I installed PostgreSQL 10.1 under a CentOS 7.3 environment.

The service is started (postmaster.pid file present under /var/lib/pgsql/10/data), but I need to reload configuration or restart the server following a change in pg_hba.conf.

However, trying different commands, I get the following:

pg_ctl reload -D /var/lib/pgsql/10/data
bash: pg_ctl: command not found

service postgresql reload
Redirecting to /bin/systemctl reload postgresql.service
Failed to reload postgresql.service: Unit not found.

6 Answers 6


I found out that you need to specify the exact name for the PostgreSQL service, which you can find under the list of services, using systemctl (also see this post):

systemctl list-units|grep postgresql
postgresql-10.service                                                                     loaded active running   PostgreSQL 10 database server

Then you can use service:

service postgresql-10.service reload


service postgresql-10.service restart

Alternatively, you can use the systemctl command:

/bin/systemctl reload postgresql-10.service


/bin/systemctl restart postgresql-10.service

If you have sudogoer as a role in postgresql, you can alternatively use:

sudo systemctl restart postgresql
  • 2
    This is wrong, the unit is called postgresql-10
    – Gaius
    May 4, 2018 at 13:57
  • This is not wrong. It works for me. Also here's further proof: linode.com/docs/databases/postgresql/…
    – usr
    May 4, 2018 at 14:03
  • The .service file can be called anything you want. It's usually located at /usr/lib/systemd/system and can be renamed as you please. If you customize it though, it's recommended to move it to /etc/systemd/system
    – medley56
    Aug 14, 2018 at 16:43
$ sudo systemctl restart postgresql-10

Or better:

$ /usr/pgsql-10/bin/pg_ctl reload

Or first (one-time):

    $ sudo ln -s /usr/pgsql-10/bin/pg_ctl /usr/bin/pg_ctl

and then (every time):

    $ pg_ctl reload

Note: pg_ctl cannot be run as root.


I don't know how your service file is set up so I can't debug your systemd command. It's possible that it's named something different as Sebastien suggests.

As for pg_ctl, that is a result of the installation not adding the directory to the path. (There are reasons for this mentioned in the comments here). There are a few different ways to solve but I recommend just adding /usr/pgsql-x.x/bin to the path of the postgres user. Just add PATH=$PATH:/usr/pgsql-x.x/bin to the postgres user's .bash_profile and you should be good to go.


You may also use (PostgresSQL 11 running on MX Linux (Debian 9, Stretch))-

/etc/init.d/postgresql status

/etc/init.d/postgresql stop

/etc/init.d/postgresql restart

Make sure /sbin is part of your path if running the service and systemctl commands.

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