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I am using the Ruby on Rails 3.1 pre version. I like to use PostgreSQL, but the problem is installing the pg gem. It gives me the following error:

$ gem install pg
Building native extensions.  This could take a while...
ERROR:  Error installing pg:
    ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

        /home/u/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.2-p0/bin/ruby extconf.rb
checking for pg_config... no
No pg_config... trying anyway. If building fails, please try again with
 --with-pg-config=/path/to/pg_config
checking for libpq-fe.h... no
Can't find the 'libpq-fe.h header
*** extconf.rb failed ***
Could not create Makefile due to some reason, probably lack of
necessary libraries and/or headers.  Check the mkmf.log file for more
details.  You may need configuration options.

Provided configuration options:
    --with-opt-dir
    --without-opt-dir
    --with-opt-include
    --without-opt-include=${opt-dir}/include
    --with-opt-lib
    --without-opt-lib=${opt-dir}/lib
    --with-make-prog
    --without-make-prog
    --srcdir=.
    --curdir
    --ruby=/home/u/.rvm/rubies/ruby-1.9.2-p0/bin/ruby
    --with-pg
    --without-pg
    --with-pg-dir
    --without-pg-dir
    --with-pg-include
    --without-pg-include=${pg-dir}/include
    --with-pg-lib
    --without-pg-lib=${pg-dir}/lib
    --with-pg-config
    --without-pg-config
    --with-pg_config
    --without-pg_config


Gem files will remain installed in /home/u/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-p0/gems/pg-0.11.0 for inspection.
Results logged to /home/u/.rvm/gems/ruby-1.9.2-p0/gems/pg-0.11.0/ext/gem_make.out

How do I solve this problem?

It looks like in Ubuntu that header is part of the libpq-dev package (at least in the following Ubuntu versions: 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), 11.10 (Oneiric Ocelot), 12.04 (Precise Pangolin), 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) and 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)):

...
/usr/include/postgresql/libpq-fe.h
...

So try installing libpq-dev or its equivalent for your OS:

  • For Ubuntu systems: sudo apt-get install libpq-dev
  • On Red Hat Linux (RHEL) systems: yum install postgresql-devel
  • For Mac Homebrewbrew install postgresql
  • For Mac MacPorts PostgreSQL: gem install pg -- --with-pg-config=/opt/local/lib/postgresql[version number]/bin/pg_config
  • For OpenSusezypper in postgresql-devel
  • For ArchLinuxpacman -S postgresql-libs
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