Installing PostgreSQL on Leopard using MacPorts

I have always used MySQL, but I wanted to give PostgreSQL a whirl. This is what I did.


Now I don't want to go too deep into this, so I'm going to assume that if you are reading this, that you have the following installed

So now that you have all of those dependencies out of the way, let's get to installing us some PostgreSQL.


To install the database software, simply run the following command in Terminal

sudo port install \
  postgresql83 \

This will install the client and server needed for you to run this on your machine. Now pay special attention to the installation script. At the end of installation processes, macports will display a message for you that contains some commands for you to get started with.


First, execute these lines of code. This will setup a new database for you to play with

sudo mkdir -p /opt/local/var/db/postgresql83/defaultdb
sudo chown postgres:postgres /opt/local/var/db/postgresql83/defaultdb
sudo su postgres -c '/opt/local/lib/postgresql83/bin/initdb -D /opt/local/var/db/postgresql83/defaultdb'

Start PostgreSQL Automatically

By running the next command, you can have PostgreSQL lunch automatically so that it's always available to you

sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.macports.postgresql83-server.plist

pgAdmin III

pgAdmin III is a PostgreSQL management and administrations piece of software. It's a nice GUI to some things that you may find yourself wanting to do, like created databases and whatnot. Installation of this is pretty cake.

sudo port install pgAdmin3

Upon completion of installation, you can find the application in /Applications/MacPorts/pgAdmin3

PostgreSQL Libraries for Ruby via Gems

I have to admit, the previous installation steps were nothing to cry about; however, it was this step that made me want to put together this little walkthrough.

sudo env ARCHFLAGS="-arch i386" \
  gem install postgres -- \
  --with-pgsql-lib=/opt/local/lib/postgresql83 \

That's not exactly your everyday gem install command. For one, the environment variable ARCHFLAGS has to be set. Secondly, the gem command needs to know where the PostgreSQL libraries and include headers are so that it can compile. Looking back, it's actually quite easy to copy and paste that command, it just took me a while to find out exactly what I needed to make it work.


Well, I hope that helps anyone looking to install and setup PostgreSQL in Leopard. Until next time...


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