destroydb -- Remove an existing Postgres database


destroydb [ dbname ]
destroydb [ -h host ] [ -p port ]
    [ -i ] [ dbname ]


-h host

Specifies the hostname of the machine on which the postmaster is running. Defaults to using a local Unix domain socket rather than an IP connection..

-p port

Specifies the Internet TCP/IP port or local Unix domain socket file extension on which the postmaster is listening for connections. The port number defaults to 5432, or the value of the PGPORT environment variable (if set).


Run in interactive mode. Prompts for confirmation before destroying a database.


Specifies the name of the database to be destroyed. The database must be one of the existing Postgres databases in this installation. dbname defaults to the value of the USER environment variable.


destroydb will remove files from the PGDATA/dbname/ data area for the existing database.

Connection to database 'template1' failed. connectDB() failed: Is the postmaster running and accepting connections at 'UNIX Socket' on port 'port'? destroydb: database destroy failed on dbname.

destroydb could not attach to the postmaster process on the specified host and port. If you see this message, ensure that the postmaster is running on the proper host and that you have specified the proper port. If your site uses an authentication system, ensure that you have obtained the required authentication credentials.

Connection to database 'template1' failed. FATAL 1: SetUserId: user 'username' is not in 'pg_shadow' destroydb: database destroy failed on dbname.

You do not have a valid entry in the relation pg_shadow and and will not be allowed to access Postgres. Contact your Postgres administrator.

ERROR: user 'username' is not allowed to create/destroy databases destroydb: database destroy failed on dbname.

You do not have permission to destroy (or create) databases. Contact your Postgres site administrator.

ERROR: destroydb: database 'dbname' does not exist. destroydb: database destroy failed on dbname.

The database to be removed does not have an entry in the pg_database class.

ERROR: destroydb: database 'dbname' is not owned by you. destroydb: database destroy failed on dbname.

You are not the Database Administrator (DBA) for the specified database.

destroydb: database destroy failed on dbname.

An internal error occurred in psql or in the backend server. Ensure that your site administrator has properly installed Postgresand initialized the site with initdb.

Note: destroydb internally runs DESTROY DATABASE from psql while connected to the template1 database.


destroydb destroys an existing Postgres database. The person who executes this command must be the database administrator, or DBA, or must be the Postgres super-user. The program runs silently; no confirmation message will be displayed. After the database is destroyed, a Unix shell prompt will reappear.

All references to the database are removed, including the directory containing this database and its associated files.

destroydb is a shell script that invokes psql. Hence, a postmaster process must be running on the database server host before destroydb is executed. The PGOPTION and PGREALM environment variables will be passed on to psql and processed as described in psql.


To destroy the database demo using the postmaster on the local host, port 5432:

	destroydb demo

To destroy the database demo using the postmaster on host eden, port 5000:

	destroydb -p 5000 -h eden demo