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I installed PostgreSQL on a computer with Mac OS X using the One click installer. Then I try to access PostgreSQL using the psql command, but it doesn't seem to be available.

I get this message:

-bash: psql: command not found

Do I have to install something more? Or how can I configure PostgreSQL so I can use it on my computer?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Locate the psql binary. (In a terminal, run locate psql | grep /bin, and make note of the path. (In my case, it's /opt/local/lib/postgresql90/bin/, as it was installed using MacPorts.)

Then, edit the .bash_profile file in your home folder (e.g. mate -w ~/.bash_profile assuming you've textmate), and add the needed line so it's in your path, e.g.:

export PATH=/opt/local/lib/postgresql90/bin/:$PATH

After having saved the file, read the file (. ~/.bash_profile) or open a new terminal, and type psql.

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Thanks, my path to psql was /Library/PostgreSQL/9.0/bin/psql and I created a .bash_profile file as you suggested and it works great. –  Jonas May 28 '11 at 17:18
@Jonas: +1 Your comment should really go into a separate answer and should be the accepted answer, because this is the default location when installing Postgres on a Mac! –  Stefan Haberl Nov 20 '14 at 10:01

According to the installation guide after the installation has finished there should be shortcuts for StackBuilder, pgAdmin3 and psql in the Application folder of Postgres:

You will also find additional shortcuts to run pgAdmin, the psql command line interface and to access the PostgreSQL documentation.

If there are such shortcuts check where the psql's one is pointing.

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Thanks, this aslo worked. I hadn't seen that documentation, only the documentation on postgresql.org. –  Jonas May 28 '11 at 17:19

I strongly recommend using Postgres.app from the Heroku team, which is also supported by them!

It has a menubar icon and the menu has a psql item:

Postgres.app menubar icon menu

You will also find psql included here if you want the same version of that as the server (path may vary by version):


If you want, you can add this path to your startup script to execute psql directly:


CAVEAT! AFAIK, Postgres.app doesn't support connections via Unix sockets (I am not sure what this is...), and supports only TCP/IP connections. So don't panic if you fail to connect there from some other programs.

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