I'm trying to install PostgreSQL and PostGIS on a linux server, hosted by GoDaddy. I'm new to many aspects of this, but I have previously managed my hosting using the GoDaddy GUI or an ftp client. I started off by logging into my account using Terminal on the mac as follows:

ssh     [email protected]

The folders I can see are:


Then I used cd to move to html, and downloaded the .rpm files for postgresql, and postgis. I then tried to install postgresql using

rpm -ivh 

but received the following message:

error: cannot open Packages index using db3 - Permission denied (13)
error: cannot open Packages database in /var/lib/rpm

GoDaddy suggests that you can login is a super-user just by typing 'su -'. However when I type that I get the following message:

'-bash: su: command not found'

I'm not sure whether logging in using Terminal limits my ability to change to superuser or whether my hosting limits me to install such software. My goddady account settings are:

OS/Hosting Type: Linux / Shared Hosting
Hosting Configuration: 2.1
PHP Version: PHP 5.2 

The linux version on the server is:

Linux p3nlh061.shr.prod.phx3.secureserver.net 2.6.18-238.19.1.el5PAE #1 SMP Fri Jul 15 08:15:44 EDT 2011 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
CentOS release 5.5 (Final)

I would appreciate any suggestions - I'm new to this realm and unsure what the problem is.

  • generally speaking. when you are on shared hosting, you do not have root access? do you have the root password? But if there are other people on the same box (non vps, etc..) then you are not allowed to add software to. if you post a link to the package you are paying for we can verify what you actually have.
    – Doon
    Sep 24, 2011 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


It seems that you are not allowed to gain root (superuser/su) privilege. Otherwise you may have received another different password from godaddy, for (your) root account.

It is not uncommon for shared hosting solutions to permit you ssh/shell access, but deny you root privilege.

You could either directly download the software you want to install, and go on with the linux building process (configure && make && make install). But i assume, without root, you will fail there too (depends on the software you want to install). And please read your TOS and stick to them. Installing software might be prohibited.

The best option would be to contact the support. Ask them, if they could install the software you need.

An upgrade of your hosting plan, to a dedicated/vps solution (with real root access) might be the last option.

  • or a hosting plan that comes with postresql would probably be a cheaper option.
    – Doon
    Sep 24, 2011 at 14:09

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