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INITDB(1)               PostgreSQL Server Applications               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 man-
       aged by a single server instance.

       Creating a database cluster consists of creating the directories in which the database data will live, generat-
       ing 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 tem-
       plate1  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 applications.

       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  encod-
       ing,  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 in the documentation.

       To alter the default encoding, use the --encoding.  More details can be found in in the documentation.

       -A authmethod

              This  option  specifies  the authentication method for local users used in pg_hba.conf. Do not use trust
              unless you trust all local users on your system. Trust is the default for ease of installation.

       -D directory

              This option specifies the directory where the database cluster should be stored. This is the only infor-
              mation  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 variable.

       -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 in the docu-

              Sets the default locale for the database cluster. If this option is not specified, the locale is  inher-
              ited from the environment that initdb runs in. Locale support is described in in the documentation.






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

              Equivalent to --locale=C.

       -X directory

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

       -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  cus-
              tomary 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.

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

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

       Other, less commonly used, parameters 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 output.

       -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 debugging.

       PGDATA Specifies  the  directory  where  the  database  cluster is to be stored; can be overridden using the -D

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


Application                       2014-02-17                         INITDB(1)