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This is not a question with a concrete answer, I know, but one that seeks experienced views...

The OS environment I run is as vanilla as possible so it's often undesirable to install things into root paths (/var /lib /whatever). However, installation at the user level is very desirable: in fact, I've installed PostgreSQL (8.4) in /home/postgres to upgrade/get past the Solaris installed version (8.3); I'll do the same for 9 when the time comes.

There are tools like pgStatspack and check_postgres.sql but other/popular diagnostic tools out there expect the DBA to also be root. They seem like very useful tools with their pretty graphs and come-hither features but I'm unable to accomodate them.

Simply put, I do not have root nor do I want root: I have a 'postgres' user, everything is currently owned by it, and PostgreSQL runs happily.

But for third-party tools, can I live this way or are my efforts to continue down this non-root path misdirected?

Thanks.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by HopelessN00b Jan 21 at 9:43

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I've been using self-compiled binaries since Postgres95 and I've never run into this issue. Shouldn't these tools respect the setting of PG_DATA etc? –  Alex Howansky Aug 5 '11 at 17:53
    
I'm sure they would respect things like PG_DATA as that's internal to PostgreSQL. I'm referring to third-party tools that need to install things into /var or /lib or some other root level to operate. –  Joe Creighton Aug 5 '11 at 18:09
    
What tools exactly need to be installed by root? I'm wondering if you can build them from source to get around that limitation. for instance you can build slony from source rather easily and install it, all without being root. –  Scott Marlowe Aug 5 '11 at 21:47

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