Running PostgreSQL and PostGIS on WSL

Topics: #postgres#postgis#wsl#sql

I generally develop on my Mac. But, working for a state agency means that all our work issued computers are Dells. I find it nearly impossible to develop efficiently on a Windows machine. Sometimes I can't avoid it and I need to develop on the work computer. Or, more likely, I need to get my coworkers setup to run a process I've developed on my Mac on their Windows computers.

This post assumes you've already installed WSL, and Ubuntu. Use this documentation if you haven't.

Install Postgres

From the PostgreSQL installation instructions:

  1. Create file repository configuration.
  2. Import repository signing key.
  3. Update package list.
  4. Install latest version of postgres
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb $(lsb_release -cs)-pgdg main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pgdg.list'
wget --quiet -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install postgresql postgresql-client
  1. Create a user and password for the default postgres user: sudo passwd postgres. Try and make this memorable, or use a password manager.
  2. Close and reopen the terminal.
  3. Start postgres: sudo service postgresql start
  4. Connect to the database: sudo -u postgres psql

Install PostGIS

Are you doing spatial stuff? Then you probably want PostGIS too.

  1. Add UbuntuGIS PPA.
  2. Update apt.
  3. Install PostGIS. Probably best to look at the list of package in the PPA to get the correct versions installed.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntugis/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudoe apt-get install postgresql-14-postgis-3 postgresql-14-postgis-3-scripts
  1. Connect and check the available postgres extensions:
sudo -u postgres psql
select * from pg_available_extensions where name like 'postgis%';

Create a New Postgres User

I like to add a user to postgres that matches my Ubuntu user. I think this is what common Mac installations like homebrew or the PostgresApp do. It seems silly, but it makes connecting a few less characters!

create role username 
with login superuser createdb createrole replication bypassrls password 'password';

\q  -- quite postgres

-- login to default database, shell command
psql postgres

Now you don't need to use sudo -u postgres psql every time.