How to diagnose and fix the 42883 undefined_function error code in Postgres.

The 42883 error code in PostgreSQL indicates an undefined_function error, which means that the function you’re trying to call does not exist with the specified argument types, or it’s not available in the current schema or search path. This can happen for various reasons, such as a typo in the function name, incorrect number or type of arguments, or a missing extension that provides the function.

Here are several examples of scenarios that can cause this error and how to diagnose and fix them:

  1. Typo in the Function Name
    A simple typo in the name of the function can cause this error. Example:
   SELECT lenght('PostgreSQL');

This will throw an error because there is no function named lenght.

Correct the typo in the function name.

   SELECT length('PostgreSQL');
  1. Incorrect Number of Arguments
    Calling a function with the wrong number of arguments will result in this error. Example:
   SELECT to_char(123);

This will throw an error because to_char expects at least two arguments.

Provide the correct number of arguments.

   SELECT to_char(123, '999');
  1. Incorrect Argument Types
    If the function exists but is called with arguments of the wrong data type, PostgreSQL will raise this error. Example:
   SELECT round('123.45');

This will throw an error because round function expects a numeric type, not a string.

Cast the argument to the expected data type.

   SELECT round('123.45'::numeric);
  1. Function Does Not Exist in Schema
    If the function you’re trying to use is not defined in any of the schemas in your search path, you will encounter this error. Example:
   SELECT my_custom_function();

If my_custom_function doesn’t exist, this will throw an error.

Ensure the function exists in your schema, or qualify the function with the schema name.

   SELECT my_schema.my_custom_function();

Alternatively, create the function if it is missing.

  1. Missing Extension
    Some functions are provided by extensions and are not available until the extension is installed. Example:
   SELECT postgis_version();

If the PostGIS extension is not installed, this will throw an error.

Install the required extension.


To diagnose the 42883 undefined_function error, carefully check the function name, the number and types of arguments you are passing, and ensure that any required extensions are installed and enabled. You can also verify the function’s existence and signature by querying the pg_proc system catalog or using the \df command in psql.

For more information on the error and how to troubleshoot it, you can refer to discussions and solutions found on platforms such as Stack Overflow or check the PostgreSQL documentation for error codes.

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