How to install psql on Mac, Ubuntu, Debian, Windows


psql is the standard command line interface for interacting with a PostgreSQL or TimescaleDB instance. Here we explain how to install psql on various platforms.

Before you start

Before you start, you should confirm that you don’t already have psql installed. In fact, if you’ve ever installed Postgres or TimescaleDB before, you likely already have psql installed.

psql --version

Install on MacOS using Homebrew

First, install the Brew Package Manager

Second, update brew. From your command line, run the following commands:

brew doctor
brew update
brew install libpq

Finally, symlink psql (and other libpq tools) into /usr/local/bin:

brew link --force libpq ail

Install on Ubuntu 16.04,18.04 and Debian 9,10

Install on Ubuntu and Debian using the apt package manager:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install postgresql-client

Note: That this only installs the psql client and not the PostgreSQL database.

Install Windows 10

We recommend using the installer from

Last step: Connect to your PostgreSQL server

Let’s confirm that psql is installed:

psql --version

Now, in order to connect to your PostgreSQL server, we’ll need the following connection params:

  • Hostname
  • Port
  • Username
  • Password
  • Database name

There are two ways to use these params.

Option 1:


Once you run that command, the prompt will ask you for your password. (Which we specified with the -W flag.)

Option 2:

psql postgres://[USERNAME]:[PASSWORD]@[HOSTNAME]:[PORT]/[DATABASENAME]?sslmode=require

Congrats! Now you have connected via psql.

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