I have installed PostgreSQL 9.x and PostGIS 1.5/2.0 several times and have never had this problem.

I just got a new CentOS 6.3 server up and running and and I have Postgres 9.3 functioning as expected. I have run

yum install postgis2_93

and I can see the files in


however, when I run


I receive

ERROR:  could not open extension control file "/usr/pgsql-9.3/share/extension/postgis.control": No such file or directory

the tutorials (#1, #2) I have used don't show any steps between installing PostGIS and creating the extension.

What am I missing?

  • What you're missing is 'postgis.control' :) The question is 'why' or 'where'. First, see if you even have a copy by running 'find /usr -name postgis.control'. If you don't, then it's a packaging problem with the brand new postgis2_93 package that needs to be fixed. Sep 12, 2013 at 17:06
  • Oh, you can see the files (including 'postgis.control'?) share/contrib, but from the error message pgsql is looking in share/extension. There might have been a change in default extension location from 9.2 to 9.3 that the packager missed. Sep 12, 2013 at 17:07
  • @PaulRamsey - I ran find /usr -name postgis.control and it is not present. I can see some files in share/contrib; however, postgis.control is not among them... what do you suggest I do? wait for a fix, make my own, something else?
    – losthorse
    Sep 12, 2013 at 17:42
  • @PaulRamsey - I just verified that postgis-2.1.so is present in /lib does this mean I can just make my own postgis.control file?
    – losthorse
    Sep 12, 2013 at 18:00
  • If you can find a postgis.sql file, you can run that into your database (and the spatial_ref_sys.sql file) to manually spatialize your database. Report the missing control file to the packager, that's a big problem. Sep 13, 2013 at 16:42

15 Answers 15


I just had the same problem on Ubuntu Server 14.04. I installed the postgis extension from the official Ubuntu repositories using apt-get install postgis.

Then, find /usr -name postgis.control didn't return any results.

The reason was extension/postgis.control wasn't installed because postgis-scripts wasn't.

$ aptitude search postgis
i   libpostgis-java                                  - Geographic objects support for PostgreSQL -- JDBC support 
i   postgis                                          - Geographic objects support for PostgreSQL                 
p   postgis:i386                                     - Geographic objects support for PostgreSQL                 
i   postgis-doc                                      - Geographic objects support for PostgreSQL -- documentation
i   postgresql-9.3-postgis-2.1                       - Geographic objects support for PostgreSQL 9.3             
p   postgresql-9.3-postgis-2.1:i386                  - Geographic objects support for PostgreSQL 9.3             
i   postgresql-9.3-postgis-2.1-scripts               - PostGIS for PostgreSQL 9.3 -- scripts -- dummy package    
i   postgresql-9.3-postgis-scripts                   - Geographic objects support for PostgreSQL 9.3 -- scripts 

The solution is to install it.

On debian-like distros:

apt-get install postgis*

The aptitude package manager will automatically determine the correct package versions to install. The postgis-doc will be installed too.


Like some people noticed in comments, the postgis* is not required because it installs some packages not strictly required to just get it to work.

The required packages are postgis and postgresql-9.x-postgis-scripts meta packages. They select the correct real version for your system. So the commands to install the required packages are

 $ sudo apt-get install postgis postgresql-9.3-postgis-scripts

for postgresql-9.3. Ubuntu 16.04 runs postgresql-9.5 so the command becomes:

 $ sudo apt-get install postgis postgresql-9.5-postgis-scripts

You can check the success of the operation by running the following command:

find /usr -name postgis.control

On my server, it now returns:


You can now enable the extension on any database on your postgres server:

  • connect to your db with superuser (postgres by default)
  • run CREATE EXTENSION postgis;

Your public schema now contains all postgis objects and functions.

  • ...wish you had Windows direction too Sep 10, 2014 at 14:38
  • ...never mind! Solved it in Windows by reinstalling PostGIS via StackBuilder Sep 10, 2014 at 14:48
  • 4
    Thanks this fixed my Ubuntu problem! The "postgis*" gets a bunch of stuff you don't need. I think "apt-get install postgis postgresql-9.3-postgis-2.1" is sufficient.
    – Nelson
    Dec 2, 2014 at 19:15
  • You're probably right. In my case, a full install was preferable but it doesn't the rule.
    – Rémi B.
    Dec 3, 2014 at 8:35
  • "apt-get install postgis*" rules. Thanks! Jun 6, 2015 at 18:23

In Ubuntu 14.04 you also need to install the postgresql-9.3-postgis-scripts package. After I ran

sudo apt-get install postgis postgresql-9.3-postgis-scripts

I was then able to successfully run


in my database to initialise PostGIS.


If you can find a postgis.sql file, you can run that into your database (and the spatial_ref_sys.sql file) to manually spatialize your database. Report the missing control file to the packager, that's a big problem.


For ubuntu 20.04, postgresql 13.1, run sudo apt install postgis postgresql-13-postgis-3-scripts. After which you can run create extension postgis; postgresql query.


I had the same issue, I just ran the command

sudo apt-get install postgis

I was using Ubuntu 18.04


Another source which caused the problem could be the missing PostGIS bundle, this can be defined in install menu or in your case afterwards. Therefor, open windows start, head to PostgreSQL an start the Application Stack Builder. Then select PostgreSQL, with that possible applications are loaded. For the PostGIS bundle you just need to install the extension suitable to your operating system (32- or 64bit), simply direct to Spatial Extensions.

After all here the recommended steps:

  1. start Application Stack Builder
  2. Direct to Spatial Extensions
  3. Install PostGIS bundle

Now you can add the extension with CREATE EXTENSION postgis; in your SQL Query.


On Mac,

brew install postgis

did the job.


I encountered the same problem, I think the problem is that the package postgis2_93 is not installed in the expected place as postgresql would expect. You can try using another repo, which might give you the correct place. Or you can search to add extensions manually by specifying the place. In my case, the file is in /usr/pgsql-9.4/


I had my worst nightmare while installing Postgis 2.X on SLES 12 SP1. which doesnt have compatible package in zypper repo

Here is how is resolved it on my Postgres server instance running 9.4.X

Prerequsite packages which i have installed prior to PostGis based on the errors

  1. Proj 4 Download source cold, Build --> make install
  2. install Gdal andjibson by adding zypper repo zypper addrepo http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Application:Geo/SLE_12_SP1_Backports/Application:Geo.repo
  3. zypper install gdal gdal-devel libjson-c-devel libjson

Installing Postgis

now if you goto postgress and create extension postgis; will work

Important while configuring you should specify pg-config path and geosconfig path and You SHOULD NOT include "without Raster" as RASTER plays main role in creating the postgis extension


For Ubuntu 16.04 run this command:

sudo apt-get install postgis postgresql-9.6-postgis-2.3-scripts

note that you should specify your version number for both postgresql (9.6 in my case) and postgis (2.3 in my case).


If you are using brew, uninstall PostGIS and reinstall it. This will create the extension files.

  • This didn't work for me, although I see them in brew ls --verbose postgis
    – a2f0
    Jun 18, 2019 at 2:45

On some distributions the extensions get packaged in the postgresql-contrib package. This holds certainly true on RedHat/CenOS where the extensions are in postgresql-contrib where xx is the magor and minor release numbers without the full stops (postgresql95-contrib for postgres 9.5).


For me, using Fedora 25 and pg 9.5, it worked when I did the following changes:

  • Install yum postgis package

    $ yum install postgis2_95

  • Download the postgis scripts .deb package

  • Extract it and copy the directories 'contrib' and 'extension' in extracted usr/share/postgresql/9.5 to the the same path in your pgsql (maybe changing permissions to).

  • Restart the server

  • for me, it's not works,,
    – Budi Mulyo
    May 4, 2021 at 18:33

In my case (Linux Mint 18.1 Serena) I had to remove posgresql-9.5 and postgis newly installed from default repository.

sudo apt remove postgis*
sudo apt remove postgresql*

And install version 9.6 from PosgreSQL repository:

sudo apt install postgresql-9.6 postgresql-9.6-postgis-2.3 postgresql-9.6-postgis-2.3-scripts postgresql-contrib-9.6

I'm not sure, version has anything to do with missing postgis.control file. But I wanted 9.6 version anyway.


For CentOS 8:

dnf install pgrouting_14

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