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Running PostgreSQL

This tutorial will show you how to use KubeDB to run a PostgreSQL database.


Before You Begin

At first, you need to have a Kubernetes cluster, and the kubectl command-line tool must be configured to communicate with your cluster. If you do not already have a cluster, you can create one by using kind.

Now, install KubeDB cli on your workstation and KubeDB operator in your cluster following the steps here.

To keep things isolated, this tutorial uses a separate namespace called demo throughout this tutorial.

$ kubectl create ns demo
namespace/demo created

Note: YAML files used in this tutorial are stored in docs/examples/postgres folder in GitHub repository kubedb/docs.

We have designed this tutorial to demonstrate a production setup of KubeDB managed PostgreSQL. If you just want to try out KubeDB, you can bypass some of the safety features following the tips here.

Install pgAdmin

This tutorial will also use a pgAdmin to connect and test PostgreSQL database, once it is running.

Run the following command to install pgAdmin,

$ kubectl create -f
deployment.apps/pgadmin created
service/pgadmin created

$ kubectl get pods -n demo --watch
NAME                      READY     STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE
pgadmin-5b4b96779-lfpfh   0/1       ContainerCreating   0          1m
pgadmin-5b4b96779-lfpfh   1/1       Running   0         2m

Now, you can open pgAdmin on your browser using following address http://<cluster ip>:<NodePort of pgadmin service>.

If you are using minikube then open pgAdmin in your browser by running minikube service pgadmin -n demo. Or you can get the URL of Service pgadmin by running following command

$ minikube service pgadmin -n demo --url

To log into the pgAdmin, use username admin and password admin.

Find Available StorageClass

We will have to provide StorageClass in Postgres crd specification. Check available StorageClass in your cluster using following command,

$ kubectl get storageclass
standard (default)   Delete          WaitForFirstConsumer   false                  10d

Here, we have standard StorageClass in our cluster.

Find Available PostgresVersion

When you have installed KubeDB, it has created PostgresVersion crd for all supported PostgreSQL versions. Let’s check available PostgresVersions by,

$ kubectl get postgresversion
NAME                       VERSION   DISTRIBUTION   DB_IMAGE                               DEPRECATED   AGE
10.16                      10.16     Official       postgres:10.16-alpine                               3d
10.16-debian               10.16     Official       postgres:10.16                                      3d
10.19                      10.19     Official       postgres:10.19-bullseye                             3d
10.19-bullseye             10.19     Official       postgres:10.19-bullseye                             3d
10.20                      10.20     Official       postgres:10.20-bullseye                             3d
10.20-bullseye             10.20     Official       postgres:10.20-bullseye                             3d
11.11                      11.11     Official       postgres:11.11-alpine                               3d
11.11-debian               11.11     Official       postgres:11.11                                      3d
11.14                      11.14     Official       postgres:11.14-alpine                               3d
11.14-bullseye             11.14     Official       postgres:11.14-bullseye                             3d
11.14-bullseye-postgis     11.14     PostGIS        postgis/postgis:11-3.1                              3d
11.15                      11.15     Official       postgres:11.15-alpine                               3d
11.15-bullseye             11.15     Official       postgres:11.15-bullseye                             3d
12.10                      12.10     Official       postgres:12.10-alpine                               3d
12.10-bullseye             12.10     Official       postgres:12.10-bullseye                             3d
12.6                       12.6      Official       postgres:12.6-alpine                                3d
12.6-debian                12.6      Official       postgres:12.6                                       3d
12.9                       12.9      Official       postgres:12.9-alpine                                3d
12.9-bullseye              12.9      Official       postgres:12.9-bullseye                              3d
12.9-bullseye-postgis      12.9      PostGIS        postgis/postgis:12-3.1                              3d
13.2                       13.2      Official       postgres:13.2-alpine                                3d
13.2-debian                13.2      Official       postgres:13.2                                       3d
13.5                       13.5      Official       postgres:13.5-alpine                                3d
13.5-bullseye              13.5      Official       postgres:13.5-bullseye                              3d
13.5-bullseye-postgis      13.5      PostGIS        postgis/postgis:13-3.1                              3d
13.6                       13.6      Official       postgres:13.6-alpine                                3d
13.6-bullseye              13.6      Official       postgres:13.6-bullseye                              3d
14.1                       14.1      Official       postgres:14.1-alpine                                3d
14.1-bullseye              14.1      Official       postgres:14.1-bullseye                              3d
14.1-bullseye-postgis      14.1      PostGIS        postgis/postgis:14-3.1                              3d
14.2                       14.2      Official       postgres:14.2-alpine                                3d
14.2-bullseye              14.2      Official       postgres:14.2-bullseye                              3d
9.6.21                     9.6.21    Official       postgres:9.6.21-alpine                              3d
9.6.21-debian              9.6.21    Official       postgres:9.6.21                                     3d
9.6.24                     9.6.24    Official       postgres:9.6.24-alpine                              3d
9.6.24-bullseye            9.6.24    Official       postgres:9.6.24-bullseye                            3d
timescaledb-2.1.0-pg11     11.11     TimescaleDB    timescale/timescaledb:2.1.0-pg11-oss                3d
timescaledb-2.1.0-pg12     12.6      TimescaleDB    timescale/timescaledb:2.1.0-pg12-oss                3d
timescaledb-2.1.0-pg13     13.2      TimescaleDB    timescale/timescaledb:2.1.0-pg13-oss                3d
timescaledb-2.5.0-pg14.1   14.1      TimescaleDB    timescale/timescaledb:2.5.0-pg14-oss                3d

Notice the DEPRECATED column. Here, true means that this PostgresVersion is deprecated for current KubeDB version. KubeDB will not work for deprecated PostgresVersion.

In this tutorial, we will use 13.2 PostgresVersion crd to create PostgreSQL database. To know more about what is PostgresVersion crd and why there is 13.2 and 13.2-debian variation, please visit here. You can also see supported PostgresVersion here.

Create a PostgreSQL database

KubeDB implements a Postgres CRD to define the specification of a PostgreSQL database.

Below is the Postgres object created in this tutorial.

kind: Postgres
  name: quick-postgres
  namespace: demo
  version: "13.2"
  storageType: Durable
    storageClassName: "standard"
    - ReadWriteOnce
        storage: 1Gi
  terminationPolicy: Delete


  • spec.version is name of the PostgresVersion crd where the docker images are specified. In this tutorial, a PostgreSQL 13.2 database is created.
  • spec.storageType specifies the type of storage that will be used for Postgres database. It can be Durable or Ephemeral. Default value of this field is Durable. If Ephemeral is used then KubeDB will create Postgres database using EmptyDir volume. In this case, you don’t have to specify field. This is useful for testing purposes.
  • specifies the size and StorageClass of PVC that will be dynamically allocated to store data for this database. This storage spec will be passed to the StatefulSet created by KubeDB operator to run database pods. You can specify any StorageClass available in your cluster with appropriate resource requests. If you don’t specify spec.storageType: Ephemeral, then this field is required.
  • spec.terminationPolicy specifies what KubeDB should do when user try to delete Postgres crd. Termination policy DoNotTerminate prevents a user from deleting this object if admission webhook is enabled.

Note: section is used to create PVC for database pod. It will create PVC with storage size specified instorage.resources.requests field. Don’t specify limits here. PVC does not get resized automatically.

Let’s create Postgres crd,

$ kubectl create -f created

KubeDB operator watches for Postgres objects using Kubernetes api. When a Postgres object is created, KubeDB operator will create a new StatefulSet and two ClusterIP Service with the matching name. KubeDB operator will also create a governing service for StatefulSet with the name kubedb, if one is not already present.

If you are using RBAC enabled cluster, PostgreSQL specific RBAC permission is required. For details, please visit here.

KubeDB operator sets the status.phase to Running once the database is successfully created.

$  kubectl get pg -n demo quick-postgres -o wide
NAME             VERSION   STATUS     AGE
quick-postgres   13.2      Creating   13s

Let’s describe Postgres object quick-postgres

$ kubectl describe -n demo postgres quick-postgres 
Name:         quick-postgres
Namespace:    demo
Labels:       <none>
Annotations:  <none>
API Version:
Kind:         Postgres
  Creation Timestamp:  2022-05-30T09:15:36Z
  Generation:  2
  Managed Fields:
    API Version:
    Fields Type:  FieldsV1

    Manager:      kubectl-client-side-apply
    Operation:    Update
    Time:         2022-05-30T09:15:36Z
    API Version:
    Fields Type:  FieldsV1
    Manager:      pg-operator
    Operation:    Update
    Time:         2022-05-30T09:15:37Z
    API Version:
    Fields Type:  FieldsV1
    Manager:         pg-operator
    Operation:       Update
    Subresource:     status
    Time:            2022-05-30T09:16:26Z
  Resource Version:  330717
  UID:               aa9193d0-cd9b-4b63-8403-2b12ec1b04be
  Allowed Schemas:
      From:  Same
  Auth Secret:
    Name:            quick-postgres-auth
  Client Auth Mode:  md5
        Memory:  256Mi
        Cpu:     200m
        Memory:  256Mi
  Leader Election:
    Election Tick:                10
    Heartbeat Tick:               1
    Maximum Lag Before Failover:  67108864
    Period:                       300ms
  Pod Template:
        Pod Anti Affinity:
          Preferred During Scheduling Ignored During Execution:
            Pod Affinity Term:
              Label Selector:
                Match Labels:
              Topology Key:
            Weight:          100
            Pod Affinity Term:
              Label Selector:
                Match Labels:
              Topology Key:
            Weight:          50
      Container Security Context:
        Privileged:    false
        Run As Group:  70
        Run As User:   70
          Memory:  1Gi
          Cpu:     500m
          Memory:  1Gi
      Security Context:
        Fs Group:            70
        Run As Group:        70
        Run As User:         70
      Service Account Name:  quick-postgres
  Replicas:                  1
  Ssl Mode:                  disable
    Access Modes:
        Storage:         1Gi
    Storage Class Name:  standard
  Storage Type:          Durable
  Termination Policy:    DoNotTerminate
  Version:               13.2
    Last Transition Time:  2022-05-30T09:15:36Z
    Message:               The KubeDB operator has started the provisioning of Postgres: demo/quick-postgres
    Reason:                DatabaseProvisioningStartedSuccessfully
    Status:                True
    Type:                  ProvisioningStarted
    Last Transition Time:  2022-05-30T09:16:26Z
    Message:               All replicas are ready and in Running state
    Observed Generation:   2
    Reason:                AllReplicasReady
    Status:                True
    Type:                  ReplicaReady
    Last Transition Time:  2022-05-30T09:16:26Z
    Message:               The PostgreSQL: demo/quick-postgres is accepting client requests.
    Observed Generation:   2
    Reason:                DatabaseAcceptingConnectionRequest
    Status:                True
    Type:                  AcceptingConnection
    Last Transition Time:  2022-05-30T09:16:26Z
    Message:               DB is ready because of server getting Online and Running state
    Observed Generation:   2
    Reason:                ReadinessCheckSucceeded
    Status:                True
    Type:                  Ready
    Last Transition Time:  2022-05-30T09:16:26Z
    Message:               The PostgreSQL: demo/quick-postgres is successfully provisioned.
    Observed Generation:   2
    Reason:                DatabaseSuccessfullyProvisioned
    Status:                True
    Type:                  Provisioned
  Observed Generation:     2
  Phase:                   Ready
  Type    Reason      Age   From               Message
  ----    ------      ----  ----               -------
  Normal  Successful  106s  Postgres operator  Successfully created governing service
  Normal  Successful  106s  Postgres operator  Successfully created Service
  Normal  Successful  105s  Postgres operator  Successfully created appbinding

KubeDB has created two services for the Postgres object.

$ kubectl get service -n demo,
NAME                  TYPE        CLUSTER-IP    EXTERNAL-IP   PORT(S)                      AGE
quick-postgres        ClusterIP   <none>        5432/TCP,2379/TCP            3m19s
quick-postgres-pods   ClusterIP   None          <none>        5432/TCP,2380/TCP,2379/TCP   3m19s


  • Service quick-postgres targets only one Pod which is acting as primary server
  • Service quick-postgres-pods targets all Pods created by StatefulSet

KubeDB supports PostgreSQL clustering where Pod can be either primary or standby. To learn how to configure highly available PostgreSQL cluster, click here.

Here, we have created a PostgreSQL database with single node, primary only.

Connect with PostgreSQL database

KubeDB operator has created a new Secret called quick-postgres-auth for storing the username and password for postgres database.

 $ kubectl get secret -n demo quick-postgres-auth -o yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: Secret
  creationTimestamp: 2018-09-03T11:25:39Z
  labels: quick-postgres
  name: quick-postgres-auth
  namespace: demo
  resourceVersion: "1677"
  selfLink: /api/v1/namespaces/demo/secrets/quick-postgres-auth
  uid: 15b3e8a1-af6c-11e8-996d-0800270d7bae
type: Opaque

This secret contains superuser name for postgres database as POSTGRES_USER key and password as POSTGRES_PASSWORD key. By default, superuser name is postgres and password is randomly generated.

If you want to use custom password, please create the secret manually and specify that when creating the Postgres object using For more details see here.

Note: Auth Secret name format: {postgres-name}-auth

Now, you can connect to this database from the pgAdmin dashboard using quick-postgres.demo service and username and password created in quick-postgres-auth secret.

Connection information:

  • Host name/address: you can use any of these

    • Service: quick-postgres.demo
    • Pod IP: ($ kubectl get pods quick-postgres-0 -n demo -o yaml | grep podIP)
  • Port: 5432

  • Maintenance database: postgres

  • Username: Run following command to get username,

    $ kubectl get secrets -n demo quick-postgres-auth -o jsonpath='{.data.\POSTGRES_USER}' | base64 -d
  • Password: Run the following command to get password,

    $ kubectl get secrets -n demo quick-postgres-auth -o jsonpath='{.data.\POSTGRES_PASSWORD}' | base64 -d

Now, go to pgAdmin dashboard and connect to the database using the connection information as shown below,


Halt Database

KubeDB takes advantage of ValidationWebhook feature in Kubernetes 1.9.0 or later clusters to implement DoNotTerminate termination policy. If admission webhook is enabled, it prevents user from deleting the database as long as the spec.terminationPolicy is set DoNotTerminate.

To halt the database, we have to set spec.terminationPolicy: to Halt by updating it,

$ kubectl edit pg -n demo quick-postgres
  terminationPolicy: Halt

Now, if you delete the Postgres object, the KubeDB operator will delete every resource created for this Postgres CR, but leaves the auth secrets, and PVCs.

Let’s delete the Postgres object,

$ kubectl delete pg -n demo quick-postgres "quick-postgres" deleted

Check resources:

$ kubectl get all,secret,pvc -n demo -l ''
NAME                         TYPE                       DATA   AGE
secret/quick-postgres-auth   2      27m

NAME                                          STATUS   VOLUME                                     CAPACITY   ACCESS MODES   STORAGECLASS   AGE
persistentvolumeclaim/data-quick-postgres-0   Bound    pvc-b30e3255-a7ea-4f61-8637-f60e283236b2   1Gi        RWO            standard       27m

Resume Postgres

Say, the Postgres CR was deleted with spec.terminationPolicy to Halt and you want to re-create the Postgres using the existing auth secrets and the PVCs.

You can do it by simpily re-deploying the original Postgres object:

$ kubectl create -f created

Cleaning up

To cleanup the Kubernetes resources created by this tutorial, run:

kubectl patch -n demo pg/quick-postgres -p '{"spec":{"terminationPolicy":"WipeOut"}}' --type="merge"
kubectl delete -n demo pg/quick-postgres

kubectl delete ns demo

Tips for Testing

If you are just testing some basic functionalities, you might want to avoid additional hassles due to some safety features that are great for production environment. You can follow these tips to avoid them.

  1. Use storageType: Ephemeral. Databases are precious. You might not want to lose your data in your production environment if database pod fail. So, we recommend to use spec.storageType: Durable and provide storage spec in section. For testing purpose, you can just use spec.storageType: Ephemeral. KubeDB will use emptyDir for storage. You will not require to provide section.
  2. Use terminationPolicy: WipeOut. It is nice to be able to resume database from previous one. So, we preserve all your PVCs, Secrets, etc. If you don’t want to resume database, you can just use spec.terminationPolicy: WipeOut. It will delete everything created by KubeDB for a particular Postgres crd when you delete the crd. For more details about termination policy, please visit here.

Next Steps