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macos – Enabling PostgreSQL support in PHP on Mac OS X

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment


I’m having a terribly difficult time getting the command “pg_connect()” to work properly on my Mac. I’m currently writing a PHP script (to be executed from console) to read a PostgreSQL database and email a report.

I’ve gone into my php.ini file and added


But, I’m met with the following error.

PHP Warning: PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library ‘/usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/php_pgsql.so’ – dlopen(/usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20090626/php_pgsql.so, 9): image not found in Unknown on line 0
PHP Fatal error: Call to undefined function pg_connect() in… (blah file here)

When running phpinfo(), I see nothing about PostgreSQL, so what is my issue here?

How to&Answers:

The PHP version that comes bundled with OS X doesn’t include PostgreSQL. You’ll have to compile the extension yourself. Here are some instructions:

  1. Find your version of PHP: php -v.
  2. Download the version of PHP that matches yours: curl -O http://us.php.net/distributions/php-5.3.3.tar.gz. (This example downloads PHP 5.3.3 but this must match your version)
  3. Extract the archive you downloaded: tar -xzvf php-5.3.3.tar.gz
  4. Change to the PostgreSQL’s extension directory: cd php-5.3.3/ext/pgsql/
  5. Type phpize.
  6. Type ./configure.
  7. Type make.
  8. Type sudo make install.
  9. Add the extension to you php.ini file by adding extension=pgsql.so. (You may already have done this)
  10. Restart Apache.

Update for OS X Mountain Lion
Apple has removed autoconf from the newer versions of XCode so the procedure above will fail at #5. To solve that problem:

  1. Type /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(/usr/bin/curl -fksSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/master/Library/Contributions/install_homebrew.rb)".
  2. Type sudo chown -R $USER /usr/local/Cellar.
  3. Type brew update.
  4. Type brew install autoconf.

That should install autoconf and allow you to install the module using the instructions above.


If you use home brew, you can solve this with a command as simple as:

brew install php55-pdo-pgsql

for other php version, search with:

brew search pgsql


This worked for me with OSX 10.9.4 «Mavericks»

Install sources

Download the PHP source code. Unlike on Mountain Lion, you don’t get any headers preinstalled to link against so need to put it in /usr/include/php. Mavericks ships with PHP 5.4.17, but the latest 5.4.x source from php.net should do:

tar -jxvf php-5.4.20.tar.bz2
sudo mkdir -p /usr/include
sudo mv php-5.4.20 /usr/include/php

Configure PHP

cd /usr/include/php
./configure --without-iconv
sudo cp /etc/php.ini.default /etc/php.ini

Building a module

I needed the pdo_pgsql module – the same pattern should apply to just about any module assuming you have the necessary dependencies installed:

cd ext/pdo_pgsql

In my case I had the following error:

Cannot find autoconf. Please check your autoconf installation and the
$PHP_AUTOCONF environment variable. Then, rerun this script. ERROR:
`phpize’ failed

So I had to use this command:

brew install autoconf



After that I tried to do:

but I had the next problem:

checking for pg_config… not found configure: error: Cannot find
libpq-fe.h. Please specify correct PostgreSQL installation path

So the solution was to specify correct PostgreSQL installation path:

./configure --with-pdo-pgsql=/Library/PostgreSQL/9.3/
sudo make install

That copies pdo_pgsql.so to /usr/lib/php/extensions/no-debug-non-zts-20100525.

Then simply add

extension=pdo_pgsql.so to /etc/php.ini 

Run php -m to confirm everything went to plan.


For those who installed php7/ngix/postgres with homebrew

You can install the PostgreSQL module with:

brew install php70-pdo-pgsql

After that, you have to restart the php service:

brew services restart php70


OS X El Capitan users can simply upgrade their version of PHP 5.6. This is a one liner that will do that.

curl -s http://php-osx.liip.ch/install.sh | bash -s 5.6


For php56 via brew:

brew install php56-pdo-pgsql


PostgreSQL by default is installed in a unusual place on MAC OS X:


Given the location above you can type this:

./configure --with-pgsql=/Library/PostgreSQL/9.3


I killed the whole day trying to make it work on El Capitan after I made an upgrade yesterday and it turned out that I forgot to modify httpd.conf and change the path from the default php module (version 5.5.27) to the one I installed (version 5.6.14). This should be done in httpd.conf by modifying your default LoadModule php5_module path to LoadModule php5_module /usr/local/opt/php56/libexec/apache2/libphp5.so.
Just decided to leave it here as the potential solution for those who upgrade their OS or just the PHP version and face the same problem.


For those of you having openssl error while make here is the solution

OSX uses openssl 0.98 while installer is searching for 1.0.0

refer this link for instructions

psycopg2 installation error – Library not loaded: libssl.dylib


I downloaded PostgreSQL for Mac, and used the stack builder after installation to standup the entire EnterpriseDB Apache/PHP stack end-to-end. I mention this as a possible time saving option, probably not ideal for all situations. Should work OK if the apache and postgres shipped with Mac OS X were never started.

To keep existing apache hosted applications (i.e. pre-PostgreSQL install legacy) stable, I would just install the newer EnterpriseDB apache on port 81 (stackbuilder will prompt for new port if legacy apache instance is already running). Then, use mod_proxy in httpd.conf for the apache running on port 80 to provide seamless user experience to applications hosted on PostgreSQL.