Please upgrade the PostgreSQL 11.6 distro for Windows in all stacks to the latest official build 11.0.6.19343

Keywords: PostgreSQL - Windows - Technical issue - Other
Description:
I have tried MySQL based stacks for Windows many times and cannot recall a major issue with MySQL. A few days ago I decided to try PostgreSQL on Windows 10 and it turned out to be a nightmare.

The issue:
I have tried at least three stacks shipping with PostgreSQL, including WAPP, Django, and eXo Platform with the same result. The installation process is getting stuck at “Waiting for postmaster” for quite bit and then fails with an error indicating a failure to connect to the PostgreSQL server.

Probable cause:
I started troubleshooting the issue. I realized that the reason of that error was due to the fact that the installed PostgreSQL service was defective: it would fail to start, and the error message reported by Windows was as often happens useless.

After repeated attempts it appears that the problem is associated with runtime MS VC++ redistributables 14.x (2015-2019). Simultaneously, I discovered that these family of MS VC++ redistributables 14.x is a total mess. Starting at some level Y, the installers for versions >=14.Y fail to install, and I could not figure out the nature of this problem.

PostgreSQL has a dependency on MS VC++ redistributables 14.X, with the exact minimum version X being unknown to me. I can install version 14.11…, and initially Bitnami PostgreSQL stacks started working. However, a day later the installation process fails as before.

Early in the troubleshooting process, I also downloaded an official PostgreSQL 11.6 distro for Windows (build 11.0.6.19343). It had a similar issue initially, but after I tried different versions of MS VC++ redistributables 14.X, the largest version I could install fixed the issue with this build. (In fact, I initially downloaded PostgreSQL 12.3 and it worked just fine right away. It was the 11.6 distro that failed to work initially.) Build 11.0.6.19343 still works just fine after multiple install/uninstall cycles, but Bitnami stacks, which use and older build 11.0.6.19316, fail to install.

I cannot use the Bitnami Support tool, as the installation process fails before the tool is installed.

Hi @Evgeny,

Thanks for your interest in using Bitnami and for spending some time debugging your issue. Can you give us a little more information about your issue? We are currently shipping latest PostgreSQL version 11.6 in our installers and we have not found any issues with them on our tests. We are aware of PostgreSQL versions 12.x but it is a work in progress yet.

Can you tell us which exact version of the Windows 10 (build number) are you using so we can try to reproduce it on our side? Which version of the mentioned stacks? Also, can you clarify those build numbers that you are mentioning on your post? Are they VC++ redistributable build numbers, Windows’ or PostgreSQL?

Apart from that, we are currently adding VC++ redistributable 2015 on our stacks from the link below

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48145

Can you tell us from where are you downloading the 14.x versions?

Best regards,
Gonzalo

Let me first provide an update on my investigation. I made another attempt to figure out why official PostgreSQL distro installs just fine and Bitnami PostgreSQL stacks failed. After closer examination I realized that the official distro installs the Windows service as “NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService” account, while Bitnami stacks installs it as “LocalSystem”. While Apache runs just fine from the LocalSystem, PostgreSQL service fails to start. So, I suspended the Bitnami installer (by hitting “Cancel” and taking advantage of the confirmation dialog) just after it had created wappstackPostgreSQL Windows service and manually changed its account to “NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService”, then I was able to start wappstackPostgreSQL service manually without any problems; I returned to the suspended Bitnami installer, closed the confirmation dialog - Bitnami installer continued the installation process without any issues and successfully completed.

I should also mention that I did a cross-check on the official PostgreSQL release and found that, curiously, the service it installs can be started from either “NT AUTHORITY\NetworkService” or “LocalSystem”, which is not the case for Bitnami stacks.

Further, for security reasons, NetworkService account is more appropriate as suggested by Microsoft (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/services/localsystem-account).

Now, back to your questions.
While you do ship PostgeSQL 11.6, which is the latest version, you apparently do not ship the latest build. To check the build number manually on Windows, you could open the Properties tabs of, e.g., postgres.exe -> Details tab -> File version. Those are the numbers in my previous post, that is PostgreSQL’s build numbers. And this number for the Bitnami Stacks is smaller then for the official release.

Regarding 14.x runtimes: I downloaded various versions, all from microsoft.com, and every time checked that they had a valid Microsoft’s signature.

I run Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 1809 build 17763.107.

I checked
bitnami-wappstack-7.4.1-0-dev-windows-x64-installer.exe
bitnami-wappstack-7.3.13-0-windows-x64-installer.exe
bitnami-wappstack-7.2.26-0-windows-x64-installer.exe
bitnami-djangostack-2.2.9-0-windows-x64-installer.exe
bitnami-exoplatform-5.2.0-6-windows-x64-installer.exe

Hi @Evgeny,

Thanks for the extending information. I filled a new internal task to further investigate this and implement the required changes if any. We will keep you posted with any other information we have.

Regarding the build number, we are only checking the PostgreSQL version, not the build number, that’s why we are not shipping the latest build. But we will be notified if they release a new version like 11.7 or 12.x. In fact, we have detected that a new PostgreSQL 12.3 has been released, but we are still checking that it is supported for all our assets and we can not provide you with an ETA on when this new version will be available in the Bitnami catalogue.

Best regards,
Gonzalo

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