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?