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postgresql (121) Versions 3.3.4

Installs and configures postgresql for clients or servers

cookbook 'postgresql', '= 3.3.4', :supermarket
cookbook 'postgresql', '= 3.3.4'
knife supermarket install postgresql
knife supermarket download postgresql
Quality -%


Installs and configures PostgreSQL as a client or a server.



  • Debian, Ubuntu
  • Red Hat/CentOS/Scientific (6.0+ required) - "EL6-family"
  • Fedora
  • SUSE

Tested on:

  • Ubuntu 10.04, 11.10, 12.04
  • Red Hat 6.1, Scientific 6.1, CentOS 6.3


Requires Opscode's openssl cookbook for secure password generation.

Requires a C compiler and development headers in order to build the
pg RubyGem to provide Ruby bindings in the ruby recipe.

Opscode's build-essential cookbook provides this functionality on
Debian, Ubuntu, and EL6-family.

While not required, Opscode's database cookbook contains resources
and providers that can interact with a PostgreSQL database. This
cookbook is a dependency of database.


The following attributes are set based on the platform, see the
attributes/default.rb file for default values.

  • node['postgresql']['version'] - version of postgresql to manage
  • node['postgresql']['dir'] - home directory of where postgresql
    data and configuration lives.

  • node['postgresql']['client']['packages'] - An array of package names
    that should be installed on "client" systems.

  • node['postgresql']['server']['packages'] - An array of package names
    that should be installed on "server" systems.

  • node['postgresql']['server']['config_change_notify'] - Type of
    notification triggered when a config file changes.

  • node['postgresql']['contrib']['packages'] - An array of package names
    that could be installed on "server" systems for useful sysadmin tools.

  • node['postgresql']['enable_pgdg_apt'] - Whether to enable the apt repo
    by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group, which contains newer versions
    of PostgreSQL.

  • node['postgresql']['enable_pgdg_yum'] - Whether to enable the yum repo
    by the PostgreSQL Global Development Group, which contains newer versions
    of PostgreSQL.

  • node['postgresql']['initdb_locale'] - Sets the default locale for the
    database cluster. If this attribute is not specified, the locale is
    inherited from the environment that initdb runs in. Sometimes you must
    have a system locale that is not what you want for your database cluster,
    and this attribute addresses that scenario. Valid only for EL-family
    distros (RedHat/Centos/etc.).

The following attributes are generated in

  • node['postgresql']['password']['postgres'] - randomly generated password by the openssl cookbook's library. (TODO: This is broken, as it disables the password.)


The postgresql.conf and pg_hba.conf files are dynamically
generated from attributes. Each key in node['postgresql']['config']
is a postgresql configuration directive, and will be rendered in the
config file. For example, the attribute:

node['postgresql']['config']['listen_addresses'] = 'localhost'

Will result in the following line in the postgresql.conf file:

listen_addresses = 'localhost'

The attributes file contains default values for Debian and RHEL
platform families (per the node['platform_family']). These defaults
have disparity between the platforms because they were originally
extracted from the postgresql.conf files in the previous version of
this cookbook, which differed in their default config. The resulting
configuration files will be the same as before, but the content will
be dynamically rendered from the attributes. The helpful commentary
will no longer be present. You should consult the PostgreSQL
documentation for specific configuration details.

See Recipes config_initdb and config_pgtune below to
auto-generate many postgresql.conf settings.

For values that are "on" or "off", they should be specified as literal
true or false. String values will be used with single quotes. Any
configuration option set to the literal nil will be skipped
entirely. All other values (e.g., numeric literals) will be used as
is. So for example:

node.default['postgresql']['config']['logging_collector'] = true
node.default['postgresql']['config']['datestyle'] = 'iso, mdy'
node.default['postgresql']['config']['ident_file'] = nil
node.default['postgresql']['config']['port] = 5432

Will result in the following config lines:

logging_collector = 'on'
datestyle = 'iso,mdy'
port = 5432

(no line printed for ident_file as it is nil)

Note that the unix_socket_directory configuration was renamed to
unix_socket_directories in Postgres 9.3 so make sure to use the
node['postgresql']['unix_socket_directories'] attribute instead of

The pg_hba.conf file is dynamically generated from the
node['postgresql']['pg_hba'] attribute. This attribute must be an
array of hashes, each hash containing the authorization data. As it is
an array, you can append to it in your own recipes. The hash keys in
the array must be symbols. Each hash will be written as a line in
pg_hba.conf. For example, this entry from

{:comment => '# Optional comment',
:type => 'local', :db => 'all', :user => 'postgres', :addr => nil, :method => 'md5'}

Will result in the following line in pg_hba.conf:

# Optional comment
local   all             postgres                                md5

Use nil if the CIDR-ADDRESS should be empty (as above).
Don't provide a comment if none is desired in the pg_hba.conf file.

Note that the following authorization rule is supplied automatically by
the cookbook template. The cookbook needs this to execute SQL in the
PostgreSQL server without supplying the clear-text password (which isn't
known by the cookbook). Therefore, your node['postgresql']['pg_hba']
attributes don't need to specify this authorization rule:

# "local" is for Unix domain socket connections only
local   all             all                                     ident

(By the way, the template uses peer instead of ident for PostgreSQL-9.1
and above, which has the same effect.)



Includes the client recipe.


Installs the packages defined in the
node['postgresql']['client']['packages'] attribute.


NOTE This recipe may not currently work when installing Chef with
"Omnibus" full stack installer on
some platforms due to an incompatibility with OpenSSL. See
COOK-1406. You can
build from source into the Chef omnibus installation to work around
this issue.

Install the pg gem under Chef's Ruby environment so it can be used
in other recipes. The build-essential packages and postgresql client
packages will be installed during the compile phase, so that the
native extensions of pg can be compiled.


Includes the server_debian or server_redhat recipe to get the
appropriate server packages installed and service managed. Also
manages the configuration for the server:

  • generates a strong default password (via openssl) for postgres (TODO: This is broken, as it disables the password.)
  • sets the password for postgres
  • manages the postgresql.conf file.
  • manages the pg_hba.conf file.


Installs the postgresql server packages and sets up the service. You
should include the postgresql::server recipe, which will include
this on Debian platforms.


Manages the postgres user and group (with UID/GID 26, per RHEL package
conventions), installs the postgresql server packages, initializes the
database, and manages the postgresql service. You should include the
postgresql::server recipe, which will include this on RHEL/Fedora


Takes locale and timezone settings from the system configuration.
This recipe creates node.default['postgresql']['config'] attributes
that conform to the system's locale and timezone. In addition, this
recipe creates the same error reporting and logging settings that
initdb provided: a rotation of 7 days of log files named
postgresql-Mon.log, etc.

The default attributes created by this recipe are easy to override with
normal attributes because of Chef attribute precedence. For example,
suppose a DBA wanted to keep log files indefinitely, rolling over daily
or when growing to 10MB. The Chef installation could include the
postgresql::config_initdb recipe for the locale and timezone settings,
but customize the logging settings with these node JSON attributes:

"postgresql": {
  "config": {
    "log_rotation_age": "1d",
    "log_rotation_size": "10MB",
    "log_filename": "postgresql-%Y-%m-%d_%H%M%S.log"

Credits: This postgresql::config_initdb recipe is based on algorithms
in the source code
for the PostgreSQL initdb utility.


Performance tuning.
Takes the wimpy default postgresql.conf and expands the database server
to be as powerful as the hardware it's being deployed on. This recipe
creates a baseline configuration of node.default['postgresql']['config']
attributes in the right general range for a dedicated Postgresql system.
Most installations won't need additional performance tuning.

The only decision you need to make is to choose a db_type from the
following database workloads. (See the recipe code comments for more
detailed descriptions.)

  • "dw" -- Data Warehouse
  • "oltp" -- Online Transaction Processing
  • "web" -- Web Application
  • "mixed" -- Mixed DW and OLTP characteristics
  • "desktop" -- Not a dedicated database

This recipe uses a performance model with three input parameters.
These node attributes are completely optional, but it is obviously
important to choose the db_type correctly:

  • node['postgresql']['config_pgtune']['db_type'] --
    Specifies database type from the list of five choices above.
    If not specified, the default is "mixed".

  • node['postgresql']['config_pgtune']['max_connections'] --
    Specifies maximum number of connections expected.
    If not specified, it depends on database type:
    "web":200, "oltp":300, "dw":20, "mixed":80, "desktop":5

  • node['postgresql']['config_pgtune']['total_memory'] --
    Specifies total system memory in kB. (E.g., "49416564kB".)
    If not specified, it will be taken from Ohai automatic attributes.
    This could be used to tune a system that isn't a dedicated database.

The default attributes created by this recipe are easy to override with
normal attributes because of Chef attribute precedence. For example, if
you are running application benchmarks to try different buffer cache
sizes, you would experiment with this node JSON attribute:

"postgresql": {
  "config": {
    "shared_buffers": "3GB"

Note that the recipe uses max_connections in its computations. If
you want to override that setting, you should specify
node['postgresql']['config_pgtune']['max_connections'] instead of

Credits: This postgresql::config_pgtune recipe is based on the
pgtune python script
developed by
Greg Smith
other pgsql-hackers.


Installs the packages defined in the
node['postgresql']['contrib']['packages'] attribute. The contrib
directory of the PostgreSQL distribution includes porting tools,
analysis utilities, and plug-in features that database engineers often
require. Some (like pgbench) are executable. Others (like
pg_buffercache) would need to be installed into the database.

Also installs any contrib module extensions defined in the
node['postgresql']['contrib']['extensions'] attribute. These will be
available in any subsequently created databases in the cluster, because
they will be installed into the template1 database using the
CREATE EXTENSION command. For example, it is often necessary/helpful
for problem troubleshooting and maintenance planning to install the
views and functions in these standard instrumentation extensions:

node['postgresql']['contrib']['extensions'] = [

Note that the pg_stat_statements view only works if postgresql.conf
loads its shared library, which can be done with this node attribute:

node['postgresql']['config']['shared_preload_libraries'] = 'pg_stat_statements'


Enables the PostgreSQL Global Development Group yum repository
maintained by Devrim Gündüz for updated PostgreSQL packages.
(The PGDG is the groups that develops PostgreSQL.)
Automatically included if the node['postgresql']['enable_pgdg_apt']
attribute is true. Also set the
node['postgresql']['client']['packages'] and
node['postgresql']['server]['packages'] to the list of packages to
use from this repository, and set the node['postgresql']['version']
attribute to the version to use (e.g., "9.2").


Enables the PostgreSQL Global Development Group yum repository
maintained by Devrim Gündüz for updated PostgreSQL packages.
(The PGDG is the groups that develops PostgreSQL.)
Automatically included if the node['postgresql']['enable_pgdg_yum']
attribute is true. Also use override_attributes to set a number of
values that will need to have embedded version numbers. For example:

node['postgresql']['enable_pgdg_yum'] = true
node['postgresql']['version'] = "9.2"
node['postgresql']['dir'] = "/var/lib/pgsql/9.2/data"
node['postgresql']['client']['packages'] = ["postgresql92", "postgresql92-devel"]
node['postgresql']['server']['packages'] = ["postgresql92-server"]
node['postgresql']['server']['service_name'] = "postgresql-9.2"
node['postgresql']['contrib']['packages'] = ["postgresql92-contrib"]

You may set node['postgresql']['pgdg']['repo_rpm_url'] attributes
to pick up recent PGDG repo packages.


See the database
for resources and providers that can be used for managing PostgreSQL
users and databases.


On systems that need to connect to a PostgreSQL database, add to a run
list recipe[postgresql] or recipe[postgresql::client].

On systems that should be PostgreSQL servers, use
recipe[postgresql::server] on a run list. This recipe does set a
password for the postgres user.
If you're using chef server, if the attribute
node['postgresql']['password']['postgres'] is not found,
the recipe generates a random password and performs a
(TODO: This is broken, as it disables the password.)
If you're using chef-solo, you'll need
to set the attribute node['postgresql']['password']['postgres'] in
your node's json_attribs file or in a role.

On Debian family systems, SSL will be enabled, as the packages on
Debian/Ubuntu also generate the SSL certificates. If you use another
platform and wish to use SSL in postgresql, then generate your SSL
certificates and distribute them in your own cookbook, and set the
node['postgresql']['config']['ssl'] attribute to true in your

On server systems, the postgres server is restarted when a configuration
file changes. This can be changed to reload only by setting the
following attribute:

node['postgresql']['server']['config_change_notify'] = :reload

Chef Solo Note

The following node attribute is stored on the Chef Server when using
chef-client. Because chef-solo does not connect to a server or
save the node object at all, to have the password persist across
chef-solo runs, you must specify them in the json_attribs file
used. For Example:

  "postgresql": {
    "password": {
      "postgres": "iloverandompasswordsbutthiswilldo"
  "run_list": ["recipe[postgresql::server]"]

That should actually be the "encrypted password" instead of cleartext,
so you should generate it as an md5 hash using the PostgreSQL algorithm.

  • You could copy the md5-hashed password from an existing postgres database if you have postgres access and want to use the same password:<br> select * from pg_shadow where usename='postgres';
  • You can run this from any postgres database session to use a new password:<br> select 'md5'||md5('iloverandompasswordsbutthiswilldo'||'postgres');
  • You can run this from a linux commandline:<br> echo -n 'iloverandompasswordsbutthiswilldo''postgres' | openssl md5 | sed -e 's/.* /md5/'

License and Author

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Dependent cookbooks

apt >= 0.0.0
build-essential >= 0.0.0
openssl >= 0.0.0

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