Install PostgreSQL (version of choice) on a Mac

Brewing your very own postgres version. Potent. You don't want to do this any other way!


  1. First of all, you need to install brew.

    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
  2. Optional: You need to add the brew versions tap so that you can get the formula for the specific version of postgres. brew tap homebrew/versions
  3. Choose the formula corresponding to the version of postgres that you want - in my case postgresql 9.1. Then run the install command. brew install postgresql91

Running the server

Initialize the database

This only needs to be done once (the first time you install postgres with brew).

initdb /usr/local/var/postgres -E utf8

Create a postgres user

Brew does not create a superuser called postgres, instead, it makes the current user a superuser. If this don’t work for you, you can run this

createuser -d -P postgres

Start Server

This be the command to start the server. You can then make databases, tables and other wild code animals.

pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres -l /usr/local/var/postgres/server.log start

Stop Server

This stops your server. Useful when things get sluggish, no?

pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres stop -s -m fast

Interacting with postgres

Get started. If you created a postgres user then use this.

sudo -U postgres psql

If you didn’t you can just use this.

psql postgres