PostgreSQL database (Linux)

Creating the database

Install PostgreSQL and the python connector

sudo apt-get install postgresql libpq-dev

If you are using a virtualenv, make sure you are in it and it is active (source bin/activate)

pip install psycopg2

Change the security configuration

The default security settings are too restrictive to allow access to the database. Assumes version 9.4, change as appropriate.

sudo nano /etc/postgresql/9.4/main/pg_hba.conf

Scroll down to the bottom of the file and edit the following line from peer to md5:

local    all            all                         md5

Don’t worry about any lines that start with a # as they are ignored. If you can’t access the database when everything else is configured, you might need to revisit this file and see if there are other lines with a method of peer that need to be md5

Restart PostgreSQL so the new settings take effect:

sudo service postgresql restart

Optional: Specify the location for the database files

You might like to do this if you want to put the database on an encrypted location instead of /var/lib/postgresql.

For this example, I’m going to assume all the OpenREM programs and data are in the folder /var/openrem/ and PostgreSQL is at version 9.4 (change both as appropriate)

sudo service postgresql stop
mkdir /var/openrem/database
sudo cp -aRv /var/lib/postgresql/9.4/main /var/openrem/database/
sudo nano /etc/postgresql/9.4/main/postgresql.conf

Change the line

data_directory = '/var/lib/postgresql/9.4/main'


data_directory = '/var/openrem/database/main'

then restart PostgreSQL:

sudo service postgresql start

Create a user for the OpenREM database

sudo -u postgres createuser -P openremuser

Enter a new password for the openremuser, twice

Create the OpenREM database

sudo -u postgres createdb -T template1 -O openremuser -E 'UTF8' openremdb

If this is your initial install, you are now ready to install OpenREM, so go to the Installing OpenREM docs.

If you are replacing a SQLite test install with PostgreSQL, continue here.

Configure OpenREM to use the database

Move to the OpenREM install directory:

  • Ubuntu linux: /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/openrem/
  • Other linux: /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/openrem/
  • Linux virtualenv: lib/python2.7/site-packages/openrem/
  • Windows: C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\openrem\
  • Windows virtualenv: Lib\site-packages\openrem\

Edit the settings file, eg

nano openremproject/

Set the following (changing database name, user and password as appropriate)

'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql_psycopg2',
'NAME': 'openremdb',
'USER': 'openremuser',
'PASSWORD': 'openrem_pw',

Backup the database

Ad-hoc backup from the command line

sudo -u postgres pg_dump openremdb > /path/to/backup.bak

If you are moving a backup file between systems, or keeping a few backups, you may like to compress the backup; for example a 345 MB OpenREM database compresses to 40 MB:

tar -czf backup.bak.tar.gz backup.bak

Automated backup with a bash script

#! /bin/bash
rm -rf /path/to/db/backups/*
PGPASSWORD="openrem_pw" /usr/bin/pg_dump -Uopenremuser openremdb > /path/to/db/backups/openrem.bak

This script could be called by a cron task, or by a backup system such as backuppc prior to running the system backup.

Restore the database

If the restore is taking place on a different system, ensure that PostgreSQL is installed and the same user has been added as was used to create the initial database (see Creating the database)

Create a fresh database and restore from the backup

sudo -u postgres createdb -T template0 new_openremdb_name
sudo -u postgres psql new_openremdb_name < /path/to/db/backups/openrem.bak

Alternative instructions and further reference

Previous versions had instructions that used different backup options and the pg_restore command. To review these, please refer to the 0.6.2 documentation at

Further details can be found on the PostgreSQL website

Useful PostgreSQL commands

-- Start the PostgreSQL console
sudo -u postgres psql

-- List users

-- List databases

-- Exit the console