pg_ctl init[db] [-s] [-D datadir] [-o options]
pg_ctl start [-w] [-t seconds] [-s] [-D datadir] [-l filename] [-o options] [-p path] [-c]
pg_ctl stop [-W] [-t seconds] [-s] [-D datadir] [-m
s[mart] | f[ast] | i[mmediate]
pg_ctl restart [-w] [-t seconds] [-s] [-D datadir] [-c] [-m
s[mart] | f[ast] | i[mmediate]
] [-o options]
pg_ctl reload [-s] [-D datadir]
pg_ctl status [-D datadir]
pg_ctl kill signal_name process_id
pg_ctl register [-N servicename] [-U username] [-P password] [-D datadir] [-w] [-t seconds] [-s] [-o options]
pg_ctl unregister [-N servicename]
pg_ctl is a utility for initializing a
PostgreSQL database cluster, starting,
stopping, or restarting the PostgreSQL
backend server (postgres), or displaying the
status of a running server. Although the server can be started
manually, pg_ctl encapsulates tasks such
as redirecting log output and properly detaching from the terminal
and process group. It also provides convenient options for
The init or initdb mode creates a
PostgreSQL database cluster. A database
cluster is a collection of databases that are managed by a single
server instance. This mode invokes the initdb
command. See initdb for details.
In start mode, a new server is launched. The
server is started in the background, and standard input is attached
to /dev/null (or nul on Windows).
On Unix-like systems, by default, the server's standard output and
standard error are send to pg_ctl's
standard output (not standard error). The standard output of
pg_ctl should then be redirected to a
file or piped to another process such as a log rotating program
like rotatelogs; otherwise postgres
will write its output to the controlling terminal (from the
background) and will not leave the shell's process group. On
Windows, by default the server's standard output and standard error
are sent to the terminal. These default behaviors can be changed
by using -l to append server output to a log file.
In stop mode, the server that is running in
the specified data directory is shut down. Three different
shutdown methods can be selected with the -m
option: "Smart" mode waits for online backup mode
to finish and all the clients to disconnect. This is the default.
If the server is in recovery, recovery and streaming replication
will be terminated once all clients have disconnected.
"Fast" mode does not wait for clients to disconnect and
will terminate an online backup in progress. All active transactions are
rolled back and clients are forcibly disconnected, then the
server is shut down. "Immediate" mode will abort
all server processes without a clean shutdown. This will lead to
a recovery run on restart.
restart mode effectively executes a stop followed
by a start. This allows changing the postgres
reload mode simply sends the
postgres process a SIGHUP
signal, causing it to reread its configuration files
pg_hba.conf, etc.). This allows changing of
configuration-file options that do not require a complete restart
to take effect.
status mode checks whether a server is running in
the specified data directory. If it is, the PID
and the command line options that were used to invoke it are
kill mode allows you to send a signal to a specified
process. This is particularly valuable for Microsoft Windows
which does not have a kill command. Use
--help to see a list of supported signal names.
register mode allows you to register a system service
on Microsoft Windows.
unregister mode allows you to unregister a system service
on Microsoft Windows, previously registered with the
Waiting for complete start is not a well-defined operation and might
fail if access control is set up so that a local client cannot
connect without manual interaction (e.g., password authentication). For
additional connection variables, see Section 31.13,
and for passwords, also see Section 31.14.
Starting the Server
To start up a server:
$ pg_ctl start
An example of starting the server, blocking until the server has
come up is:
$ pg_ctl -w start
For a server using port 5433, and
$ pg_ctl -o "-F -p 5433" start
Stopping the Server
$ pg_ctl stop
stops the server. Using the -m switch allows one
to control how the backend shuts down.
Restarting the Server
Restarting the server is almost equivalent to stopping the
server and starting it again
except that pg_ctl saves and reuses the command line options that
were passed to the previously running instance. To restart
the server in the simplest form, use:
$ pg_ctl restart
To restart server,
waiting for it to shut down and to come up:
$ pg_ctl -w restart
To restart using port 5433 and disabling
fsync after restarting:
$ pg_ctl -o "-F -p 5433" restart
Showing the Server Status
Here is a sample status output from
$ pg_ctl status
pg_ctl: server is running (pid: 13718)
Command line was:
/usr/local/pgsql/bin/postgres '-D' '/usr/local/pgsql/data' '-p' '5433' '-B' '128'
This is the command line that would be invoked in restart mode.