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Getting started with pgagroal

First of all, make sure that pgagroal is installed and in your path by using "pgagroal -?". You should see
pgagroal 1.0.1
  High-performance connection pool for PostgreSQL

  pgagroal [ -c CONFIG_FILE ] [ -a HBA_FILE ] [ -d ]

  -c, --config CONFIG_FILE       Set the path to the pgagroal.conf file
  -a, --hba HBA_FILE             Set the path to the pgagroal_hba.conf file
  -l, --limit LIMIT_FILE         Set the path to the pgagroal_databases.conf file
  -u, --users USERS_FILE         Set the path to the pgagroal_users.conf file
  -A, --admins ADMINS_FILE       Set the path to the pgagroal_admins.conf file
  -S, --superuser SUPERUSER_FILE Set the path to the pgagroal_superuser.conf file
  -d, --daemon                   Run as a daemon
  -V, --version                  Display version information
  -?, --help                     Display help
If you don't have pgagroal in your path see our README on how to compile and install pgagroal in your system.


Lets create a simple configuration file called pgagroal.conf with the content
host = *
port = 2345

log_type = file
log_level = info
log_path = /tmp/pgagroal.log

max_connections = 100
idle_timeout = 600
validation = off
unix_socket_dir = /tmp/

host = localhost
port = 5432
In our main section called [pgagroal] we setup pgagroal to listen on all network addresses on port 2345. Logging will be performed at "info" level and put in a file called "/tmp/pgagroal.log". We want a maximum of 100 connections that are being closed if they have been idle for 10 minutes, and we also specify that we don't want any connection validation to be performed. Last we specify the location of the "unix_socket_dir" used for management operations.

Next we create a section called [primary] which has the information about our PostgreSQL instance. In this case it is running on "localhost" on port "5432".

Now we need a host based authentication (HBA) file. Create one called pgagroal_hba.conf with the content

host    all      all   all      all
This tells pgagroal that it can accept connections from all network addresses for all databases and all user names.

We are now ready to run pgagroal. See Configuration for all configuration options.


We will run pgagroal using the command
pgagroal -c pgagroal.conf -a pgagroal_hba.conf
If this doesn't give an error, then we are ready to connect.

We will assume that we have a user called "test" with the password "test" in our PostgreSQL instance. See their documentation on how to setup PostgreSQL, add a user, and add a database.

We will connect to pgagroal using the psql application.

psql -h localhost -p 2345 -U test test
That should give you a password prompt where "test" should be typed in. You are now connected to PostgreSQL through pgagroal.

Type "\q" to quit psql and pgagroal will now put the connection that you used into its pool.

If you type the above psql command again pgagroal will reuse the existing connection and thereby lower the overhead of getting a connection to PostgreSQL.

Now you are ready to point your applications to use pgagroal instead of going directly to PostgreSQL.

pgagroal is stopped by pressing Ctrl-C (^C) in the console where you started it, or by sending the SIGTERM signal to the process using "kill pid".

Run-time administration

pgagroal has a run-time administration tool called pgagroal-cli.

You can see the commands it supports by using "pgagroal-cli -?" which will give

pgagroal-cli 1.0.1
  Command line utility for pgagroal

  pgagroal-cli [ -c CONFIG_FILE ] [ COMMAND ]

  -c, --config CONFIG_FILE Set the path to the pgagroal.conf file
  -h, --host HOST          Set the host name
  -p, --port PORT          Set the port number
  -U, --user USERNAME      Set the user name
  -P, --password PASSWORD  Set the password
  -v, --verbose            Output text string of the result
  -V, --version            Display version information
  -?, --help               Display help

  flush-idle               Flush idle connections
  flush-gracefully         Flush all connections gracefully
  flush-all                Flush all connections. USE WITH CAUTION !
  is-alive                 Is pgagroal alive
  enable                   Enable a database
  disable                  Disable a database
  gracefully               Stop pgagroal gracefully
  stop                     Stop pgagroal
  cancel-shutdown          Cancel the graceful shutdown
  status                   Status of pgagroal
  details                  Detailed status of pgagroal
  switch-to                Switch to another primary
  reset                    Reset the Prometheus statistics
  reset-server             Reset the state of a server
This tool can be used on the machine running pgagroal to flush connections.

To flush all idle connections you would use

pgagroal-cli -c pgagroal.conf flush-idle
To stop pgagroal you would use
pgagroal-cli -c pgagroal.conf stop
Check the outcome of the operations by verifying the exit code, like
echo $?
or by using the -v flag.

If pgagroal has both Transport Layer Security (TLS) and "management" enabled then pgagroal-cli can connect with TLS using the files ~/.pgagroal/pgagroal.key (must be 0600 permission), ~/.pgagroal/pgagroal.crt and ~/.pgagroal/root.crt.


pgagroal has an administration tool called pgagroal-admin, which is used to control user registration with pgagroal.

You can see the commands it supports by using "pgagroal-admin -?" which will give

pgagroal-admin 1.0.1
  Administration utility for pgagroal

  pgagroal-admin [ -f FILE ] [ COMMAND ]

  -f, --file FILE         Set the path to a user file
  -U, --user USER         Set the user name
  -P, --password PASSWORD Set the password for the user
  -V, --version           Display version information
  -?, --help              Display help

  master-key              Create or update the master key
  add-user                Add a user
  update-user             Update a user
  remove-user             Remove a user
  list-users              List all users
In order to set the master key for all users use
pgagroal-admin master-key
The master key must have the following properties
  • At least 8 characters long
  • Use at least 1 upper case letter (A, B, C, ...)
  • Use at least 1 lower case letter (a, b, c, ...)
  • Use at least 1 number (1, 2, 3, ...)
  • Use at least 1 special character (!, @, #, ...)
in order to be considered valid.

Then use the other commands to add, update, remove or list the current user names, f.ex.

pgagroal-admin -f pgagroal_users.conf add-user

Next Steps

Next steps in improving pgagroal's configuration could be
  • Update pgagroal.conf with the required settings for your system
  • Set the access rights in pgagroal_hba.conf for each user and database
  • Add a pgagroal_users.conf file using pgagroal-admin with a list of known users
  • Disable access for unknown users by setting allow_unknown_users to false
  • Define a pgagroal_databases.conf file with the limits and prefill settings for each database
  • Enable Transport Layer Security v1.2+ (TLS)
See Configuration for more information on these subjects.


The pgagroal community hopes that you find the project interesting.

Feel free to

All contributions are most welcome !

Consider giving the project a star on GitHub if you find it useful. And, feel free to follow the project on Twitter as well.