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Databases - Practical PostgreSQL
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Starting psql

Before starting psql , be sure that you have either copied the psql binary into a path in your system PATH variable (e.g., /usr/bin ), or that you have placed the PostgreSQL binary path (e.g., /usr/local/pgsql/bin ) within your list of paths in your PATH environment variable (as shown in Chapter 2).

How you set the appropriate PATH variable will depend on your system shell. An example in either bash or ksh might read:

$ 
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/bin

An example in either csh or tcsh might read:

$ 
set path=($path /usr/local/pgsql/bin)

Example 4-1. Setting system path for psql

[[email protected] user]$ 
psql

bash: psql: command not found
[[email protected] user]$ 
echo $PATH

/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin/X11:/usr/X11R6/bin
[[email protected] user]$ 
export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/bin

[[email protected] user]$ 
psql testdb

Welcome to psql, the PostgreSQL interactive terminal.

Type:  \copyright for distribution terms
       \h for help with SQL commands
       \? for help on internal slash commands
       \g or terminate with semicolon to execute query
       \q to quit

testdb=#

Note that Example 4-1 takes place within a bash shell.

Once you have appropriately set your PATH variable, you should be able to type psql , along with a database name, to start up the PostgreSQL interactive terminal.

Warning

Shell environment variables are erased after you have logged out. If you wish for your changes to the PATH variable to be retained upon logging in, you need to enter the appropriate PATH declaration into your shell-specific start-up scripts (e.g., ~/.bash_ profile ).

Databases - Practical PostgreSQL
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