You should verify that you can connect using
psql -U username -h localhost dbname. It should prompt for a password then connect. Run
SELECT postgis_version(); to verify that PostGIS is active in the database.
If you can connect but
SELECT postgis_version() reports an error, PostGIS isn't installed in the database:
ERROR: function postgis_version() does not exist
LINE 1: SELECT postgis_version();
SELECT * FROM Postgis_lib_version();
If you want also to see the version of Postgis and the version number of the libraries GEOS and Proj4 just change “lib” to “Full”.
If you get the above error, then presuming you're running PostGIS 2.0 on PostgreSQL 9.1 or above, connect as user
postgres and run
CREATE EXTENSION postgis;. Eg:
psql -U postgres -h localhost dbname -c 'CREATE EXTENSION postgis;'
You might also need to install some of the extras, like the PostGIS topology support:
CREATE EXTENSION postgis_topology;
or the legacy support script, which isn't packaged as an extension and must be sourced:
psql -U postgres -h localhost dbname -f /path/to/postgis-2.0/legacy.sql
See the PostGIS documentation.
If you can't connect to the DB, it's probably a
pg_hba.conf issue, failure to create the DB or user, etc. Hard to say without error messages and log contents.