Installing postgresql on FreeNas 9.1

I’ve been using FreeNas for a couple of years now and each version up to now, I have jumped through a few hoops to get PostgreSQL working on it.

This week I saw that FreeNas 9.1 has moved from the -rc category to a distribution download.  This version has a new jail/plugin architecture which looks very good and very flexible.  The ability to have multiple jails makes a nice way to partition the processes and keep things from stomping on each other.

My system is set up with the main data storage  set up as a ZFS RAID array. For the plugin/jail storage, i added a couple of disks in a mirror configuration. All user-data sits on the main data storage and is  mounted in the appropriate directories in the jail(s).

I had placed the ~/data directory on the main data partition, so it was safe whilst the installation took place.

Installing PostgreSQL on FreeNas

Jail Creation

Create a new jail.  Call it database (or pgsql etc). I created a portjail jail.  I assigned an IP and unticked the vanila setting.  Referring to the FreeNas documentation this meant that I can install both PC-BSD PBI files and FreeBSD packages, but not the FreeNas PBI pacakges.

Configuring the Jail

The next step needs to be done from the command line.  Open a shell (I just connect via ssh) to the FreeNas server and navigate to the jails directory. (If you don’t know where this is, go to the GUI and open the Jails settings. In the Configuration tab, the first setting Jail Root will give you the location of the jail)

[root@freenas /mnt/volume1/jails]# ls -al
total 8
drwxr-xr-x  20 root  wheel    22 Aug 14 09:48 .
drwxr-xr-x   6 root  wheel     6 Aug 13 11:34 ..
drwxr-xr-x   2 root  wheel    16 Aug 13 13:25 .database.meta
drwxr-xr-x   4 root  wheel     4 Aug 13 11:48 .warden-files-cache
drwxr-xr-x  17 root  wheel    21 Dec  4  2012 .warden-template-9.1-RELEASE-amd64
drwxrwxr-x  17 1002  1002     22 Aug 13 11:49 .warden-template-9.1-RELEASE-amd64-pluginjail
drwxrwxr-x  18 1002  1002     24 Aug 13 13:25 database
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel  6794 Aug 14 09:48 warden.log

The directory .database.meta contains the information and settings for the jail

[root@freenas /mnt/volume1/jails]# cd .database.meta/
[root@freenas /mnt/volume1/jails/.database.meta]# l
total 16
drwxr-xr-x   2 root  wheel  16 Aug 13 13:25 .
drwxr-xr-x  20 root  wheel  22 Aug 14 09:48 ..
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel   0 Aug 13 13:25 autostart
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel  85 Aug 13 17:06 fstab
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel   9 Aug 13 13:25 host
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel   2 Aug 13 13:25 id
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel  18 Aug 13 13:45 ipv4
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel  39 Aug 13 17:06 jail-flags
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel  55 Aug 13 15:08 jail-portjail
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel  61 Aug 13 13:25 jail-post-delete
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel  60 Aug 13 13:25 jail-post-start
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel  59 Aug 13 13:25 jail-post-stop
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel  60 Aug 13 13:25 jail-pre-delete
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel  59 Aug 13 13:25 jail-pre-start
-rwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel  58 Aug 13 13:25 jail-pre-stop
-rw-r--r--   1 root  wheel   0 Aug 13 13:25 vnet
[root@freenas /mnt/volume1/jails/.database.meta]# more jail-flags 
[root@freenas /mnt/volume1/jails/.database.meta]#

When you first do this, you will see that the jail-flags file only contains allow.raw_sockets=true.  You must add the line


Without this line, PostgreSQL will not start. The error message you will see is

FATAL:  could not create shared memory segment: Function not implemented
DETAIL:  Failed system call was shmget(key=1, size=1187840, 03600)

Check the version of PostgreSQL

check the PG_VERSION file in the existing PostgresQL data directory to make sure that the correct version in installed.


 pkg search postgres

to find the correct packages.   You may want to install the -client and -contrib packages also (plus any other extensions/languages)

Install PostgreSQL

Use the pkg install to install all the required packages.

pkg install postgresql-plperl-9.0.13 postgresql-server-9.0.13 postgresql-contrib-9.0.13 postgresql-docs-9.0.13 pgtcl-postgresql90-2.0.0

Configuring the PostgreSQL settings

make sure that you add these lines to /etc/rc.conf


The second line points to the data.

You can test the install by running the init command. If this is a completely new installation, you must do this. If this is a new installation, then you can start to configure access to the database and create any databases you need.

Using an existing database

To use an existing database,  go to the FreeNas GUI and select the jail you have just created.

Stop the jail.

Click on the storage button and link your existing database into the location given by the postgresql_data setting in the rc.conf file.

Start the jail.

You will now need to perform your usual tests on the database itself to make sure that the access is working etc.  Because my addresses were all identical, my server was immediately available.



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