Upgrading PostgreSQL on macOS

- 1 min

While working on building a spatial database system I needed to update PostgreSQL from 9.5.3 to 9.6.1 in order to use the most recent version of PostGIS. I installed postgres with homebrew.

I first updated homebrew, then upgraded postgres.

$ brew update && brew upgrade postgresql

Then I turned off the old version (9.5.3) with homebrew. Without doing this you’ll be unable to update.

$ brew services stop postgresql

Next I started the new version of postgres.

$ initdb /usr/local/var/postgres9.6.1 -E utf8

Finally, I attempted to migrate the data from 9.5.3 to 9.6.1.

$ pg_upgrade \
  -d /usr/local/var/postgres \
  -D /usr/local/var/postgres9.6.1 \
  -b /usr/local/Cellar/postgresql/9.5.3/bin \
  -B /usr/local/Cellar/postgresql/9.6.1/bin \

This didn’t work. The error was due to the postmaster.pid file in /usr/local/var/postgres. If this happens rename the file and rerun the above command.

Now move the postgres files to the the original location. That way we don’t have to change where postgres looks for the data.

$ mv /usr/local/var/postgres /usr/local/var/postgres9.5.3
$ mv /usr/local/var/postgres9.6.1 /usr/local/var/postgres

PostgreSQL 9.6.1 is up and running and ready to go.


Homebrew and PostgreSQL

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