7D7W: Working with PostgreSQL on Mac OS X Mavericks

As discussed, I’m going through the 7 Databases in 7 Weeks book. This week is PostgreSQL.

The first few paragraphs of Day 1 in the book talk about calling:

$ createdb book

As a convention, when I see a dollar sign, I think that means run it at the command-line shell. I did try to run it within PSQL too (and got an error). I opened up a shell and it doesn’t know that command. I need to find out the directory where this was installed.

So, I set off to find where PostgreSQL was installed on a Mac. I um… wasn’t really paying attention during the installer, so I had no idea. I tried looking around on the file system and then with some Googling on Bing, I ended up finding it. It gets installed here:


And here’s how I navigated to that folder and list the contents of that folder (ls –la):

$ cd /Library/PostgreSQL/9.3/bin/
$ ls -la

Yes, the dollar signs mean you run those as commands at the command-line prompt!


To run on a program on Linux/Unix you have to tell it, it’s in the current directory – you do that with a “./”. So I ran “./createdb book”


It was assuming my “rseder” username. During the install, it only set up a username named “postgres”. So I looked in the help (by running:

$ ./createdb –help

to find the syntax. I specified the username:

$ ./createdb book –username postgres

I put in the password I set during the install and voila, it looks like it worked!

Bottom line here, if you need to run command-line utilities for PostgreSQL – the executables are in /Library/PostgreSQL/9.3/bin – if you want to actually work in the database, launch PSQL from Finder, or from here:

$ ./psql –username postgres

And then have at it!

UPDATE: one more thing. The book wants us to install some add-ons. To do that, I started psql in this new “book” database, like this:

$ ./psql book –username postgres

then, I just ran each of these at the “book=#” prompt in psql:

CREATE EXTENSION fuzzystrmatch;

After each one of these, it just returned a “CREATE EXTENSION” on it’s own line, so I didn’t know if that meant it worked.


However, when I went back out to the command and ran the example from the book:

$ psql book –username postgres –c “SELECT ‘1’::cube;”

That now worked:


So, I’m assuming the above is correct!

Posted in 7D7W, Professional Development, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9 other followers

%d bloggers like this: