Setup PostgreSQL with Django on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Install the PostgreSQL

The Ubuntu’s package repositories have the PostgreSQL packages, to install it:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib -y

Then you are able to check the status of the PostgreSQL service:

sudo service postgresql status

And return something like this:

● postgresql.service - PostgreSQL RDBMS
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/postgresql.service; enabled; vendor prese
   Active: active (exited) since Wed 2016-07-20 20:35:43 UTC; 1min 24s ago
 Main PID: 19535 (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
   CGroup: /system.slice/postgresql.service

July 20 20:35:43 ip-172-31-18-239 systemd[1]: Starting PostgreSQL RDBMS...
July 20 20:35:43 ip-172-31-18-239 systemd[1]: Started PostgreSQL RDBMS.
July 20 20:35:48 ip-172-31-18-239 systemd[1]: Started PostgreSQL RDBMS.

Access the database

By default, Postgres uses a concept called “roles” to handle in authentication and authorization.

Upon installation Postgres is set up to use ident authentication, which means that it associates Postgres roles with a matching Linux system account. If a role exists within Postgres, a Linux username with the same name will be able to sign in as that role.

So there are several ways to sign in:

  • Switch to the postgres account created by the Postgres installaton procedure
  • Access this postgres account with sudo
  • Create a new role

Switch to postgres account

Switch to the postgres user using:

sudo su - postgres

Or using:

sudo -i -u postgres

Then access a Postgres prompt:


Type following to exit the Postgres prompt:


And exit the account:


Access this postgres account without switch to it

You can use sudo -u UserA CommandA to execute the CommandA as UserA, for example:

sudo whoami
>"Your current user name"
sudo -u postgres whoami

So type:

sudo -u postgres psql

You will directly log into Postgres prompt.

Create a new role to manage your database

Create a new role

By default installation, we only have a postgres role to regulate the database.

We can create new roles from the command line with the createrole command. The --interactive flag will prompt you for the necessary values.

You can logged in as the postgres account, then typing:

createuser --interactive

Or you can also type sudo -u postgres without switch to postgres like we said before:

sudo -u postgres createuser --interactive

Both will show something like the following:

Enter name of role to add: rogue
Shall the new role be a superuser? (y/n) y

Create a New Database

The Postgres authentication system makes is that there will be an database with the same name as the role being used to login, which the role has access to.

So if in the last section, we created a user called rogue, that role will attempt to connect to a database which is also called rogue by default. You can create the appropriate database with the createdb command.

If you are logged in as the postgres account, you would type something like:

createdb rogue

Or use sudo from none postgres account:

sudo -u postgres createdb rogue

Enter a Postgres prompt with the New Role

If you want to enter the Postgres prompt with the new role just created and type in:

sudo -u rogue psql

You will find a error:

sudo: unknown user: rogue
sudo: unable to initialize policy plugin

That is because to log in with ident based authentication, you’ll need a Linux user with the same name as your Postgres role and database.

If you don’t have a matching Linux user available, you can create one with the adduser command. You will have to do this from an account with sudo privileges (not logged in as the postgres user):

sudo adduser rogue

Once you have the appropriate account available, you can either switch over and connect to the database by typing:

sudo -i -u rogue

Or, you can do this inline:

sudo -u rogue psql

You will be logged in automatically assuming that all of the components have been properly configured.

If you want your user to connect to a different database, you can do so by specifying the database like this:

psql -d postgres

Once logged in, you can get check your current connection information by typing:

rogue=# \conninfo


You are connected to database "rogue" as user "rogue" via socket in "/var/run/postgresql" at port "5432".

This can be useful if you are connecting to non-default databases or with non-default users.

Integreting with Django

After entering the postgres prompt, create a database for Django project:

CREATE USER myprojectuser WITH PASSWORD 'password';

Set encoding to UTF-8:

ALTER ROLE myprojectuser SET client_encoding TO 'utf8';

Give the database user access to database:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON DATABASE myproject TO myprojectuser;

Go back to Django virtual envrionment and install psycopg2

pip install django psycopg2