I'm running PostgreSQL 9.3 on Mac OS X Yosemite.

I try to create an unaccent lowercase trigram index. To achieve it I did this:

mydb=# CREATE EXTENSION pg_trgm SCHEMA public VERSION "1.1"; 
       CREATE EXTENSION unaccent SCHEMA public; 
       ALTER FUNCTION unaccent(text) IMMUTABLE;

Then I tried to create the index:

mydb=# CREATE INDEX author_label_hun_gin_trgm ON address 
       USING gin (public.unaccent(lower(label_hun)) gin_trgm_ops);
ERROR:  text search dictionary "unaccent" does not exist

... and got this error. If I try to list the available text search dictionaries the unaccent dictionary seems to be there:

mydb=# \dFd
                             List of text search dictionaries
   Schema   |      Name       |                        Description                        
 pg_catalog | danish_stem     | snowball stemmer for danish language
 pg_catalog | dutch_stem      | snowball stemmer for dutch language
 pg_catalog | english_stem    | snowball stemmer for english language
 pg_catalog | finnish_stem    | snowball stemmer for finnish language
 pg_catalog | french_stem     | snowball stemmer for french language
 pg_catalog | german_stem     | snowball stemmer for german language
 pg_catalog | hungarian_stem  | snowball stemmer for hungarian language
 pg_catalog | italian_stem    | snowball stemmer for italian language
 pg_catalog | norwegian_stem  | snowball stemmer for norwegian language
 pg_catalog | portuguese_stem | snowball stemmer for portuguese language
 pg_catalog | romanian_stem   | snowball stemmer for romanian language
 pg_catalog | russian_stem    | snowball stemmer for russian language
 pg_catalog | simple          | simple dictionary: just lower case and check for stopword
 pg_catalog | spanish_stem    | snowball stemmer for spanish language
 pg_catalog | swedish_stem    | snowball stemmer for swedish language
 pg_catalog | turkish_stem    | snowball stemmer for turkish language
 public     | unaccent        | 

Any idea what could be wrong here?

  • I've tried to replicate your issue but the index creation worked. – dezso Apr 8 '15 at 15:17
  • Is the "public" schema mapped in your search_path? Besides of that, I highly recommend you not executing that ALTER FUNCTION, create your own SQL IMMUTABLE function and wrap the unaccent call on it, this will help on upgrades. – MatheusOl Apr 8 '15 at 16:34

I recommend this alternative approach to get an IMMUTABLE unaccent() function:

SELECT public.unaccent('public.unaccent', $1)  -- schema-qualify function and dictionary

Use that function for the expression index and in all queries. Detailed explanation:

And do not alter the original function:


.. which also solves any possible issues with the search_path: The fact that you had to schema-qualify public.unaccent() in your index definition suggests that you might not have public in your search_path.

Then, your index:

CREATE INDEX author_label_hun_gin_trgm ON address 
USING gin (f_unaccent(label_hun) gin_trgm_ops);

I did not include lower(). You can, but trigram indexes support case insensitive patterns out of the box:


If you are running all of this in the same session with the same search_path and one call works while the next reports function ... does not exist, then something is seriously broken in your database.

First make sure you are testing with a valid search_path setting:

SHOW search_path

Details in this related answer

If you diagnose breakage, switch into alarm mode and take all the necessary steps to avoid data loss (like drawing a backup before you do anything else).

A broken index for the system table pg_proc might be the cause. To reindex all system tables from the shell:

reindexdb [connection-option...] --system mydb
  • Hi, thanks for the tip. I actually tried to use "public.unaccent" to make sure it really searches in he public shcema. But it should have worked with pure unaccent() as well. – Balázs E. Pataki Apr 9 '15 at 8:00
  • I also tried your suggestion, I could create a new f_unaccent function, use it with a simple select(), however, when I try to use it in the create index I get # CREATE INDEX author_label_hun_gin_trgm ON address USING gin (f_unaccent(label_hun) gin_trgm_ops); ERROR: function unaccent(unknown, text) does not exist LINE 2: SELECT unaccent('unaccent', $1) ^ – Balázs E. Pataki Apr 9 '15 at 8:05
  • @BalázsE.Pataki: I added a chapter for troubleshooting. – Erwin Brandstetter Apr 9 '15 at 12:14
  • Thank you, Erwin! My database was imported from an sql dump. I re-imported it in a new database and now I can create the trigram index without any problem. I couldn't figure out what went wrong with my original import, though. – Balázs E. Pataki Apr 9 '15 at 13:42

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