I just used homebrew to install my postgres, and I am unable to start it after attempting to start it with the suggested command from postgres/brew.

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Can someone please advise?

2 Answers 2


First, I would advise running brew doctor to make sure your homebrew installation is still intact. It will instruct you on changes that need to be made after your upgrade.

If you are still having trouble and have database backups or nothing critical that you believe could get broken, I believe an easy fix would be to run something like

brew uninstall postgres && brew install postgres

By default, homebrew recognizes your OS version, and will reinstall from a "bottle" specifically-intended for El Capitan, which should fix your particular issue.

You could also try brew upgrade postgres (or whatever the equivalent command is).

  • 1
    I would also add a brew doctor - El capitan really messes up some homebrew casks.
    – bdecaf
    Oct 20, 2015 at 6:57
  • @bdecaf - How so? To the best of my knowledge, brew doctor only runs an assessment of your current homebrew installation and gives you suggestions on what to do to fix it. I have upgraded 2 separate Yosemite boxes to El Capitan and always make a point of running brew doctor to make sure everything is still intact. I probably should have even included that in my answer. Many times brew doctor can be a life saver. I saw no negative effects to my Casks after running it. Sometimes it requires sudo for Casks, which may be your problem. You may have a permissions issue. Oct 20, 2015 at 13:26
  • 1
    I can just tell from my experience that the permissions of my homebrew path were messed up and some cask files were missing after the upgrade on both my Macs. The advice from brew doctor helped me solve it.
    – bdecaf
    Oct 20, 2015 at 15:57
  • @bdecaf - I apologize; I completely misread your comment! For some reason I thought you were advising AGAINST running brew doctor. I totally understand now, and I'm about to update my answer to reflect your advice (which I would indeed absolutely advise, myself). Oct 21, 2015 at 1:15
  • no problem. We are all just trying to help.
    – bdecaf
    Oct 21, 2015 at 6:38

The answer was actually to remove the server.log file and run initdb. This resolved the issue.

Additionally, I had to run createdb 'username' to also create my starting postgres database.

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