PostgreSQL builds manager

PostgreSQL, branch, git, install
pip install norsu==0.4.8


Build Status PyPI version

Norsu -- PostgreSQL builds manager


Norsu (finnish for elephant) is meant to be a tool for quickly installing and updating custom PostgreSQL builds, as well as testing your extensions against them.

This might be useful if you're an extension developer and you aim to support several major PostgreSQL releases. Over time, running regression test suites against a growing number of releases might become a cumbersome task, hence a need for an automation tool.

Currently, Norsu can:

  • install & remove PostgreSQL release- and dev- branches and keep them up-to-date;
  • show various properties of builds (configure flags, commit hash, version etc);
  • search for branches across multiple git repos (specified in a config file);
  • install and test PostgreSQL extensions using regression test suites;


NOTE: Python 3.3+ is required.

To install a stable release, just run the following in your favorite shell:

pip install --user norsu

Also, make sure that python's user base is in $PATH:

# add this to .bashrc (or .zshrc, whatever)
export PATH=$PATH:$(python -c "import site; print(site.getuserbase())")/bin

and you're good to go!

To install a dev version, clone this repo and run:

pip install --user -U .


The config file is located at $NORSU_PATH/.norsu.toml (by default, $NORSU_PATH is $HOME/pg).


In general,

  • If a command accepts [target]..., it will default to all available builds if no target is specified;
  • An interrupted command will try to continue where it left off next time;
  • Time-consuming commands print steps they're taking to achieve goals;

Target is a build's name, which is also used as install directory name: each build is installed to $NORSU_PATH/target. Here's a rule that describes possible targets:


  • By default, target's name is used both as install dir name and branch search string, but you can separate them using :;
  • Target might be positive (e.g. master, 9.6.5, 10) or negative (i.e. exclude some build, e.g. ^master);
  • Search strings may be versions (e.g. 10, 9.6.8, 9.5) or (parts of) branch names (e.g. master, REL_10);

Here's a non-exhaustive list of available commands:

norsu install [target]... [cmd_option]...

Known cmd_options:

  • --extension -- contribs (in-tree extensions) to be installed (e.g. --extension pg_stat_statements auto_explain);
  • --configure -- configure options to be applied before building process takes place;
  • --no-update -- do not pull & install updates (e.g. just install missing extensions, see --extension);

For each target:

  • if not yet installed, find a list of matching branches in known git repos (specified in a config file), select the most relevant one, configure and install it to $NORSU_PATH/target.

  • if already installed, check the branch for updates (new commits), then rebuild and/or reinstall if necessary.


# install some releases
$ norsu install 9.5 9.6 10

Selected instance: 9.5
        => No work dir, choosing repo & branch
        => Selected repo git://
        => Selected branch REL9_5_STABLE

norsu search [target]...

For each target, print a list of matching branches to be used by the install command. Currently, a branch matches if target occurs in its name (is a substring).

Branches are sorted by decreasing priority:

  • if target is version, branches are sorted by "freshness" (the most fresh release wins);
  • otherwise, branches are sorted by similarty (the most similar name wins);


$ norsu search 10

Search query: 10

norsu pull [target]...

For each target, pull new commits from a git repo (but don't re-build anything). This command prints the amount of new commits available and updates info shown by the status command.

norsu status [target]...

Print some info about each target, for instance:

$ norsu status master

Selected instance: master
Status:        Installed (out of date)
Main dir:      $HOME/pg/master
Work dir:      $HOME/pg/.norsu/master
Branch:        master
Version:       PostgreSQL 11beta1
Commit:        6a75b58065c8da69a259657fc40d18e76157f265
CONFIGURE:     ['CFLAGS=-g3', '--enable-cassert']

norsu remove [target]...

Remove targets (main dirs) and their cached git repos (work dirs).

norsu pgxs [target]... [cmd_option]... [-- [make_option]...]


  • target -- run make ... against the specified builds
  • cmd_option -- additional options for this command, e.g. --run-pg
  • make_option -- options to be passed to make, e.g. clean install -j5

Known cmd_options:

  • -R, --run-pg -- start a temp instance of PostgreSQL for the duration of the command

NOTE: this command should be executed in extension's directory

For each target, execute make USE_PGXS=1 PG_CONFIG=path/to/pg_config ... in extension's directory.


# install to all builds
norsu pgxs

# install to everything but master (options following '--' are passed to make)
norsu pgxs ^master -- clean install -j5

# run regression tests against 9.6.9
norsu pgxs 9.6.9 -R -- installcheck

# check using clang-analyzer for builds 9.6 and 10
scan-build norsu pgxs 9.5 10 -- clean all

norsu run target [cmd_option]...

Known cmd_options:

  • --pgxs -- use PG config files provided by extension, as in the pgxs command
  • --psql -- run psql connected to a default DB after PostgreSQL has started
  • --port -- bind to a port provided by user (random by default)
  • --config -- pass a set of custom config files to a PG cluster
  • --dump -- save db dump to file before node shutdown
  • --restore -- restore from dump file before run psql

Create and run a temporary instance (DB) of PostgreSQL using build named target. The instance will be up & running until the command is interrupted (e.g. with SIGINT).


$ norsu run 10 --psql

Starting temporary PostgreSQL instance...

psql (10.4)
Type "help" for help.


norsu path [target]...

Print paths to install dirs (main dirs) of targets.

norsu purge [target]...

For each target, remove orphaned git repos (work dirs).


Don't hesitate to open new issues and express your ideas!