Server issues with Postgres

Sometimes switching it off and on again actually causes the problem

I wish pointing at the problem made it go away…

I feel like I’ve wasted the morning. In an attempt to get the sound buttons on my mac working again (I have no idea why they stopped), I restarted my computer. Classic solution. However, upon booting puma to work on a project I was faced with a PG connection error:

Is the server running locally and accepting
connections on Unix domain socket "/var/run/postgresql/.s.PGSQL.5432"?

Eurgh. Fine. To Google. Turns out postgres didn’t shut down properly. This meant that when I tried to restart my server, postgres thought one was already running and threw an error. My first inclination was to have a look at what systems were currently running on my computer by typing `ps` into the terminal.

Nothing there

The internet laid out a number of possible solutions, the main one being to make sure that I didn’t have any postgres systems running (I didn’t) and then to delete the file. I tried a number of different commands in an attempt to find the file but to no avail. I did find a postgres folder here:


But that didn’t contain any

Eventually I resorted to searching via Finder and including system files (here is a helpful walkthrough):

I see you, postmaster

Which then led me here:

There you are…

How many postgres folders are there?! And also again, no .pid. I also had a look at this post ‘PostgreSQL stale ‘’ error’ but there was no Postgres folder in that particular location. For reference, a quicker way to find a folder is using the following command:

mdfind kind:folder "postgres"

No .pid in sight, so scrap that for a second then, let’s have a look at the logs.

No wonder my computer was slow

Now this, upon some Googling, is an issue with node and homebrew. Maybe homebrew needs updating? Nope. Do I completely scrap it and start again? Don’t really want to do that.

I attempted the following command to try and reset the contents of that particular folder:

brew uninstall --ignore-dependencies node icu4c
brew install node

Again, nothing. I had attempted the suggested ‘brew reinstall postgresql’ but that hadn’t proved fruitful either.

Eventually after various attempts to update and install node, I found the solution to be the following:

brew upgrade postgresql
brew services restart postgresql

Oh my beautiful log.

Up goes my server, away goes my lag, and apparently it’s now the afternoon. Great.

There are a few helpful Stackoverflow posts on this particular matter which I link to below. Hopefully if this happens to you then I’ve helped you find a quick remedy.


PG::ConnectionBad — could not connect to server: Connection refused

Troubleshooting & support —

Postgres DB not starting on Mac OSX: Error says: connections on Unix domain socket

psql: could not connect to server: No such file or directory (Mac OS X)

Junior software engineer at Credera UK and graduate of Makers Academy