Missing pg_tblspc After Homebrew PostgreSQL Installation: Recovery and Prevention

macos postgresql homebrew

Understanding the Problem:

  • Context: This issue affects PostgreSQL installations managed by Homebrew, a popular package manager for macOS.
  • Missing Directory: The pg_tblspc directory is crucial for storing table data (tablespaces) in PostgreSQL. Its absence prevents the database from starting or functioning properly.
  • Cause: Some macOS updates (Yosemite and El Capitan in this case) have been known to remove certain directories, including pg_tblspc, during system cleanup.

Potential Solutions:

  1. Recreating the pg_tblspc Directory:

    • Open Terminal and enter the following command (with sudo for administrator privileges):

      sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/postgres/pg_tblspc
    • This creates the missing directory in the correct location.

  2. Starting PostgreSQL:

    • Once the directory is created, try starting PostgreSQL using the standard Homebrew command:

      brew services start postgresql
    • If successful, you should be able to connect to your database and use it normally.

  3. Additional Actions (if needed):

    • Data Integrity: Verify your database's integrity after recovering access. Consider running pg_verify or other data check tools for reassurance.
    • Prevent Recurrence: You can create empty files named ".keep" inside the newly created pg_tblspc directory and other potentially affected directories like pg_twophase and pg_stat_tmp. These files act as flags for macOS not to delete them in future updates.

Related Issues and Solutions:

  • If starting PostgreSQL still fails, consult the PostgreSQL documentation or Homebrew troubleshooting resources for further assistance.
  • Be aware of potential data loss in rare cases where directory removal coincides with database writes. Regularly backing up your database is crucial to prevent data loss.

Example Code (illustrative):

# Open Terminal (required for running commands)
# Enter the first command to recreate the directory:
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/postgres/pg_tblspc
# Check if directory is created:
ls /usr/local/var/postgres/pg_tblspc
# Try starting PostgreSQL:
brew services start postgresql

In Summary:

By recreating the pg_tblspc directory and following the recommended steps, you should be able to recover from the pg_tblspc missing issue and restore your PostgreSQL functionality. Remember to take precautionary measures to prevent future occurrences and maintain regular backups for data safety.

macos postgresql homebrew

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