Recently I've needed to install the PostgreSQL 8.14 database server on a couple Linux machines for testing. Here is some information and scripts to make it easier for you start and stop the database, since installing from source instead of RPM leaves you without the convenient /etc/init.d boot scripts for Postgres and requires you to start Postgres database with the postmaster command when su'd as the postgres user. A bit of a headache... so I wrote the script shown further below as a convenience when managing Postgres and it may be helpful for those who don't want to read all the docs right away.

After having downloaded and uncompressed (tar -xvzf postgresql-8.1.4.tar.gz), the installation instructions begin with the a short version, to be run from inside the uncompressed source directory. I've modified the short version such that when creating the system postgres user account, no shell is given for the postgres user, then later a shell can be specified when using the su command to run the postmaster (The postmaster command can not be run by root directly).