Mind Chasers Inc.
Mind Chasers Inc.

Quick Build & Install of PostgreSQL 12 from Git on Ubuntu Linux 18.04

We review basic steps to clone, build, and configure PostgreSQL Master Branch (12+) on Ubuntu Linux 18.04. PostgreSQL is one of the most advanced and popular relational databases in the world. And best of all, it's open source.


PostgreSQL 12 has recently been released. If you're not familiar with PostgreSQL, it is a powerful, stable, and highly configurable open source relational database. Since we're developers & our database is a core, networked system function, we want to work with the latest release and its source to facilitate optimization, customization, and experimentation. Below is a basic guide on how we built and configured PostgreSQL 12 (master branch) from Git on Ubuntu Linux 18.04.

Install and Build from Git

Before we begin, let's see if we have PostgreSQL packages already installed on our Ubuntu 18.04 system. We show various ways below to detect whether remants of postgres exist on our system. As you can, our system is clean of previous releases.

$ which psql

$ ps -e | grep post

$ dpkg -l | grep postgres

$ dpkg -l | grep libpq

$ldconfig -p | grep libpq

If it is installed, you can perform a remove or purge. Note that a purge will remove the configuration files along with the packages.

$ sudo apt purge postgresql-client-common postgresql-common postgresql

Next let's clone the postgresql git repo. We'll follow the official postgreSQL documentation, and there's also a wiki page for Working with Git

$ mkdir -p /build; cd /build	

$ git clone git://git.postgresql.org/git/postgresql.git

$ cd postgresql/

We're going to work with the master branch, but we could have also chosen Release 12 Stable:

$ git branch -r
  origin/HEAD -> origin/master

$ ls
aclocal.m4  config  configure  configure.in  contrib  COPYRIGHT  doc  GNUmakefile.in  HISTORY  Makefile  README  README.git  src

We can see from the directory list above, that we're dealing with an autotools project (e.g., configure script).

Also, we always prefer to build outside the source directory whenever possible, so let's create a new build directory and run configure from there. Note that you may need to install some packages before configure will succeed (e.g., libreadline6-dev, systemtap-sdt-dev, zlib1g-dev, libssl-dev, libpam0g-dev, and python-dev). Also, make sure you have flex and bison installed. If you get stuck on finding a package missing during configure, then take a look at the Ubuntu Packages Search page

$ sudo apt install libreadline6-dev systemtap-sdt-dev zlib1g-dev libssl-dev libpam0g-dev python-dev

$ openssl version 	
OpenSSL 1.1.1  11 Sep 2018	# we're using Ubuntu's package version

$ mkdir build; cd build  	# /build/postgresql/build

$ ../configure --prefix=/opt/pgsql --with-python --with-openssl --with-pam --enable-debug --enable-depend

$ make
All of PostgreSQL successfully made. Ready to install.

Note that configure has many build and install options. Run ../configure --help for more information.

Next we need to install postgreSQL. Keep in mind that we chose to customize the install path using --prefix=/opt/pgsql/

$ make install  # no need for sudo since we took ownership of /opt
PostgreSQL installation complete.

Let's now do some checking and general housekeeping:

$ cd /opt/pgsql/
$ tree -d -L 2
├── bin
├── include
│   ├── informix
│   ├── internal
│   ├── libpq
│   └── server
├── lib
│   ├── pgxs
│   └── pkgconfig
└── share
    ├── extension
    ├── timezone
    ├── timezonesets
    └── tsearch_data

$ find . -name '*.conf.sample'

Basic Configure of PostgreSQL

We want to work with a separate user account, and we'll follow the convention of using the user account postgres.

$ sudo adduser --system --home /opt/pgsql/data --shell /bin/bash --group postgres
Adding system user `postgres' (UID 123) ...
Adding new group `postgres' (GID 130) ...
Adding new user `postgres' (UID 123) with group `postgres' ...
Creating home directory `/opt/pgsql/data' ...

$ sudo adduser postgres ssl-cert
Adding user `postgres' to group `ssl-cert' ...
Adding user postgres to group ssl-cert

$ sudo adduser postgres sudo		# or optionally perform a visudo
Adding user `postgres' to group `sudo' ...
Adding user postgres to group sudo

$ sudo passwd postgres			# set our user passwd

$ su postgres
$ cd
$ pwd

$ /opt/pgsql/bin/initdb -D /opt/pgsql/data --pwprompt	

The files belonging to this database system will be owned by user "postgres".
This user must also own the server process.

The database cluster will be initialized with locale "en_US.UTF-8".
The default database encoding has accordingly been set to "UTF8".
The default text search configuration will be set to "english".

Data page checksums are disabled

Enter new superuser password: 
Enter it again: 

fixing permissions on existing directory /opt/pgsql/data ... ok
creating subdirectories ... ok
selecting dynamic shared memory implementation ... posix
selecting default max_connections ... 100
selecting default shared_buffers ... 128MB
selecting default time zone ... America/New_York
creating configuration files ... ok
running bootstrap script ... ok
performing post-bootstrap initialization ... ok
syncing data to disk ... ok

initdb: warning: enabling "trust" authentication for local connections
You can change this by editing pg_hba.conf or using the option -A, or
--auth-local and --auth-host, the next time you run initdb.

Success. You can now start the database server using:

    /opt/pgsql/bin/pg_ctl -D /opt/pgsql/data -l logfile start

Configure the dynamic linker to find our postgreSQL libraries:

$ cd /etc/ld.so.conf.d/

# edit libc.conf as root to append /opt/pgsql/lib/

$ sudo ldconfig

$ sudo ldconfig -p | grep libpq
	libpqwalreceiver.so (libc6,x86-64) => /opt/pgsql/lib/libpqwalreceiver.so
	libpq.so.5 (libc6,x86-64) => /opt/pgsql/lib/libpq.so.5
	libpq.so (libc6,x86-64) => /opt/pgsql/lib/libpq.so

Starting the server and interacting with it

Before we start the server, let's modify the PATH environment variable to include /opt/pgsql/bin

$ cd /opt/pgsql/data

$ echo 'export PATH=$PATH:/opt/pgsql/bin' >> .bashrc	# use single quotes so not to expand $PATH

$ echo 'export PGDATA=/opt/pgsql/data' >> .bashrc

$ source ./.bashrc

$ pg_ctl start -l logfile
server starting

$ ps -e | grep postgres
20853 ?        00:00:00 postgres
20855 ?        00:00:00 postgres
$ psql
psql (13devel)
Type "help" for help.


Some basic interaction on the command line:

postgres=# select version();
 PostgreSQL 13devel on x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, compiled by gcc (Ubuntu 7.4.0-1ubuntu1~18.04.1) 7.4.0, 64-bit
(1 row)

postgres=# \list
                                  List of databases
   Name    |  Owner   | Encoding |   Collate   |    Ctype    |   Access privileges   
 postgres  | postgres | UTF8     | en_US.UTF-8 | en_US.UTF-8 | 
 template0 | postgres | UTF8     | en_US.UTF-8 | en_US.UTF-8 | =c/postgres          +
           |          |          |             |             | postgres=CTc/postgres
 template1 | postgres | UTF8     | en_US.UTF-8 | en_US.UTF-8 | =c/postgres          +
           |          |          |             |             | postgres=CTc/postgres
(3 rows)

postgres=# \d
Did not find any relations.

postgres=# select 2+2;
(1 row)

Next Steps

At this point, we have built a server from source that is fun to experiment with & test, but we haven't yet created any databases, roles, or configured necessary access permissions. We'll do this in a part 2, which we'll post in the coming weeks.

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