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I'd like to uninstall postgres on Mac OS 10.6 and start again with a completely fresh installation and empty databases.

I've killed all running postgres processes and tried to delete the postgres data directory, but no joy (see below): six databases are still there.

I've also tried to find the PGDATA variable, but it seems to be blank. Where are these databases living?

delirium:~ ap257$ kill 7495
delirium:~ ap257$ sudo su - postgres
delirium:~ postgres$ rm -rf /usr/local/pgsql/

[reinstall postgres from binaries]

delirium:~ ap257$ sudo su - postgres
delirium:~ postgres$ export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/bin/
delirium:~ postgres$ psql
psql (8.4.4)
Type "help" for help.
postgres=# \l
                                 List of databases
       Name       |  Owner   | Encoding | Collation | Ctype |   Access privileges   
 osqa             | postgres | UTF8     | C         | C     | =Tc/postgres
                                                            : postgres=CTc/postgres
                                                            : osqa=CTc/postgres
 postgres         | postgres | UTF8     | C         | C     | 
 production       | postgres | UTF8     | C         | C     | =Tc/postgres
                                                            : postgres=CTc/postgres
                                                            : anna=CTc/postgres
 template0        | postgres | UTF8     | C         | C     | =c/postgres
                                                            : postgres=CTc/postgres
 template1        | postgres | UTF8     | C         | C     | =c/postgres
                                                            : postgres=CTc/postgres
 template_postgis | postgres | UTF8     | C         | C     | 
(6 rows)
postgres=# \q
delirium:~ postgres$ echo $PGDATA

Why won't these databases die?

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

You can always do a lsof | grep pg or something like that (Postgres) to see if there's anything open by some postgresql related process. pg is rather vague but I'm sure it won't be too much to sift through.

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Hm, not much there... see update above. – AP257 Aug 2 '10 at 12:04
What I'd really like to do is log into postgres, and then ask it where it's storing the six databases that I can't delete. Is this possible? – AP257 Aug 2 '10 at 12:05
The great thing about OS X is that is has an app called Instruments. At Templates, look under the Mac OS X section on the left and select Filesystem under the Mac OS X group. Select and Choose File Activity. Set the default target to all processes, press the record button and do your thing with postgres ASAP that shows the databases (haven't figured out how to attach to a terminal process yet). Then stop the recoding. Do it quickly and you won't have much to sift through. – crazysim Aug 2 '10 at 20:51
Thanks - good suggestion. A reboot fixed the problem in the end. – AP257 Aug 4 '10 at 13:40

Your process 7495 is a python process using your postgresql database.

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Sorry, I had Pylons running somewhere else. I've done 'kill 7495' and these processes have vanished. However, as I suspected, if I log into postgres, I can still see the six databases that I want to die, even if I delete the /data directory. How can I kill them and do a completely fresh install? – AP257 Aug 2 '10 at 12:15

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