++ed by:
Author image Toby Corkindale
and 17 contributors


Test::PostgreSQL - PostgreSQL runner for tests


  use DBI;
  use Test::PostgreSQL;
  use Test::More;

  # optionally
  # (if not already set at shell):
  # $ENV{POSTGRES_HOME} = '/path/to/my/pgsql/installation';

  my $pgsql = eval { Test::PostgreSQL->new() }
      or plan skip_all => $@;

  plan tests => XXX;

  my $dbh = DBI->connect($pgsql->dsn);


Test::PostgreSQL automatically setups a PostgreSQL instance in a temporary directory, and destroys it when the perl script exits.

This module is a fork of Test::postgresql, which was abandoned by its author several years ago.


Test::PostgreSQL object has the following attributes, overridable by passing corresponding argument to constructor:


Database name to use in this Test::PostgreSQL instance. Default is test.


Database owner user name. Default is postgres.


Host name or IP address to use for PostgreSQL instance connections. Default is


Base directory under which the PostgreSQL instance is being created. The property can be passed as a parameter to the constructor, in which case the directory will not be removed at exit.


Connection port number to start with. If the port is already used we will increment the value and try again.

Default: 15432.


Whether to only connect via UNIX sockets; if false (the default), connections can occur via localhost. [This changes the "dsn" returned to only give the UNIX socket directory, and avoids any issues with conflicting TCP ports on localhost.]


Unix socket directory to use if "unix_socket" is true. Default is $base_dir/tmp.


Path to pg_ctl program which is part of the PostgreSQL distribution.

Starting with PostgreSQL version 9.0 pg_ctl can be used to start/stop postgres without having to use fork/pipe and will be chosen automatically if "pg_ctl" is not set but the program is found and the version is recent enough.

NOTE: do NOT use this with PostgreSQL versions prior to version 9.0.

By default we will try to find pg_ctl in PostgresSQL directory.


Path to initdb program which is part of the PostreSQL distribution. Default is to try and find it in PostgreSQL directory.


Arguments to pass to initdb program when creating a new PostgreSQL database cluster for Test::PostgreSQL session.

Defaults to -U postgres -A trust. See "dbowner".


Extra args to be appended to "initdb_args". Default is empty.


Configuration to place in $base_dir/data/postgresql.conf. Use this to override PostgreSQL configuration defaults, e.g. to speed up PostgreSQL database init and seeding one might use something like this:

    my $pgsql = Test::PostgreSQL->new(
        pg_config => q|
        # foo baroo mymse throbbozongo
        fsync = off
        synchronous_commit = off
        full_page_writes = off
        bgwriter_lru_maxpages = 0
        shared_buffers = 512MB
        effective_cache_size = 512MB
        work_mem = 100MB


Path to postmaster which is part of the PostgreSQL distribution. If not set, the programs are automatically searched by looking up $PATH and other prefixed directories. Since postmaster is deprecated in newer PostgreSQL versions postgres is used in preference to postmaster.


Defaults to -h -F.


Extra args to be appended to "postmaster_args". Default is empty.


Path to psql client which is part of the PostgreSQL distribution.

psql can be used to run SQL scripts against the temporary database created by "new":

    my $pgsql = Test::PostgreSQL->new();
    my $psql = $pgsql->psql;
    my $out = `$psql -f /path/to/script.sql 2>&1`;
    die "Error executing script.sql: $out" unless $? == 0;


Command line arguments necessary for psql to connect to the correct PostgreSQL instance.

Defaults to -U postgres -d test -h -p $self->port.

See also "dbowner", "dbname", "host", "base_port".


Extra args to be appended to "psql_args".


Arguments specific for "run_psql" invocation, used mostly to set up and seed database schema after PostgreSQL instance is launched and configured.

Default is -1Xqb -v ON_ERROR_STOP=1. This means:

  • 1: Run all SQL statements in passed scripts as single transaction

  • X: Skip .psqlrc files

  • q: Run quietly, print only notices and errors on stderr (if any)

  • b: Echo SQL statements that cause PostgreSQL exceptions (version 9.5+)

  • -v ON_ERROR_STOP=1: Stop processing SQL statements after the first error


Arrayref with the list of SQL scripts to run after the database was instanced and set up. Default is [].

NOTE that psql older than 9.6 does not support multiple -c and -f switches in arguments so seed_scripts will be executed one by one. This implies multiple transactions instead of just one; if you need all seed statements to apply within a single transaction, combine them into one seed script.


Integer value that controls whether PostgreSQL server is started and setup after creating Test::PostgreSQL instance. Possible values:


Do not start PostgreSQL.


Start PostgreSQL but do not run "setup".


Start PostgreSQL and run "setup".

Default is 2.



Create and run a PostgreSQL instance. The instance is terminated when the returned object is being DESTROYed. If required programs (initdb and postmaster) were not found, the function returns undef and sets appropriate message to $Test::PostgreSQL::errstr.


Builds and returns dsn by using given parameters (if any). Default username is postgres, and dbname is test (an empty database).


Builds and returns a connection URI using the given parameters (if any). See URI::db for details about the format.

Default username is postgres, and dbname is test (an empty database).


Returns process id of PostgreSQL (or undef if not running).


Returns TCP port number on which postmaster is accepting connections (or undef if not running).


Starts postmaster.


Stops postmaster.


Setups the PostgreSQL instance. Note that this method should be invoked before "start".


Execute psql program with the given list of arguments. Usually this would be something like:

    $pgsql->run_psql('-c', q|'INSERT INTO foo (bar) VALUES (42)'|);


    $pgsql->run_psql('-f', '/path/to/script.sql');

Note that when using literal SQL statements with -c parameter you will need to escape them manually like shown above. run_psql will not quote them for you.

The actual command line to execute psql will be concatenated from "psql_args", "extra_psql_args", and "run_psql_args".

NOTE that psql older than 9.6 does not support multiple -c and/or -f switches in arguments.


Given a list of script file paths, invoke "run_psql" once with -f 'script' for every path in PostgreSQL 9.6+, or once per -f 'script' for older PostgreSQL versions.



If your postgres installation is not located in a well known path, or you have many versions installed and want to run your tests against particular one, set this environment variable to the desired path. For example:

    export POSTGRES_HOME='/usr/local/pgsql94beta'

This is the same idea and variable name which is used by the installer of DBD::Pg.


Toby Corkindale, Kazuho Oku, Peter Mottram, Alex Tokarev, plus various contributors.


Current version copyright © 2012-2015 Toby Corkindale.

Previous versions copyright (C) 2009 Cybozu Labs, Inc.


This module is free software, released under the Perl Artistic License 2.0. See http://www.perlfoundation.org/artistic_license_2_0 for more information.