Installation and Administration

I Can't Delete My PostgreSQL Database

Updated: July 17, 2023

When you try to delete your PostgreSQL database you may get an error:

postgres=# DROP DATABASE nuxeo;
ERROR:  database "nuxeo" is being accessed by other users

If you're sure there's no other user connected, then it may be because PostgreSQL has a pending prepared transaction that's never been committed or rolled back, which should never happen except if the database is shut down in an unclean manner (machine crash). To check for this:

  1. Run:

    SELECT database, gid FROM pg_prepared_xacts;
  2. Depending on the number of results, follow one of the steps below.

    • If you get a result, then for each transaction gid you must execute a ROLLBACK from the database having the problem:

      ROLLBACK PREPARED 'the_gid';

      For instance:

      nuxeo=# SELECT database, gid FROM pg_prepared_xacts;
       database | gid
       nuxeo | 131075_MS03ZjAwMDEzYTo0YTg5MjA5NzoxMDczMg==
      (1 row)
      nuxeo=# ROLLBACK PREPARED '131075_MS03ZjAwMDEzYTo0YTg5MjA5NzoxMDczMg==';
    • If you have lots of transactions you can run this psql scripts:

      \o /tmp/remove-transactions.sql
      SELECT 'ROLLBACK PREPARED ''' || gid || ''';'  AS cmd
        FROM pg_prepared_xacts
        WHERE database=current_database();
      \i /tmp/remove-transactions.sql