Wildfish logo
Wildfish logo


9 November 2011Rolo Mawlabaux

Installing GeoDjango and PostGIS with Postgres 9.1 on Ubuntu 11.10

  • django
  • geodjango
  • postgis
  • postgres
Installing GeoDjango and PostGIS with Postgres 9.1 on Ubuntu 11.10

Django's GIS framework is superb, and really fairly simple to use, but it can be a bit of a pain to get PostGIS and associated bits installed.

The instructions here were a great help, but I needed to update a few things to get them working for Postgres9.1. I've put everything into a bash script which will do everything for you, here, and there's a few other notes below.

PostGIS compilation errors

Attempting to compile and install PostGIS gave me an error:

cannot create directory \`/usr/share/postgresql/9.1/contrib': No such
file or directory

I had the postgresql-contrib-9.1 package installed, and couldn't see why we didn't have perms to create this directory, so I created it:

sudo mkdir -p '/usr/share/postgresql/9.1/contrib/postgis-1.5'

Then ran it again, and it all installed fine. It appears that the contrib location has moved. I get the impression there's probably a better way to fix this.

Django 1.3 and standard_conforming_string

When attempting to use the models with Django 1.3 you may well see:

django.db.utils.DatabaseError: invalid byte sequence for encoding "UTF8": 0x00

This is due an incompatibility between a change in Postgres 9.1's new default config and Django 1.3. It requires the postgres setting for standard_conforming_string to be off, but it's switched on by default now. You can either set your standard_conforming_string = off in postgres.conf, or you can patch Django. See here, https://code.djangoproject.com/ticket/16778.

This is changed/fixed in trunk for Django 1.4.

Hope that's useful to someone.


You must accept cookies and allow javascript to view and post comments
Wildfish logo


We really are quite an approachable bunch! Simply give us a call or email. Alternatively if you’d prefer, drop into the office for a chat!