juju deploy cs:postgresql
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PostgreSQL object-relational SQL database (supported version) Read more

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PostgreSQL is a powerful, open source object-relational database system. It has more than 15 years of active development and a proven architecture that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, data integrity, and correctness. It is fully ACID compliant, has full support for foreign keys, joins, views, triggers, and stored procedures (in multiple languages). It includes most SQL:2008 data types, including INTEGER, NUMERIC, BOOLEAN, CHAR, VARCHAR, DATE, INTERVAL, and TIMESTAMP. It also supports storage of binary large objects, including pictures, sounds, or video. It has native programming interfaces for C/C++, Java, .Net, Perl, Python, Ruby, Tcl, ODBC, among others, and exceptional documentation.

An enterprise class database, PostgreSQL boasts sophisticated features such as Multi-Version Concurrency Control (MVCC), point in time recovery, tablespaces, asynchronous replication, nested transactions (savepoints), online/hot backups, a sophisticated query planner/optimizer, and write ahead logging for fault tolerance. It supports international character sets, multibyte character encodings, Unicode, and it is locale-aware for sorting, case-sensitivity, and formatting. It is highly scalable both in the sheer quantity of data it can manage and in the number of concurrent users it can accommodate. There are active PostgreSQL systems in production environments that manage in excess of 4 terabytes of data.


This charm can deploy a single standalone PostgreSQL unit, or a service containing a single master unit and one or more replicas.

To setup a single 'standalone' service:

juju deploy postgresql pg-a

Scale Out Usage

To add a replica to an existing service:

juju add-unit pg-a

To deploy a new service containing a master and two hot standby replicas:

juju deploy -n 3 postgresql pg-b

You can remove units as normal. If the master unit is removed, failover occurs and the most up to date hot standby is promoted to the master. The 'db-relation-changed' and 'db-admin-relation-changed' hooks are fired, letting clients adjust:

juju remove-unit pg-b/0

To setup a client using a PostgreSQL database, in this case a vanilla Django installation listening on port 8080:

juju deploy postgresql
juju deploy python-django
juju deploy gunicorn
juju add-relation python-django postgresql:db
juju add-relation python-django gunicorn
juju expose python-django

Interacting with the Postgresql Service

Client Charms

Python client charms should be composed using interface:pgsql, which provides an easy way of navigating the complexities of the client interface. See for details.

The PostgreSQL charm provides two client relations. The db relation provides a normal account to the requested database. The database may be shared with other Juju Applications, allowing data to be shared. The db-admin relation provides administrative access to all databases on the PostgreSQL units.

Note that due to the asynchronous nature of Juju and the relation model, you may be provided connection strings to PostgreSQL units that are not yet ready to accept connections from your client. Your charm and application should handle connection failures and retry later, like it would any other network outage.

Non-Python Client Charms

Your charm may optionally set the following attributes on the db and db-admin relations in the relation-joined hook:

  • database - The requested database name
  • roles - A comma separated list of PostgreSQL roles to grant this relation's user. Roles will be created if they do not already exist.
  • extensions - A comma separated list of PostgreSQL extensions to install into the requested database.

The PostgreSQL units will eventually provide the following attributes on the db and db-admin relations:

  • master - The libpq connection string to the master database
  • standbys - A newline separted list of libpq connection strings to the standby databases. This will be empty if there is only a single master unit.

Database Permissions and Disaster Recovery

⚠ These two topics are entwined, because failing to follow best practice with your database permissions will make your life difficult when you need to recover after failure.

PostgreSQL has comprehensive database security, including ownership and permissions on database objects. By default, any objects a client service creates will be owned by a user with the same name as the client service and inaccessible to other users. To share data, it is best to create new roles, grant the relevant permissions and object ownership to the new roles and finally grant these roles to the users your services can connect as. This also makes disaster recovery easier. If you restore a database into an indentical Juju environment, then the service names and usernames will be the same and database permissions will match. However, if you restore a database into an environment with different client service names then the usernames will not match and the new users not have access to your data.

Learn about the SQL GRANT statement in the excellect PostgreSQL reference guide.


PostgreSQL dumps, such as those that can be scheduled in the charm, can be recovered on a new unit by using 'juju ssh' to connect to the new unit and using the standard PostgreSQL pg_restore(1) tool. This new unit must be standalone, or the master unit. Any hot standbys will replicate the recovered data from the master.

You will need to use pg_restore(1) with the --no-owner option, as users that existed in the old service will not exist in the new service.


If you had configured WAL-E, you can recover a WAL-E backup and replay to a point in time of your choosing using the wal-e tool. This will recover the whole database cluster, so all databases will be replaced.

If there are any hot standby units, they will need to be destroyed and recreated after the PITR recovery.

Point In Time Recovery

The PostgreSQL charm has support for log shipping and point in time recovery using the wal-e2 tool. This feature requires access to either Amazon S3 (or compatible storage), Microsoft Azure Block Storage or Swift. GCE support is available in wal-e, but not yet enabled in the charm.

/!\ It has only been tested with Swift, and other cloud storage should be considered experimental. Please let me know if it works for you with other providers.

The charm can be configured to perform regular filesystem backups and ship WAL files to the object store. Hot standbys will make use of the archived WAL files, allowing them to resync after extended netsplits or even let you turn off streaming replication entirely.

With a base backup and the WAL archive you can perform point in time recovery, but this is still a manual process and the charm does not yet help you do it. The simplest approach would be to create a new PostgreSQL service containing a single unit, 'juju ssh' in and use wal-e to replace the database after shutting it down, create a recovery.conf to replay the archived WAL files using wal-e, restart the database and wait for it to recover. Once recovered, new hot standby units can be added and client services related to the new database service.

To enable the experimental wal-e support with Swift, you will need to and set the service configuration settings similar to the following:

    wal_e_storage_uri: swift://mycontainer
    os_username: my_swift_username
    os_password: my_swift_password
    os_tenant_name: my_tenant_name

Development and Contributions

The PostgreSQL Charm is maintained on Launchpad4 using git. The 'master' branch is a Reactive Framework Layer, and generates a deployable Charm using the 'charm build' command provided by charm-tools.

The latest stable source layer is in the 'master' branch in the git+ssh:// repository. Merge proposals should be made against the 'master' branch. Do not make merge proposals against the old Bazaar branches or the 'built' branch.


Bug reports can be made at Queries can be made in any of the major Juju forums, such as the main Juju mailing list or the #juju channel on Freenode IRC.

Latest Stable

The latest tested, stable release of this charm can be found at and deployed with juju using the URI cs:postgresql. It is also available as the 'built' git branch in the git+ssh:// repository:

git clone -b built \ postgresql
juju deploy ./postgresql