PostgreSQL Software Installation
August 21, 2003
Getting free software and installing can sometimes be a daunting task. Not so with PostgreSQL.
Get the software
The biggest choice you have when getting the software is the version you want and the machine type you need to install on. As far as machine type, you really only have a choice of a Unix or Windows platform. Depending on the platform, you will need to go to either of two places for download.
Getting the PostgreSQL software is only a few clicks away. If you are installing to a UNIX operating system, go to http://advocacy.postgresql.org/download/ and pick the form you wish. This will pull the latest and greatest version for you. If you want to get an earlier version, you should go to http://www.postgresql.org/mirrors-ftp.html, select one of the mirrors and then choose a version from the source tree. You should end up with a compressed tar-ball named something similar to postgresql-7.3.4.tar.gz.
Running PostgreSQL on a windows machine is not as difficult as some would think. All you really need to do is go to http://cygwin.com/ and get the Linux-like operating system with all the tools with which UNIX users are familiar. You must first download the setup executable http://cygwin.com/setup.exe and then run it from windows. This will prompt you for all packages available along with the PostgreSQL database system.
Install the Software
Installation of the software is quite different depending on the operating system platform.
Unix Installation Steps
Installation on a UNIX platform reminds me of the old days when I was installing Oracle. There was a tar-ball and some manual configuration that needed to be done. It is a far cry from the GUI installation but the steps involved are quite minimal and just about anyone can follow them.
Windows Installation Steps
Many people believe that the installation of PostreSQL on a windows platform is difficult because PostreSQL was written for a UNIX environment. They feel the difficulty stems from the fact that they need to first put a Unix-like clone environment on their Windows box, and then obtain all the necessary packages, and string them together somehow. While you do need to install some form of Unix-like environment on top of Windows, it really is not hard and I believe that most will enjoy the GUI like nature of this installation over the UNIX type previously presented. To begin the installation process, run the setup.exe that you downloaded from the windows section of getting the software previously in this article. The following screen shots represent a typical Cygwin setup.