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How to: Install PostGIS 2 for PostgreSQL 9.3 on Ubuntu [Guide]

Install postgis 2.1
PostGIS Logo

PostGIS is a spatial database extension for PostgreSQL RDBMS. It provides geometric data types and a number of geometric functions to query geometric data. PostGIS needs to be installed separately after installing PostgreSQL Server. In this tutorial, we are going to have a look at how to install PostGIS 2.1 for the latest PostgreSQL 9.3 in Linux/ Ubuntu. Obviously, prior to installing PostGIS we need to install PostgreSQL.

If you didn’t have PostgreSQL 9.3 installed, you may go through the following tutorial first:

 How to: Install PostgreSQL 9.3 on Ubuntu – Complete Guide

So, you have the latest PostgreSQL 9.3 on your Ubuntu, let’s install PostGIS now:

  1. Remove old PostGIS Installation
    The first step is to remove older version of PostGIS if any. For this, open a Terminal and run:

    sudo apt-get purge postgis
  2. Add and set up repository:
    wget --quiet -O - https://www.postgresql.org/media/keys/ACCC4CF8.asc | sudo apt-key add -
    sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://apt.postgresql.org/pub/repos/apt/ precise-pgdg main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/postgresql.list'
  3. Install PostGIS 2.1 using aptitude:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.3-postgis-2.1 -f

    Now, let’s see how we can create a PostGIS enabled data base. We have two ways of doing this, in which the first one is the latest and simplehttp://technobytz.com/wp-admin/profile.php one:

    1. Using the CREATE EXTENSION statement
      This is as simple as running a query in the data base where you want to enable PostGIS:

      CREATE EXTENSION postgis;


    2. Create database template for PostGIS
      This is an old method of doing the same. Creating  a template for PostGIS will make it easy to enable PostGIS for every new database you create:

      createdb -E UTF8 template_postgis2.1
      psql -d postgres -c "UPDATE pg_database SET datistemplate='true' WHERE datname='template_postgis2.1"

      Now, we have to run an SQL script comes along with PostGIS in the template:

      psql -d template_postgis2.1 -f /usr/share/postgresql/9.3/extension/postgis--2.1.1.sql
      psql -d template_postgis2.1 -c "GRANT ALL ON geometry_columns TO PUBLIC;"
      psql -d template_postgis2.1 -c "GRANT ALL ON geography_columns TO PUBLIC;"
      psql -d template_postgis2.1 -c "GRANT ALL ON spatial_ref_sys TO PUBLIC;"

      Create a test database
      Let’s test the PostGIS installation by creating a test database:

      createdb test_db -T template_postgis2.1

      In test_db you can run the following statement to make sure that you installed and configured PostGIS correctly:

      test_db=# select postgis_version();
      (1 row)
  4. Enable PostGIS for an existing Database
    If you don’t want to use the CREATE EXTENSION statement and want to enable PostGIS for an already existing database. It is simple enough, you just need to run the PostGIS 2.1 script in your database:

    psql -d your_db_name -f /usr/share/postgresql/9.3/extension/postgis--2.1.1.sql

That’s it. You have installed PostGIS 2.1. Now, you can start loading geometric data and perform various operations on it!

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Vipin Raj

Vipin Raj is a software developer specialized in PostgreSQL Database and Data Modeling, the man behind technobytz and an IoT and Security enthusiast. Having 3+ years of experience in the IT industry, he is currently pursuing his masters in computer science and information security. He spend his free time writing blog posts with the intension of sharing his knowledge to the tech community.

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