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pg_ctl(1)                PostgreSQL 12.5 Documentation               pg_ctl(1)


       pg_ctl - initialize, start, stop, or control a PostgreSQL server


       pg_ctl init[db] [-D datadir] [-s] [-o initdb-options]

       pg_ctl start [-D datadir] [-l filename] [-W] [-t seconds] [-s]
              [-o options] [-p path] [-c]

       pg_ctl stop [-D datadir] [-m s[mart] | f[ast] | i[mmediate]] [-W]
              [-t seconds] [-s]

       pg_ctl restart [-D datadir] [-m s[mart] | f[ast] | i[mmediate]] [-W]
              [-t seconds] [-s] [-o options] [-c]

       pg_ctl reload [-D datadir] [-s]

       pg_ctl status [-D datadir]

       pg_ctl promote [-D datadir] [-W] [-t seconds] [-s]

       pg_ctl logrotate [-D datadir] [-s]

       pg_ctl kill signal_name process_id

       On Microsoft Windows, also:

       pg_ctl register [-D datadir] [-N servicename] [-U username]
              [-P password] [-S a[uto] | d[emand]] [-e source] [-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 database server
       (postgres(1)), 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 controlled

       The init or initdb mode creates a new PostgreSQL database cluster, that
       is, a collection of databases that will be managed by a single server
       instance. This mode invokes the initdb command. See initdb(1) for

       start mode launches a new server. The server is started in the
       background, and its 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 sent 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 the server's output to a
       log file. Use of either -l or output redirection is recommended.

       stop mode shuts down the server that is running in the specified data
       directory. Three different shutdown methods can be selected with the -m
       option.  "Smart" mode disallows new connections, then waits for all
       existing clients to disconnect and any online backup to finish. If the
       server is in hot standby, recovery and streaming replication will be
       terminated once all clients have disconnected.  "Fast" mode (the
       default) 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 immediately, without a
       clean shutdown. This choice will lead to a crash-recovery cycle during
       the next server start.

       restart mode effectively executes a stop followed by a start. This
       allows changing the postgres command-line options, or changing
       configuration-file options that cannot be changed without restarting
       the server. If relative paths were used on the command line during
       server start, restart might fail unless pg_ctl is executed in the same
       current directory as it was during server start.

       reload mode simply sends the postgres server process a SIGHUP signal,
       causing it to reread its configuration files (postgresql.conf,
       pg_hba.conf, etc.). This allows changing configuration-file options
       that do not require a full server restart to take effect.

       status mode checks whether a server is running in the specified data
       directory. If it is, the server's PID and the command line options that
       were used to invoke it are displayed. If the server is not running,
       pg_ctl returns an exit status of 3. If an accessible data directory is
       not specified, pg_ctl returns an exit status of 4.

       promote mode commands the standby server that is running in the
       specified data directory to end standby mode and begin read-write

       logrotate mode rotates the server log file. For details on how to use
       this mode with external log rotation tools, see Section 24.3.

       kill mode sends a signal to a specified process. This is primarily
       valuable on Microsoft Windows which does not have a built-in kill
       command. Use --help to see a list of supported signal names.

       register mode registers the PostgreSQL server as a system service on
       Microsoft Windows. The -S option allows selection of service start
       type, either "auto" (start service automatically on system startup) or
       "demand" (start service on demand).

       unregister mode unregisters a system service on Microsoft Windows. This
       undoes the effects of the register command.


           Attempt to allow server crashes to produce core files, on platforms
           where this is possible, by lifting any soft resource limit placed
           on core files. This is useful in debugging or diagnosing problems
           by allowing a stack trace to be obtained from a failed server

       -D datadir
           Specifies the file system location of the database configuration
           files. If this option is omitted, the environment variable PGDATA
           is used.

       -l filename
           Append the server log output to filename. If the file does not
           exist, it is created. The umask is set to 077, so access to the log
           file is disallowed to other users by default.

       -m mode
           Specifies the shutdown mode.  mode can be smart, fast, or
           immediate, or the first letter of one of these three. If this
           option is omitted, fast is the default.

       -o options
           Specifies options to be passed directly to the postgres command.
           -o can be specified multiple times, with all the given options
           being passed through.

           The options should usually be surrounded by single or double quotes
           to ensure that they are passed through as a group.

       -o initdb-options
           Specifies options to be passed directly to the initdb command.  -o
           can be specified multiple times, with all the given options being
           passed through.

           The initdb-options should usually be surrounded by single or double
           quotes to ensure that they are passed through as a group.

       -p path
           Specifies the location of the postgres executable. By default the
           postgres executable is taken from the same directory as pg_ctl, or
           failing that, the hard-wired installation directory. It is not
           necessary to use this option unless you are doing something unusual
           and get errors that the postgres executable was not found.

           In init mode, this option analogously specifies the location of the
           initdb executable.

           Print only errors, no informational messages.

       -t seconds
           Specifies the maximum number of seconds to wait when waiting for an
           operation to complete (see option -w). Defaults to the value of the
           PGCTLTIMEOUT environment variable or, if not set, to 60 seconds.

           Print the pg_ctl version and exit.

           Wait for the operation to complete. This is supported for the modes
           start, stop, restart, promote, and register, and is the default for
           those modes.

           When waiting, pg_ctl repeatedly checks the server's PID file,
           sleeping for a short amount of time between checks. Startup is
           considered complete when the PID file indicates that the server is
           ready to accept connections. Shutdown is considered complete when
           the server removes the PID file.  pg_ctl returns an exit code based
           on the success of the startup or shutdown.

           If the operation does not complete within the timeout (see option
           -t), then pg_ctl exits with a nonzero exit status. But note that
           the operation might continue in the background and eventually

           Do not wait for the operation to complete. This is the opposite of
           the option -w.

           If waiting is disabled, the requested action is triggered, but
           there is no feedback about its success. In that case, the server
           log file or an external monitoring system would have to be used to
           check the progress and success of the operation.

           In prior releases of PostgreSQL, this was the default except for
           the stop mode.

           Show help about pg_ctl command line arguments, and exit.

       If an option is specified that is valid, but not relevant to the
       selected operating mode, pg_ctl ignores it.

   Options for Windows
       -e source
           Name of the event source for pg_ctl to use for logging to the event
           log when running as a Windows service. The default is PostgreSQL.
           Note that this only controls messages sent from pg_ctl itself; once
           started, the server will use the event source specified by its
           event_source parameter. Should the server fail very early in
           startup, before that parameter has been set, it might also log
           using the default event source name PostgreSQL.

       -N servicename
           Name of the system service to register. This name will be used as
           both the service name and the display name. The default is

       -P password
           Password for the user to run the service as.

       -S start-type
           Start type of the system service.  start-type can be auto, or
           demand, or the first letter of one of these two. If this option is
           omitted, auto is the default.

       -U username
           User name for the user to run the service as. For domain users, use
           the format DOMAIN\username.


           Default limit on the number of seconds to wait when waiting for
           startup or shutdown to complete. If not set, the default is 60

           Default data directory location.

       Most pg_ctl modes require knowing the data directory location;
       therefore, the -D option is required unless PGDATA is set.

       pg_ctl, like most other PostgreSQL utilities, also uses the environment
       variables supported by libpq (see Section 33.14).

       For additional variables that affect the server, see postgres(1).

           pg_ctl examines this file in the data directory to determine
           whether the server is currently running.

           If this file exists in the data directory, pg_ctl (in restart mode)
           will pass the contents of the file as options to postgres, unless
           overridden by the -o option. The contents of this file are also
           displayed in status mode.


   Starting the Server
       To start the server, waiting until the server is accepting connections:

           $ pg_ctl start

       To start the server using port 5433, and running without fsync, use:

           $ pg_ctl -o "-F -p 5433" start

   Stopping the Server
       To stop the server, use:

           $ pg_ctl stop

       The -m option allows control over how the server shuts down:

           $ pg_ctl stop -m smart

   Restarting the Server
       Restarting the server is almost equivalent to stopping the server and
       starting it again, except that by default, pg_ctl saves and reuses the
       command line options that were passed to the previously-running
       instance. To restart the server using the same options as before, use:

           $ pg_ctl restart

       But if -o is specified, that replaces any previous options. To restart
       using port 5433, disabling fsync upon restart:

           $ pg_ctl -o "-F -p 5433" restart

   Showing the Server Status
       Here is sample status output from pg_ctl:

           $ pg_ctl status

           pg_ctl: server is running (PID: 13718)
           /usr/local/pgsql/bin/postgres "-D" "/usr/local/pgsql/data" "-p" "5433" "-B" "128"

       The second line is the command that would be invoked in restart mode.


       initdb(1), postgres(1)

PostgreSQL 12.5                      2020                            pg_ctl(1)

postgresql 12.5 - Generated Sun Nov 22 13:26:44 CST 2020
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