How to Fix “/var/lib/pgsql/data is missing. Use “service postgresql initdb” to initialize the cluster first” Error On Linux CentOS 6.2 Server

If you encounter the error message “/var/lib/pgsql/data is missing. Use ‘service postgresql initdb’ to initialize the cluster first” when trying to start the PostgreSQL service on your Linux CentOS 6.2 server, it means that the PostgreSQL data directory is missing or not properly initialized.

[root@centos62 ~]# service postgresql start

/var/lib/pgsql/data is missing. Use "service postgresql initdb" to initialize the cluster first.

In this tutorial, we will go through the steps to fix this error and successfully start the PostgreSQL service.

Step 1: Verify PostgreSQL Installation:

First, ensure that PostgreSQL is installed on your CentOS 6.2 server. You can do this by running the following command:

rpm -qa | grep postgresql

This command will display the installed PostgreSQL packages. If no packages are listed, you need to install PostgreSQL before proceeding to the next step.

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Step 2: Initialize the PostgreSQL Data Directory:

To initialize the PostgreSQL data directory, run the following command:

sudo service postgresql initdb

This command initializes the data directory with default configurations and sets up the necessary files and directories.

[root@centos62 ~]# service postgresql initdb
Initializing database:                                     [  OK  ]

Step 3: Start the PostgreSQL Service:

After initializing the data directory, you can start the PostgreSQL service using the following command:

sudo service postgresql start

This command will start the PostgreSQL service, and you should no longer see the error message.

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Step 4: Verify PostgreSQL Service Status:

To ensure that the PostgreSQL service is running without any issues, you can check its status using the following command:

sudo service postgresql status

This command will display the current status of the PostgreSQL service, indicating whether it is running or not.


In this guide, we have resolved the error “/var/lib/pgsql/data is missing. Use ‘service postgresql initdb’ to initialize the cluster first” on a Linux CentOS 6.2 server. By following the steps outlined above, you have successfully initialized the PostgreSQL data directory and started the PostgreSQL service. Remember to verify the PostgreSQL installation, initialize the data directory, start the service, and check the service status. If you have any further questions or encounter any issues, please let us know in the comments below.



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