For years now, PostgreSQL has been one of the best kept secrets of enterprise software and open source alike—a powerful, robust, expertly maintained relational database. MySQL may be better known, but PostgreSQL offers many features MySQL has only started to provide.
In this article I’ll walk through the steps to set up and get running a basic PostgreSQL installation. Most of this discussion will be aimed at folks who are starting entirely anew, but I’ll cover details involving migrating data from a previous PostgreSQL installation or another database solution. Finally, this article focuses on the PostgreSQL 10 family of releases, the most recent and current revision of PostgreSQL as of this writing.
Pick your PostgreSQL platform
PostgreSQL is available in binary form for all of the major operating systems: desktop and server editions of Windows, all the popular flavors of Linux, MacOS, and a few other OSes used in enterprises such as Solaris.
By and large, PostgreSQL’s capabilities are the same across the various platforms it supports. We’ll go into some of the exceptions to that rule in detail below, so bear in mind how those might affect any deployment or application development plans.