PostgreSQL - CREATE Database


This chapter discusses about how to create a new database in your PostgreSQL. PostgreSQL provides two ways of creating a new database:

  • Using CREATE DATABASE, an SQL command.

  • Using createdb a command-line executable.


This command will create a database from PostgreSQL shell prompt, but you should have appropriate privilege to create database. By default, the new database will be created by cloning the standard system database template1.


The basic syntax of CREATE DATABASE statement is as follows:


where dbname is the name of a database to create.


Following is a simple example, which will create testdb in your PostgreSQL schema:

postgres=# CREATE DATABASE testdb;

Using createdb Command

PostgreSQL command line executable createdb is a wrapper around the SQL command CREATE DATABASE. The only difference between this command and SQL command CREATE DATABASE is that the former can be directly run from the command line and it allows a comment to be added into the database, all in one command.


The syntax for createdb is as shown below:

createdb [option...] [dbname [description]]


Table below lists the parameters with their descriptions.

dbnameThe name of a database to create.
descriptionSpecifies a comment to be associated with the newly created database.
options command-line arguments, which createdb accepts.


The following table lists the command line arguments createdb accepts:
-D tablespaceSpecifies the default tablespace for the database.
-eEcho the commands that createdb generates and sends to the server.
-E encodingSpecifies the character encoding scheme to be used in this database.
-l localeSpecifies the locale to be used in this database.
-T templateSpecifies the template database from which to build this database.
--helpShow help about createdb command line arguments, and exit.
-h hostSpecifies the host name of the machine on which the server is running.
-p portSpecifies the TCP port or the local Unix domain socket file extension on which the server is listening for connections.
-U usernameUser name to connect as.
-wNever issue a password prompt.
-WForce createdb to prompt for a password before connecting to a database.

Open the command prompt and go to the directory where PostgreSQL is installed. Go to the bin directory and execute the following command to create a database.

createdb -h localhost -p 5432 -U postgres testdb
password ******

Above command will prompt you for password of the PostgreSQL admin user which is postgres by default so provide password and proceed to create your new dataabse.

Once a database is created using either of the above-mentioned methods, you can check it in the list of databases using \l, i.e., backslash el command as follows:

postgres-# \l
                             List of databases
   Name    |  Owner   | Encoding | Collate | Ctype |   Access privileges   
 postgres  | postgres | UTF8     | C       | C     | 
 template0 | postgres | UTF8     | C       | C     | =c/postgres          +
           |          |          |         |       | postgres=CTc/postgres
 template1 | postgres | UTF8     | C       | C     | =c/postgres          +
           |          |          |         |       | postgres=CTc/postgres
 testdb    | postgres | UTF8     | C       | C     | 
(4 rows)