public to joe_mamma;
grant all privileges on all sequences in schema public to joe_mamma;

See the docs for GRANT.

SQL dump and restore

pg_dump -U postgres dbname | gzip > dbname.dump.2011.10.24.gz
gunzip < dbname.dump.2011.10.24.gz | sudo -u postgres psql --dbname dbname

For more, see Backup and Restore from the Postgres manual.


Delete all data from a table and related tables.

truncate my_table CASCADE;


Sequences can be manipulated with currval and setval.

select currval('my_table_id_seq');
select setval('my_table_id_seq',1,false);


If you seen an Ident authentication error...

FATAL:  Ident authentication failed for user "postgres"

... look in your pg_hba.conf file. Ask Postgres where this file is by typing, "show hba_file;".

sudo cat /etc/postgresql/9.0/main/pg_hba.conf

You might see a line that looks like this:

local  all  all      ident

What the 'ident' means is postgres uses your shell account name to log you in. Specifying the user on the command line "psql -U postgres" doesn't help. Either change "ident" in the pg_hba.conf to "md5" or "trust" and restart postgres, or just do what it wants: "sudo -u postgres psql". More on this can be found in “FATAL: Ident authentication failed”, or how cool ideas get bad usage schemas.