Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)

FreeBSD Manual Pages


home | help
INITDB(1)		PostgreSQL 9.6.24 Documentation		     INITDB(1)

       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 server instance.

       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 template1 and postgres databases. When you
       later create a new database, everything in the template1	database is
       copied. (Therefore, anything installed in template1 is automatically
       copied into each	database created later.) The postgres database is a
       default database	meant for use by users,	utilities and third party

       Although	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.

       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 initdb creates. 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.  initdb determines
       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
       --lc-collate and	--lc-ctype options. Collation orders other than	C or
       POSIX also have a performance penalty. For these	reasons	it is
       important to choose the right locale when running initdb.

       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 (lc_*) can be displayed via	SHOW ALL. More details
       can be found in Section 23.1, "Locale Support", in the documentation.

       To alter	the default encoding, use the --encoding. More details can be
       found in	Section	23.3, "Character Set Support", in the documentation.

       -A authmethod
	   This	option specifies the authentication method for local users
	   used	in pg_hba.conf (host and local lines). Do not use trust	unless
	   you trust all local users on	your system.  trust is the default for
	   ease	of installation.

	   This	option specifies the authentication method for local users via
	   TCP/IP connections used in pg_hba.conf (host	lines).

	   This	option specifies the authentication method for local users via
	   Unix-domain socket connections used in pg_hba.conf (local lines).

       -D directory
	   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 PGDATA environment
	   variable, which can be convenient since the database	server
	   (postgres) can find the database directory later by the same

       -E encoding
	   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_ASCII if	that does not work. The	character sets supported by
	   the PostgreSQL server are described in Section 23.3.1, "Supported
	   Character Sets", in the documentation.

	   Use checksums on data pages to help detect corruption by the	I/O
	   system that would otherwise be silent. Enabling checksums may incur
	   a noticeable	performance penalty. This option can only be set
	   during initialization, and cannot be	changed	later. If set,
	   checksums are calculated for	all objects, in	all databases.

	   Sets	the default locale for the database cluster. If	this option is
	   not specified, the locale is	inherited from the environment that
	   initdb runs in. Locale support is described in Section 23.1,
	   "Locale Support", in	the documentation.

	   Like	--locale, but only sets	the locale in the specified category.

	   Equivalent to --locale=C.

	   By default, initdb will wait	for all	files to be written safely to
	   disk. This option causes initdb to return without waiting, which is
	   faster, but means that a subsequent operating system	crash can
	   leave the data directory corrupt. Generally,	this option is useful
	   for testing,	but should not be used when creating a production

	   Makes initdb	read the database superuser's password from a file.
	   The first line of the file is taken as the password.

	   Safely write	all database files to disk and exit. This does not
	   perform any of the normal initdb operations.

       -T CFG
	   Sets	the default text search	configuration. See
	   default_text_search_config for further information.

       -U username
	   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.

	   Makes initdb	prompt 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.

       -X directory
	   This	option specifies the directory where the transaction log
	   should be stored.

       Other, less commonly used, options 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 initdb uses to create	the catalog tables.
	   This	option generates a tremendous amount of	extremely boring

       -L directory
	   Specifies where initdb should 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 initdb determines 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

       Other options:

	   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 -D option.

	   Specifies the default time zone of the created database cluster.
	   The value should be a full time zone	name (see Section 8.5.3, "Time
	   Zones", in the documentation).

       This utility, like most other PostgreSQL	utilities, also	uses the
       environment variables supported by libpq	(see Section 32.14,
       "Environment Variables",	in the documentation).

       initdb can also be invoked via pg_ctl initdb.

       pg_ctl(1), postgres(1)

PostgreSQL 9.6.24		     2021			     INITDB(1)


Want to link to this manual page? Use this URL:

home | help