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asdf-postgres Build

Postgresql plugin for asdf version manager


  • openssl
  • libreadline
  • zlib
  • curl
  • uuid
  • icu-devtools (linux) or icu4c (MacOS)

This assumes macOS, a Debian-flavored linux, or a SUSE-flavored linux. If you need it to work on something else, you may need to modify the plugin. You'll need the dependencies referenced in the list above installed via whatever method you prefer. There are some suggestions below.


brew install gcc readline zlib curl ossp-uuid icu4c

If you are on Apple silicon, you may need to set the HOMEBREW_PREFIX environment variable to /opt/homebrew. You can do this by putting export HOMEBREW_PREFIX=/opt/homebrew in your ~/.zshrc file. It isn't always required, but I don't know why this is required for some people. The same goes for intel machines only the prefix is /usr/local, which can also be dropped into your ~/.zshrc file export HOMEBREW_PREFIX=/usr/local.

If you are using pkgconfig, you may run into issues with linking, particularly with icu4c. Often they can be resolved by setting your PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable to reference where your linked libs live. For example:

brew install gcc readline zlib curl ossp-uuid icu4c
export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/opt/homebrew/bin/pkg-config:$(brew --prefix icu4c)/lib/pkgconfig:$(brew --prefix curl)/lib/pkgconfig:$(brew --prefix zlib)/lib/pkgconfig"


sudo apt-get install linux-headers-$(uname -r) build-essential libssl-dev
libreadline-dev zlib1g-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev uuid-dev icu-devtools libicu-dev

Ubuntu (WSL)

sudo apt-get install build-essential libssl-dev libreadline-dev zlib1g-dev
libcurl4-openssl-dev uuid-dev icu-devtools libicu-dev


sudo dnf install openssl-devel readline-devel zlib-devel libcurl-devel uuid-devel libuuid-devel


sudo zypper install -t pattern devel_basis
sudo zypper in openssl-devel readline-devel zlib-devel libcurl-devel uuid-devel libuuid-devel


asdf plugin-add postgres

ASDF options

Check asdf readme for instructions on how to install & manage versions of Postgres.

When installing Postgres using asdf install, you can pass custom configure options with the following env vars:

  • POSTGRES_CONFIGURE_OPTIONS - use only your configure options
  • POSTGRES_EXTRA_CONFIGURE_OPTIONS - append these configure options along with ones that this plugin already uses (curl, openssl, readline, zlib, uuid)

These options can be passed at runtime, or set in ~/.asdf-postgres-configure-options. This file will be sourced at asdf install time if it exists.

For example, if you want to compile with a specific set of openssl libraries, you might do something like POSTGRES_EXTRA_CONFIGURE_OPTIONS="--with-uuid=e2fs --with-openssl --with-libraries=/usr/local/lib:/usr/local/opt/openssl@1.1/lib --with-includes=/usr/local/include:/usr/local/opt/openssl@1.1/include" asdf install postgres

The option POSTGRES_SKIP_INITDB can be used to skip initdb command which is not allowed to run from root account.

How to use (easier version)


  1. Create your .tool-versions file in the project that needs postgres and add postgres 9.4.7 or whatever version that you want.
  2. run asdf install


  1. Once it is done, run pg_ctl start
  2. Once that starts, run createdb default you can sub default with whatever you want your db name to be.
  3. Then log in with psql -d default if you didn't use default, make sure you use whatever you put in step 2.
  4. If you need to move your data file around, move data from your install directory, which will look something like this: ~/.asdf/installs/postgres/9.4.7/data to wherever you want it. Once it is moved, start your db with pg_ctl -D wherever/you/moved/it start. Your postgresql.conf file is in that directory if you need to change the port or anything.


  1. Just run pg_ctl stop if you moved your data directory, you have to do pg_ctl -D wherever/you/moved/it stop