I’m in the process of installing postgres on my new laptop and ran into a snag that had me scratching my head. The install itself went without a hitch, but when trying to use the psql command from terminal, I got the below error:

jarvis:~ john$ psql -U postgres
psql: could not connect to server: No such file or directory
     Is the server running locally and accepting
     connections on Unix domain socket "/var/pgsql_socket/.s.PGSQL.5432"?

After some research, I learned that the Mountain Lion comes with psql and is located in a non-standard location. You can find it’s location by typing which psql.

jarvis:~ john$ which psql

You can see it’s pointing to /usr/bin/psql. Unfortunately, it needs to use the version of the command located at /Library/PostgreSQL/9.2/bin/psql.

To fix this, you can make a PATH adjustment within your .bashrc file to point to the correct folder. You’ll need to close and reopen terminal for the changes to take affect.

export PATH=$PATH

Note that you need to prepend the correct postrgres path to the existing PATH variable to ensure it is used first.