Say Goodbye to PostgreSQL on Ubuntu: Learn How to Uninstall with Step-by-Step Examples!

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Reasons to Uninstall PostgreSQL on Ubuntu
  3. Gathering Required Information
  4. Uninstalling PostgreSQL on Ubuntu
  5. Removing PostgreSQL Dependencies
  6. Checking the Status of PostgreSQL
  7. Conclusion
  8. Additional Resources


PostgreSQL is a popular open-source relational database management system that is widely used for web development, big data, and other applications. However, there may come a time when you need to uninstall PostgreSQL from your Ubuntu system. This could be because you are switching to a different database system or you no longer need PostgreSQL on your machine. Whatever the reason may be, it's essential to know how to uninstall PostgreSQL properly to avoid any issues or conflicts that could arise.

In this article, we will provide step-by-step examples of how to uninstall PostgreSQL on Ubuntu. We will cover the different methods of uninstallation, including removing PostgreSQL and all its associated files or only the basic package. Our approach is straightforward and easy to follow, even for those who have little to no experience with Ubuntu or PostgreSQL. We will provide explanations and context for technical terms and concepts to make sure that all readers can understand the process of uninstalling PostgreSQL.

Reasons to Uninstall PostgreSQL on Ubuntu


There are several reasons why someone might need to uninstall PostgreSQL on their Ubuntu machine. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Upgrading PostgreSQL: If you are upgrading PostgreSQL to a new version, you might need to uninstall the old version before installing the new one.
  • Switching to a Different Database Management System: If you are no longer using PostgreSQL and have switched to a different database management system, you might want to uninstall PostgreSQL to free up disk space and avoid any potential conflicts.
  • Fixing Unresolved Issues: If you are experiencing unresolved issues with PostgreSQL, uninstalling and reinstalling the software can sometimes help to fix these problems.
  • Uninstalling Unused Software: If you are trying to clean up your system and remove any unused software, PostgreSQL might be on that list.

Regardless of the reason for uninstalling PostgreSQL, it's important to follow a proper uninstallation process to ensure that all components of the software are removed from your system.

Gathering Required Information

Before you can start uninstalling PostgreSQL on Ubuntu, you need to gather some required information. Having this information will make the process easier and avoid any possible errors that may occur.

First, check if PostgreSQL is running on your system. To do this, open the terminal and enter the command sudo systemctl status postgresql. This command will display whether the PostgreSQL service is active or not.

Next, check for the version of PostgreSQL installed on your system. This is important because the uninstallation process may differ depending on the version. You can check this by entering psql --version in the terminal.

You also need to know the name of the PostgreSQL database you want to remove. This is crucial as it is not recommended to remove the default PostgreSQL database as it is used by many system services. To check the name of the database, enter sudo -u postgres psql -c "SELECT datname FROM pg_database;".

Additionally, make sure to back up any important data before proceeding with the uninstallation process.

By gathering this required information, you can ensure a smooth and error-free uninstallation of PostgreSQL on Ubuntu.

Uninstalling PostgreSQL on Ubuntu

is a simple process that can be accomplished with just a few commands in the terminal. If you no longer need PostgreSQL or wish to switch to a different database management system, follow these step-by-step instructions to remove it from your Ubuntu machine:

  1. Open the terminal on your Ubuntu system by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T.
  2. Enter the following command to check if PostgreSQL is already installed on your system: dpkg -l postgresql*
  3. If PostgreSQL is installed, you should see a list of packages with names starting with "postgresql". To remove all of them, enter the following command: sudo apt-get --purge remove postgresql*
  4. This command will remove all PostgreSQL packages and their configuration files from your system.
  5. Finally, to remove any remaining files and folders related to PostgreSQL, enter the following command: sudo rm -rf /etc/postgresql/ /var/lib/postgresql/

After completing these steps, PostgreSQL should be completely uninstalled from your Ubuntu machine. Remember to back up any important data before uninstalling, as this process will delete all databases and data associated with PostgreSQL.

Removing PostgreSQL Dependencies

When uninstalling PostgreSQL on Ubuntu, it's important to also remove any dependencies to ensure a clean removal of the software. Some common dependencies to remove include:

  • postgresql-client: This package includes the client programs used to access and manage PostgreSQL databases. To remove it, run the command sudo apt-get remove postgresql-client.

  • postgresql-contrib: This package includes additional modules and extensions for PostgreSQL, such as support for XML and fuzzy string matching. To remove it, run the command sudo apt-get remove postgresql-contrib.

  • libpq-dev: This package includes development files needed to compile and link programs that use PostgreSQL. To remove it, run the command sudo apt-get remove libpq-dev.

It's important to carefully review any dependencies that are being removed to ensure they are not needed by other software on the system. Once all dependencies have been removed, PostgreSQL can be uninstalled using the sudo apt-get remove postgresql command.

Checking the Status of PostgreSQL

Before you can begin the process of uninstalling PostgreSQL from your Ubuntu machine, you must first check the status of the software to ensure that it is not currently running. The following steps will guide you through on Ubuntu:

  1. Open the terminal on your Ubuntu machine.

  2. Type the following command to check for the status of PostgreSQL:

    sudo systemctl status postgresql
  3. The output of this command will display the current status of PostgreSQL. If the service is running, you will see a message that indicates it is active and running. If it is not running, the output will indicate that the service is not active.

    • If the service is active, you must stop it before proceeding with the uninstallation process. To stop the service, type the following command:

      sudo systemctl stop postgresql
    • If the service is not active, you can proceed with the uninstallation process without stopping it.

  4. Once you have confirmed the status of PostgreSQL, you can move on to uninstalling it from your Ubuntu machine.


In , uninstalling PostgreSQL on Ubuntu can be done in just a few simple steps. By using apt or dpkg, you can quickly remove the database management system from your system. However, it is important to note that uninstalling PostgreSQL will remove all databases, users, and data associated with the system, so be sure to back up any important information before proceeding with the uninstallation process. Additionally, keep in mind that PostgreSQL is a powerful and versatile tool, and can be useful for a wide range of applications, so consider reinstalling it if you need a reliable and efficient database system for your projects.

Additional Resources

If you are looking to learn more about PostgreSQL and its installation on Ubuntu, consider checking out these resources:

Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about databases and their management, there are numerous resources available online. Some popular options include:

By utilizing these resources, you can gain a better understanding of PostgreSQL and database management, helping you to optimize your systems and improve your overall workflow.

Throughout my career, I have held positions ranging from Associate Software Engineer to Principal Engineer and have excelled in high-pressure environments. My passion and enthusiasm for my work drive me to get things done efficiently and effectively. I have a balanced mindset towards software development and testing, with a focus on design and underlying technologies. My experience in software development spans all aspects, including requirements gathering, design, coding, testing, and infrastructure. I specialize in developing distributed systems, web services, high-volume web applications, and ensuring scalability and availability using Amazon Web Services (EC2, ELBs, autoscaling, SimpleDB, SNS, SQS). Currently, I am focused on honing my skills in algorithms, data structures, and fast prototyping to develop and implement proof of concepts. Additionally, I possess good knowledge of analytics and have experience in implementing SiteCatalyst. As an open-source contributor, I am dedicated to contributing to the community and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends.
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