I found some blog posts and tutorials on how to set up a Postgres server and initiate a database. To make it work on my Fedora 11 system, I made a mix of the various instructions found here and there. Therefore, I’m publishing the steps I had to follow to get a Postgres server running and setup an initial database on Fedora 11 (it should be similar on other Unix systems).

As root:

1- Install postgres-server, it will install the required postgres client dependency:

yum install postgresql-server

2- Initialize the cluster, then start the server

service postgresql initdb
service postgresql start

3- Edit the pg_hba configuration file to change authentication permissions. Open the file in a text editor:

vi /var/lib/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf

set authentication method to trust instead of ident sameuser for local socket, IPv4 and IPv6 connections.

# local is for Unix domain socket connections only
local   all         all                               trust
# IPv4 local connections:
host    all         all          trust
# IPv6 local connections:
host    all         all         ::1/128               trust

4- Restart Postgres server so that the changes take effect

service postgresql restart

As a regular user:

5- Connect to the database using the default account postgres. You will be prompted for a password. Account postgres has a password by default that is ‘postgres’.

su - postgres

6- Initialize a database cluster and create your database:

initdb -D database_cluster_name
createdb database_name