I have a complex join that I have working in the database manager but when I try and load it nothing appears and I found this in the logs:
PostgreSQL layer has no primary key.
What is actually wrong?
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I found the problem. There was a duplicated row produced by the join so the gids were not actually unique. I had checked that before but missed the duplicate entry.
To answer the question:
PostgreSQL layer has no primary key means that the column you selected as having "unique integer values" in fact does not.
The other thing I discovered during this exercise is that one must have the log window open when doing complex stuff with the database manager. Otherwise things appear to fail silently.