Learning and Using PostgreSQL

Hi all,

I’m currently using MySQL almost exclusively for my Rails projects, but keeping reading about PostgreSQL and its more powerful feature set.

However, both myself and my colleagues have always been put off by how awkward PostgreSQL is to set up and use, plus the lack of nice OSX GUI tools puts us off.

Can anyone recommend good articles or OSX tools to get me started?

  • Robert

By now, it’s somewhat dated, but the O’Reilly book “Enterprise Rails” had a good discussion of PostgreSQL which you might find useful. You should be able to get a used copy for very little.

You also might find this page helpful: http://www.postgresql.org/download/macosx/

For easing the setup of Postgres, I highly recommend http://postgresapp.com from Heroku.


Many thanks for your replies! I think I’m going to get a book and make the effort to learn it.

It’s a pity that there isn’t a tool as friendly as Sequel Pro for PostgreSQL, although it appears that PG Commander has progressed a lot since I last looked at it.

I’m using pgAdmin3 and I’m quite happy with it.

However when you’e connected to a server through ssh, you’ll have to use the psql commandline utility. Although I’m certainly not proficient in using Postgres from the command line, I found out it’s not really that hard, and knowing some commands for creating roles and permissions enable one to configure a PostreSQL database in no time.



I’ll have to have another play with pgAdmin3, thanks. By the way, it does look like there’s a SSH tunnelling option in the connection settings. I haven’t tried it out yet, it but does seem to let you connect over SSH:


Thanks - I really should just go ahead and learn how its permissions/roles work!

  • Robert

I second @cpytel’s recommendation of http://postgresqlapp.com.

The switch to Postgres for us has been really great, and features like hstore, json and arrays make it much nicer to work with.

As far as GUI tools on the Mac, PGAdmin works well and probably has the most features.

I also like Navicat which has a PG version (though not free) and I used the free Valentina for a time which seemed to work okay.

No high recommendations as far as tools go, but definitely recommend Postgres over MySQL after working with both.

There’s a new project, PSequel, that aims to provide Sequel Pro-like functionality to PostgreSQL, which looks promising:

It’s written in Swift, so is OSX Yosemite-only.