Recent Updates to PostgreSQL and Friends

Some of you may have noticed that there have been some changes to the way the PostgreSQL initscripts can handle things. Some of you may have also noticed that there has been a lack of changes in our documentation ( And, some Prefix users may have noticed that there is a lack of divide between what is available in the gentoo-x86 tree and the Prefix tree.

Way back in 2007 (, someone had requested that the configuration files get moved to the more appropriate /etc. Back then, such a request could not be satisfied vertically, meaning all slots could not behave the same way. PostgreSQL could only look for the configuration files in that same directory the database cluster is located. Hence the unusual location of postgresql.conf and friends.

Then, not so long ago (, another request came in for the same thing. This time that request could be satisfied vertically, and should be. So, I made it happen. You can now freely move the configuration files for PostgreSQL anywhere you please. Even to the same directory that the database cluster is located.

As for our documentation, I have been working on that as well. It is still in draft (, but is close to being done. If you give that a read and have read the older documentation, you will probably notice some fairly big differences. (Side bar: Thank you Mr. Mikkel Claussen and Mr. Sven Vermeulen for helping with this.

I have purposely avoided telling people to set a password for the ‘postgres’ system account. Upstream does not recommend that the system account should have a password. Really, you are better off using the -U switch. What do you really gain by switching to the ‘postgres’ system account then using psql to connect to the database?

I have decided to leave the role and database creation to a much more authoritative source: The official PostgreSQL Documentation ( I have yet to really see any other project be as concerned with the quality of their documentation as they are concerned about their code. That is not to say that there are not other projects that are, I just have not seen it as I am not as involved in anything else. (Side bar: I have seen projects with really terrible documentation. I am looking at you rsyslog.

I have also decided that the comparison to MySQL just does not belong. After all, there is a reason why WordPress dropped MySQL support in favor of PostgreSQL. (Hmm, I should have saved that for April Fool’s Day.)

Then there is the biggest surprise to Prefix users, that the gentoo-x86 PostgreSQL ebuilds now support the Prefix-way, including the new eselect module. This shocking turn of events comes about because I do not use Prefix. Extremely shocking, I know. The real reason: I do not see why there should be a divide between the ebuilds I work on for PostgreSQL and the ebuilds that Prefix works on for PostgreSQL. It is, quite simply, a duplication of effort, though unequally yoked and varied focus. I love redundancy, but despise inefficiency. (Side bar: Thank you Mr. Peter Abrahamsen for letting me twiddle on your machine.

I am sure there are other changes I have failed to mention, but I think that just about sums up the big changes to PostgreSQL and friends. And, yes, those are open side bars. Drink up.

Update: Thanks to darkside for pointing out the whacked out links. Fixed.

Leave a Reply