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PostgreSQL on macOS


I needed to install PostgreSQL locally on my macOS as I started a new hobby project where I'm planning to use it.

I'm using homebrew to install it as it is an easy way to add it and later to remove it.

Installing PostgreSQL

Run this in your terminal

brew install postgres

Starting PostgreSQL manually

I liked to have total control when the PostgreSQL is running so I will start it like this:

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

In addition to just starting it will create a log for PostgreSQL loggings.

To automatically start it

When you installed PostgreSQL with homebrew you might have noticed that it have you the following information in the terminal:

To have launchd start postgresql now and restart at login:
  brew services start postgresql

Stopping PostgreSQL manually

To stop it, just run this command:

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


I created few aliases for convenience. Start, stop and tailing the log.

alias pgstart='pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres -l /usr/local/var/postgres/server.log start'
alias pgstop='pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres stop -s -m fast'
alias pglog='tail -f /usr/local/var/postgres/server.log'

GUI client

I am using Postico to connect to my development database (well, currently it does no have anything else than development :D). It is available for macOS for free, but some features are limited.

  • macos
  • postgresql
  • database
  • postico