I've installed the PostgreSQL package (ver. 9.1) on a Debian 7 server using the command "apt-get install postgresql postgresql-contrib". I now want to install PostGIS as well. Should I install both the "postgis" package and the "postgresql-9.1-postgis" package or just the latter? It's not clear from the descriptions on their Debian wiki pages what the differences are between the two packages.

I ask because I've seen some blog posts where the author has installed both packages but yet on the OpenStreetMap PostGIS wiki page, they just install the postgresql-9.1-postgis package. Yet this Debian page seems to imply that you should install both packages as postgis contains common PostGIS files while postgresql-9.1-postgis contains files that specifically support PostgreSQL 9.1


1 Answer 1


On my system (unstable), the postgis package installs the utility programs (pgsql2shp,shp2pgsql, etc) and their docs.

The postgresql-9.3-postgis-2.1 package actually installs the postgis libraries and such.

You should be able to only install postgresql-9.x-postgis-2.x as long as you don't need the utility programs or the documentation.

  • Thanks. Just curious... why did you indicate your system is "unstable?"
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 23:46
  • It's the release I'm using. There's stable a.k.a wheezy or 7.0 (what you have), testing a.k.a jessie and unstable a.k.a. sid. Unstable will generally have newer packages than testing and stable, but there's also the (rare) possibility of stuff breaking. See Debian Releases. Commented Dec 4, 2013 at 23:50
  • For others who were wondering about this, the file /usr/share/doc/postgresql-[version]-postgis/README.Debian.gz answers the question I posed above and also provides excellent instructions on how to install both PostGIS packages.
    – Jim
    Commented Dec 5, 2013 at 3:48

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