Using psql

Let us understand how to use psql utility to perform database operations.

  • psql is command line utility to connect to the Postgres database server. It is typically used for the following by advanced Database users:

    • Manage Databases

    • Manage Tables

    • Load data into tables for testing purposes

  • We need to have at least Postgres Client installed on the server from which you want to use psql to connect to Postgres Server.

  • If you are on the server where Postgres Database Server is installed, psql will be automatically available.

  • We can run sudo -u postgres psql -U postgres from the server provided you have sudo permissions on the server. Otherwise we need to go with psql -U postgres -W which will prompt for the password.

  • postgres is the super user for the postgres server and hence typically developers will not have access to it in non development environments.

  • As a developer, we can use following command to connect to a database setup on postgres server using user credentials.

psql  -h  -d  -U  -W

# Here is the example to connect to itversity_sms_db using itversity_sms_user
psql -h localhost -p 5432 -d itversity_sms_db -U itversity_sms_user -W

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  • We typically use psql to troubleshoot the issues in non development servers. IDEs such as SQL Alchemy might be better for regular usage as part of development and unit testing process.

  • For this course, we will be primarily using Jupyter based environment for practice.

  • However, we will go through some of the important commands to get comfortable with psql.

    • Listing Databases - l

    • Switching to a Database - c 

    • Get help for psql - ?

    • Listing tables - d

    • Create table - CREATE TABLE t (i SERIAL PRIMARY KEY)

    • Get details related to a table - d 

    • Running Scripts - i 

    • You will go through some of the commands over a period of time.