I am running Ubuntu 18.04. When I want to install the PostgreSQL database server package I get the default version 12.
I have unsuccessfully tried to follow multiple instructions on how to install the desired version 9.6.

# cat /etc/apt/sources.list.d/pgdg.list  
deb http://apt.postgresql.org/pub/repos/apt/ bionic-pgdg main  
# sudo apt-get install postgresql-9.6
Reading package lists... Done      
Building dependency tree    
Reading state information... Done    
The following additional packages will be installed:    
Suggested packages:  
The following NEW packages will be installed:  
  postgresql-9.6 postgresql-contrib-9.6  
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 0 to remove and 3 not upgraded.  
Need to get 0 B/4,827 kB of archives.  
After this operation, 23.9 MB of additional disk space will be used.  
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y  
Preconfiguring packages ...  
Selecting previously unselected package postgresql-9.6.  
(Reading database ... 70763 files and directories currently installed.)  
Preparing to unpack .../postgresql-9.6_9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1_amd64.deb ...  
Unpacking postgresql-9.6 (9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1) ...  
Selecting previously unselected package postgresql-contrib-9.6.  
Preparing to unpack .../postgresql-contrib-9.6_9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1_amd64.deb ...  
Unpacking postgresql-contrib-9.6 (9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1) ...  
Setting up postgresql-9.6 (9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1) ...  
Setting up postgresql-contrib-9.6 (9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1) ...  
Processing triggers for postgresql-common (213.pgdg18.04+1) ...  
Building PostgreSQL dictionaries from installed myspell/hunspell packages...  
Removing obsolete dictionary files:  
# service postgresql start
# su postgres 
postgres@ubuntu-vm-template:~$ psql
psql (12.2 (Ubuntu 12.2-2.pgdg18.04+1))  
Type "help" for help.  

postgres=# SELECT version();
 PostgreSQL 12.2 (Ubuntu 12.2-2.pgdg18.04+1) on x86_64-pc-linux-gnu, compiled by gcc (Ubuntu 7.4.0-1ubuntu1~18.04.1) 7.4.0, 64-bit  
(1 row)  
root@ubuntu-vm-template:~# dpkg -l|grep -i postgres
ii  libpq-dev                             12.2-2.pgdg18.04+1                              amd64        header files for libpq5 (PostgreSQL library)
ii  libpq5:amd64                          12.2-2.pgdg18.04+1                              amd64        PostgreSQL C client library
ii  pgdg-keyring                          2018.2                                          all          keyring for apt.postgresql.org
ii  postgresql-12                         12.2-2.pgdg18.04+1                              amd64        object-relational SQL database, version 12 server
ii  postgresql-9.6                        9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1                            amd64        object-relational SQL database, version 9.6 server
ii  postgresql-client-12                  12.2-2.pgdg18.04+1                              amd64        front-end programs for PostgreSQL 12
ii  postgresql-client-9.6                 9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1                            amd64        front-end programs for PostgreSQL 9.6
ii  postgresql-client-common              213.pgdg18.04+1                                 all          manager for multiple PostgreSQL client versions
ii  postgresql-common                     213.pgdg18.04+1                                 all          PostgreSQL database-cluster manager
ii  postgresql-contrib                    12+213.pgdg18.04+1                              all          additional facilities for PostgreSQL (supported version)
ii  postgresql-contrib-9.6                9.6.17-2.pgdg18.04+1                            amd64        additional facilities for PostgreSQL

My Question

The output of apt-get install says "9.6". Why doesn't the output of SELECT version(); do so?

  • Please show dpkg -l|grep -i postgres. It's strange that you have version 12 installed - Ubuntu 18.04 is supposed to ship with version 10 (postgresql-10). Only Ubuntu Focal ships with postgresql-12 from the default Ubuntu repos. Apr 21, 2020 at 10:48
  • Hi @ClaudioKuenzler, i have appended the output to the description. Cheers Jens Apr 22, 2020 at 8:08

2 Answers 2


Ubuntu does support multiple instances of PostgreSQL running simultaneously, with possibly different versions, but it needs a bit of manual management.

Once apt-get install postgresql-9.6 is done, PostgreSQL 9.6 binaries are installed, but to have an actual running instance/service, a command like this is required:

$ sudo pg_createcluster 9.6 main

See pg_createcluster, pg_lsclusters and pg_wrapper manpages for more.

You may also want to manually remove PostgreSQL 12 if you don't need it.


I finally managed to solve it like this based on the answer of Daniel Vérité. The 9.6 cluster was already existent, so was a postgres 12 cluster.

sudo apt-get remove postgresql-12
pg_dropcluster 12 main
sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Thanks a lot!

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