Errors "Tableau Server initialization failed" and "initdb: could not execute command" During Installation

Published: 27 Nov 2013
Last Modified Date: 30 Sep 2019


When you try to install Tableau Server, the following error might occur:
Tableau server initialization failed 
See install log at C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\logs
In addition, the following error might appear in the tabadmin.log file:
creating template1 database in pgsql/data/base/1 ... initdb: could not execute command ""C:/Program Files/Tableau/Tableau Server/<version>/pgsql/bin/postgres.exe" --boot -x1 -F ": No error 
initdb: removing data directory "pgsql/data" 


Tableau Server


Try the following troubleshooting options:
  • Check user permissions for the computer on which Tableau Server is being installed:
    • Confirm that the user signed in to Windows has administrator permissions to the drive C, the C:\WIndows and C:\Windows\System32 folders, and the cmd.exe file, even if Tableau Server is not being installed on the drive C.
    • Verify the ownership of the above objects. Sometimes the TrustedIInstaller account takes ownership from the Administrators group, causing permissions issues.
    • Even if it appears that cmd.exe is correctly inheriting the permissions from the C:\Windows\System32 folder, re-establish cmd.exe permissions inheritance.
  • Check the ComSpec environment variable to make sure it is pointing to the cmd.exe file, and does not contain extra symbols in the path:
  1. In Control Panel, click System, and then click Advanced System Settings.
  2. Click Environment Variables.
  3. Under System variables, confirm the ComSpec path.


During database initialization, the postgres.exe process runs a number of commands at the command prompt (C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe). If the user signed in to Windows does not have permission to this location or if the ComSpec environmental variable is not correctly pointing to cmd.exe, these errors will occur.
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