PostgreSQL database (Linux)

Creating the database

Install PostgreSQL and the python connector


OpenREM 0.10 requires PostgreSQL 13 or earlier.

sudo apt-get install postgresql

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

pip install psycopg2-binary

Change the security configuration

The default security settings are too restrictive to allow access to the database. Assumes version 10, change as appropriate.

sudo nano /etc/postgresql/10/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


If you need to have different settings for different databases on your server, you can use the database name instead of the first all, and/or the the database user name instead of the second all.

Restart PostgreSQL so the new settings take effect:

sudo service postgresql restart

Optional: Specify the location for the database files

Advanced: specify location for the database files

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: vitualenvfolder/lib/python2.7/site-packages/openrem/
  • Windows: C:\Python27\Lib\site-packages\openrem\
  • Windows virtualenv: virtualenvfolder\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) – check if you can’t remember the the user name used!
  • Ensure that the new system has the same version of OpenREM installed as the system the database was backed up from.
  • Ensure the openrem/remapp/migrations/ folder has no files in except

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

Reconfigure with the new database details and introduce OpenREM to the restored database:

python migrate --fake-initial
python makemigrations remapp
python migrate remapp --fake

If you are creating a second system in order to test upgrading, you can do this now followed by the usual python makemigrations remapp then python migrate remapp as per the upgrade instructions.

Useful PostgreSQL commands

-- Start the PostgreSQL console
sudo -u postgres psql

-- List users

-- List databases

-- Exit the console

Advanced: specify 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 10 (change both as appropriate)

sudo service postgresql stop
mkdir /var/openrem/database
sudo cp -aRv /var/lib/postgresql/10/main /var/openrem/database/
sudo nano /etc/postgresql/10/main/postgresql.conf

Change the line

data_directory = '/var/lib/postgresql/10/main'


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

then restart PostgreSQL:

sudo service postgresql start