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When I connect to a Postgresql DB using psql, I often get these messages:

=> SELECT * FROM question_view ;
ERROR:  character with byte sequence 0xd7 0x9e in encoding "UTF8" has no equivalent in encoding "LATIN1"

Following this SO answer, I understand that I should change the client encoding accordingly:

SET client_encoding = 'UTF8';

Changing the client_encoding every time I connect to the DB is cumbersome. Is there a way to permanently configure this setting, either in the .pgpass file or anywhere else?

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Is there a way to permanently configure this setting, either in the .pgpass file or anywhere else

Yes there is: it's ~/.psqlrc (or %APPDATA%\postgresql\psqlrc.conf in Windows)

See the manual for details: http://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/static/app-psql.html#AEN88713

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    Adding SET client_encoding = 'UTF8'; to ~/.psqlrc did the trick. Thanks! – Adam Matan Jul 15 '14 at 21:21
  • This doesn't seem to work when (re)connecting from within a psql session, for example after restarting the server. – Adam Mackler Aug 20 '14 at 18:07
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    I had to create this file in Windows and then set a user environment var called PSQLRC pointing to that directory. No more complaints, yay – Amalgovinus Jan 6 '16 at 20:13

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