Question: How do you configure PostgreSQL using postgresql.conf on CentOS?


PostgreSQL configuration can be managed through various settings in the postgresql.conf file. This file controls fundamental operational characteristics of the database server, affecting everything from performance tuning, logging, to connection settings. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to locate and edit this file on a CentOS system.

Locating postgresql.conf

The location of postgresql.conf depends on how PostgreSQL was installed on your CentOS system. Typically, it's found in the data directory of the PostgreSQL installation. You can find the exact path by connecting to PostgreSQL and querying the current setting:

sudo -u postgres psql -c 'SHOW config_file;'

This command will return the path to the currently active postgresql.conf.

Editing the Configuration File

Once you have located the postgresql.conf file, you can edit it using a text editor of your choice. For instance, using nano:

sudo nano /path/to/your/postgresql.conf

Replace /path/to/your/postgresql.conf with the actual path.

Common Configurations

Here are a few common settings that might be adjusted in postgresql.conf:

  • listen_addresses: Controls which IP address(es) PostgreSQL listens on; '*' means listen on all IPs.

    listen_addresses = '*'
  • max_connections: Determines the maximum number of concurrent connections to the database server.

    max_connections = 100
  • shared_buffers: Sets the amount of memory the database server uses for shared memory buffers.

    shared_buffers = 256MB
  • log_destination: Dictates where logs are sent. Can be set to 'stderr', 'csvlog', or others.

    log_destination = 'stderr'

Restarting PostgreSQL

After making changes to postgresql.conf, you'll need to restart the PostgreSQL service for the changes to take effect:

sudo systemctl restart postgresql


Configuring PostgreSQL properly is crucial for the performance and security of your database. Always ensure you understand the implications of each setting before changing it.

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