How to Install PostgreSQL on Ubuntu

March 14, 2024


PostgreSQL is an open-source, object-relational database system with a strong reputation for feature robustness, extensibility, and technical standards compliance. Combined with Ubuntu, it provides a dependable and performant platform for your database needs.

This tutorial will provide two different ways of installing the latest PostgreSQL version on Ubuntu.

How to Install PostgreSQL on Ubuntu.


How to Install PostgreSQL On Ubuntu

There are two ways to install PostgreSQL on Ubuntu:

  • From the PostgreSQL repository.
  • From the default Ubuntu repository.

Installing PostgreSQL via the Ubuntu repository provides the PostgreSQL version that is officially packaged and maintained by the Ubuntu developers. On the other hand, installing from the PostgreSQL repository gives you the option to get the latest version directly from the PostgreSQL project, potentially providing newer features and bug fixes not yet available in the Ubuntu repositories.

The sections below provide the steps for each installation method.

Method 1: Install PostgreSQL from PostgreSQL Apt Repository

The PostgreSQL Apt Repository provides the latest PostgreSQL version, as well as all previous server packages, extensions, and modules. Having the latest version provides access to newer features, performance improvements, and bug fixes sooner than they are available in the Ubuntu repositories.

However, note that while installing from the PostgreSQL repository can provide access to the latest PostgreSQL releases, it may require more manual work and attention to security updates.

Follow the steps in the sections below to install PostgreSQL from the PostgreSQL repository.

Step 1: Add PostgreSQL Repository

Run the following command to add the PostgreSQL repository to your system:

sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -cs)-pgdg main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pgdg.list'

The command adds the repository to the system's apt package manager, instructing it to use the PostgreSQL repository for package management.

Step 2: Add the Repository Signing Key

The next step is to fetch the repository's GPG key and add it to APT's trusted keyring. This allows APT to verify the authenticity of packages downloaded from the PostgreSQL repository.

Run the command below:

wget --quiet -O - | sudo apt-key add -
Adding the PostgreSQL repository GPG key to apt.

Step 3: Update the Package List

After adding the official PostgreSQL repository, update the package list to ensure you install the latest PostgreSQL package.

sudo apt update

Step 4: Install PostgreSQL

To install PostgreSQL and the PostgreSQL contrib package (which provides additional features), run the following command:

sudo apt install postgresql postgresql-contrib

By default, the software creates a <strong>postgres</strong> user once you successfully install the database system. This user account has the default postgres role.

Method 2: Install PostgreSQL from Local Ubuntu Repository

The PostgreSQL packages provided by the Ubuntu repositories are maintained and supported by the Ubuntu developers. This ensures compatibility with the Ubuntu system and adherence to Ubuntu's packaging standards.

However, the PostgreSQL versions available in the Ubuntu repositories may not always be the latest releases. The reasoning is that Ubuntu prioritizes stability and long-term support over providing the newest features.

Follow the steps below to install PostgreSQL from the default Ubuntu repository.

Step 1: Check Available PostgreSQL Version

Before you decide whether you want to set up PostgreSQL from the Ubuntu repository, verify which versions are available. Update the repository and then run the command:

apt show postgresql

The output provides all the necessary information about the package, including the release number and size.

Show PostgreSQL package version information.

Step 2: Install PostgreSQL Package

To install the PostgreSQL version accessible from the local repository, use the following command:

sudo apt install postgresql postgresql-contrib

Wait for the process to finish, and you have successfully installed PostgreSQL on Ubuntu.

Verify PostgreSQL Installation

Verify that PostgreSQL has been installed by checking the PostgreSQL service status. Run the command below:

sudo systemctl status postgresql
Verify PostgreSQL installation on Ubuntu.

If everything is installed correctly, the output shows the PostgreSQL service status as active.

Connect to PostgreSQL

To establish a connection with the database, log into the postgres account with:

sudo su - postgres

Next, open a postgres prompt using the command:

Connecting to PostgreSQL in Ubuntu.

Create a New User on PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL includes the client utility, which allows you to create a new user from the terminal without connecting to the database. The syntax for creating a new user is:

sudo -u postgres createuser -e [username]

Replace [username] with the actual user name of the user you want to create. For example:

Creating a new PostgreSQL user in Ubuntu.

Note: For other ways of creating a user in PostgreSQL and securing access, refer to our in-depth tutorial for creating a PostgreSQL user.

Create a New Database on PostgreSQL

There are three ways of creating a new database in PostgreSQL:

  • Using the CREATE DATABASE SQL statement. Creates a database from the PostgreSQL shell prompt and requires appropriate privileges.
  • Via the command line. Uses the createdb command, which can be directly run from the command line.
  • Using the GUI pgadmin program.

For this tutorial, we will focus on using the CREATE DATABASE statement.

Follow the steps below:

1. Log in to the postgres prompt as a user that has the appropriate privileges for creating a database. We will log in as postgres:

sudo su - postgres

2. Use the following syntax to create a database:


Replace [dbname] with the database name. For example:

Creating a new database in PostgreSQL.

Check Connection Information

If you are connected to PostgreSQL and want to see details of the connection, use the command:


The output displays information on the database name, the account you are logged in, the socket path, and the port number.

Checking the PostgreSQL connection information in Ubuntu.


This article should help you set up PostgreSQL. Whether you decide to install from the PostgreSQL repository or the local Ubuntu repository, both installations are simple and easy to do.

Next, see how to set up and connect to PostgreSQL with SQL Workbench or how to install PostgreSQL on Windows.

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Bosko Marijan
Having worked as an educator and content writer, combined with his lifelong passion for all things high-tech, Bosko strives to simplify intricate concepts and make them user-friendly. That has led him to technical writing at PhoenixNAP, where he continues his mission of spreading knowledge.
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