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I've been working with postgres on a linux server for the last couple of months. Last week, half of our servers crashed and my one with them. I was in the middle of uploading data to the postgres database with osm2pgsql when this happened. After we revived the server, postgres has stopped working.


service postgresql start
(Alternatively, /etc/rc.d/init.d/postgresql start, same thing happens)
Starting postgresql service:  [  OK  ]

service postgresql status

postmaster dead but pid file exists

Trying to start the postmaster using

su postgres
postmaster -D /var/lib/pgsql/data

yields nothing either.

As for the pid file, /var/run/postmaster.5432.pid exists, and when I remove it then the status changes to "postmaster is stopped", but if I try to start it again:

service postgresql start
Starting postgresql service: [FAILED]

If anyone has any idea what I could do to get it working, where the problem might be. What really gets me is that it was working until last week, I even rebooted a backup and nothing seems to have changed, I'm really at my wit's end with this problem!

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jun 2 '13 at 16:37

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Stop! step away from postmaster.pid! Don't do anything more right now. –  Craig Ringer Jun 2 '13 at 12:21
Other detail you need to provide: The file system in use; the type of disk storage on the server; details of the disk models if you're using SSDs; if you're using hardware RAID, whether write-back caching was enabled; whether you're using LVM; whether you're using software RAID; if you're using ext3/ext4, what mount options you're using; etc –  Craig Ringer Jun 2 '13 at 12:30
Finally, while it's likely nothing's wrong, depending on a lot of the details we don't have yet you should assume DB corruption until you know otherwise. Read: wiki.postgresql.org/wiki/Corruption –  Craig Ringer Jun 2 '13 at 12:33
When the server quits immediately, it normally leaves some error messages in the server log, which is syslog or a file depending on the configuration. You need to consult this log. –  Daniel Vérité Jun 2 '13 at 21:05

1 Answer 1

When I faced this message, I checked the postgresstartup.log, it showed that the data directory was having permissions as 777,After I changed to 700 , the postgresql started working

sudo su - postgres

chmod 700 -R <postgresql_Data_Directory>


/etc/init.d/postgresql start

/etc/init.d/postgresql status
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I strongly doubt this would solve the problem the asker was having. –  Colin 't Hart Dec 16 '14 at 10:55

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