Can't start portgresql after F15 -> F16 upgrade

Lamar Owen lowen at
Thu Nov 17 19:12:29 UTC 2011

On Nov 17, 2011, at 1:52 PM, Digimer wrote:
> 1. This should have generated a more useful error, like "data is  
> from an
> old version and is not compatible."

> 2. Once the data directory was moved, I had to manually (re)initialize
> the database. There should be a mechanism for 'start' to realize the
> server needs to be initialized and do so.

Oh, that's too funny.

It used to, years ago.  I know; I maintained the community packages  
from 1999 to 2004.  The behavior was changed to require the separate  
initdb parameter to the SysV init file rather than automatically.  I  
don't have the BZ number handy, but you shouldn't have too much  
trouble locating it.  If nothing else, look in the changelog for the  
postgresql RPM ( use the command:
rpm -qi --changelog postgresql
)  The changelog entry listing in question, incidentally, can be found  
in the CentOS 6 RPM for postgresql, and is:
* Mon Dec 04 2006 Tom Lane <tgl at> 8.2.0-1
- Update to PostgreSQL 8.2.0
- Update to PyGreSQL 3.8.1
- Fix chcon arguments in test/regress/Makefile
Related: #201035
- Adjust init script to not fool /etc/rc.d/rc
Resolves: #161470
- Change init script to not do initdb automatically, but require
   manual "service postgresql initdb" for safety.  Per upstream  


So you'd want to look at the postgresql-hackers archive for this  
discussion thread.  (the postgresql-hackers list is available on 

The current behavior is covered in the release notes; for Fedora 16 see:

And for Fedora 15 see:

However, the release notes do not mention the version upgrade from  
PostgreSQL 9.0.3 to PostgreSQL 9.1.1; they should have.

As a general rule, special things are required to be done between  
major version releases of postgresql; a 9.1 server will not start  
against a 9.0 database.  It has been this way for a very long time.   
That's why I linked to the F15 release notes, because the way to  
migrate from 9.0 to 9.1 should be pretty similar to the way the  
upgrade from 8.4 to 9.0 was handled, and that is in the F15 release  
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