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RedHat 9 (Linux i386) - man page for initdb (redhat section 1)

INITDB(1)			  PostgreSQL Server Applications			INITDB(1)

       initdb - create a new PostgreSQL database cluster

       initdb [ options... ]  --pgdata	| -D directory

       initdb  creates a new PostgreSQL database cluster (or database system). A database cluster
       is a collection of databases that are managed by a single server instance.

       Creating a database system consists of creating the directories in which the database data
       will  live,  generating the shared catalog tables (tables that belong to the whole cluster
       rather than to any particular database), and creating the  template1  database.	When  you
       create  a new database, everything in the template1 database is copied.	It contains cata-
       log tables filled in for things like the built-in types.

       initdb initializes the database cluster's default locale and character set encoding.  Some
       locale  categories  are	fixed for the lifetime of the cluster, so it is important to make
       the right choice when running initdb.  Other locale categories can be changed  later  when
       the  server  is	started. initdb will write those locale settings into the postgresql.conf
       configuration file so they are the default, but they can be changed by editing that  file.
       To  set the locale that initdb uses, see the description of the --locale option. The char-
       acter set encoding can be set separately for each  database  as	it  is	created.   initdb
       determines  the	encoding  for the template1 database, which will serve as the default for
       all other databases. To alter the default encoding use the --encoding option.

       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 may not
       be run as root, you must not run initdb as root either. (It will in fact refuse to do so.)

       Although initdb will attempt to create the specified data directory, often it  won't  have
       permission  to do so, since the parent of the desired data directory is often a root-owned
       directory. To set up an arrangement like this, create an empty  data  directory	as  root,
       then use chown to hand over ownership of that directory to the database user account, then
       su to become the database user, and finally run initdb as the database user.

       -D directory

	      This option specifies the directory where the database  system  should  be  stored.
	      This  is	the  only information required by initdb, but you can avoid writing it by
	      setting the PGDATA environment variable, which can be convenient since the database
	      server (postmaster) 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 encod-
	      ing of any database you create later, unless you override  it  there.  To  use  the
	      encoding	feature,  you  must have enabled it at build time, at which time you also
	      select the default for this option.

	      Sets the default locale for the database cluster. If this option is not  specified,
	      the locale is inherited from the environment that initdb runs in.






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

       -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 customary 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.

       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 sys-
	      tem. 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 cre-
	      ating the database system, it removes any files it may have created before  discov-
	      ering  that  it  can't  finish the job. This option inhibits tidying-up and is thus
	      useful for debugging.

       PGDATA Specifies the directory where the database system is to be stored; may be  overrid-
	      den using the -D option.

       postgres(1), postmaster(1), PostgreSQL Administrator's Guide

Application				    2002-11-22					INITDB(1)

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