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Where does the -base come from? Why the word base, as version 8.1 is simply named postgresql.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

The package description is "PostgreSQL libraries and clients". So the idea is apparently that you use this if you don't want to install the full server, whose package name is postgresql.

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Then why the version is so different, postgresql-server and postgresql-base are 8.4, but postgresql is 8.1? – Cheng Jan 14 '10 at 4:01

The old dev-db/postgresql ebuilds are being phased out. At this point they are only updating them with critical security fixes.

For a new installation, you should install one of the split ebuilds - postgresql-server or postgresql-base - according to what you actually need. I would recommend the latest "stable" version, which is postgresql-server-8.4.2-r1.

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There are a number of core postgresql-related packages in portage. If you check something like Gentoo-Portage or znurt you'll see a number of related ebuilds:

  • dev-db/postgresql (the Postgres server up to version 8.2.x)
  • dev-db/postgresql-server (the Postgres server for 8.3.x to the current 8.4.x)
  • dev-db/postgresql-base (the postgres client and any common code between client and server)
  • virtual/postgresql-server
  • virtual/postgresql-base

This likely sprouted out of a maintenance desire by the Gentoo dev's to split up the Client applications from the server application.

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The postgresql client library was already split out, libpq, so it seems like it's actually LESS split now than it used to be (before you could get client libraries and then language bindings, now you get the whole client package including command-line executables before you can build language bindings). – Ben Voigt Jan 17 '11 at 0:35

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