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postgresql-server fails to start in sle-bci container

This document (000021398) is provided subject to the disclaimer at the end of this document.


SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 Service Pack 5


The postgres server as part of a customised SUSE Linux Enterprise images based on the sle-bci image fails to start with the following error:

FATAL:  could not create lock file "/run/postgresql/.s.PGSQL.5432.lock": No such file or directory


There are three options to prevent the problem.
  1. Use the image created by SUSE. See for more information. This image was designed to ease containerised deployment of postgresql-server.
  2. Install systemd along with postgresql-server
  3. Execute the following command to create /run/postgresql with the metadata specified in /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/postgresql.conf after installing the postgresql-server package :
    install -d /run/postgresql -m 1775 -g postgres -o postgres


Up until including postgresql-server-15-150500.8.19 the RPM had a dependency on the systemd RPM and its dependency tree.
As part of a general attempt to slim down the SUSE Base Container Image (see sizes, the dependency on systemd was removed in the postgresql-server-16-150500.10.3.2 maintenance update.
This causes the /run/postgresql/ directory to not get created by systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service as part of the installation.
Based on information in /usr/lib/tmpfiles.d/postgresql.conf systemd-tmpfiles-setup.service will create /run/postgresql/ when systemd is installed in the container.

Additional Information

Example of a container creation, which installs the packages, sets up the /run/postgresql directory, initiates PostgreSQL database and starts the PostgreSQL server is shown below.
Note that this is a very simplified example just demonstrating the core basics of the concept. Normally a persistent volume would be used for the data store. Also, once the container is terminated, the volatile /run/ directory is lost. 
docker run -it /bin/bash -c \
'zypper -n in sudo postgresql-server; \
install -d /run/postgresql -m 1775 -g postgres -o postgres;\
sudo -u postgres pg_ctl init -D /var/lib/pgsql; \
sudo -u postgres pg_ctl -D /var/lib/pgsql start' 
Another simplified example is building an image with the PostgreSQL server installed and database initialised. In this case /run/postgresql is preserved for the subsequent instantiations of the image.

Content of Dockerfile :
RUN zypper -n in postgresql-server sudo
RUN install -d /run/postgresql -m 1775 -g postgres -o postgres
RUN sudo -u postgres pg_ctl init -D /var/lib/pgsql
ENTRYPOINT sudo -u postgres pg_ctl -D /var/lib/pgsql start && sleep infinity

Build a named image from the Dockerfile :
# docker build -t pg_image .
Successfully built 92c45077517a
Successfully tagged pg_image:latest
Run a container from the image :
# docker run -it pg_image
waiting for server to start....2024-03-15 11:10:31.413 UTC   [11]LOG:  redirecting log output to logging collector process
2024-03-15 11:10:31.413 UTC   [11]HINT:  Future log output will appear in directory "log".
server started


This Support Knowledgebase provides a valuable tool for SUSE customers and parties interested in our products and solutions to acquire information, ideas and learn from one another. Materials are provided for informational, personal or non-commercial use within your organization and are presented "AS IS" WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND.

  • Document ID:000021398
  • Creation Date: 15-Mar-2024
  • Modified Date:15-Mar-2024
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

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