After you deploy a Postgres instance, you can access the databases either by executing Postgres utilities from within Kubernetes, or by using a locally-installed tool, such as psql.

Accessing a Pod with Kubectl

Use the kubectl tool to run utilities directly in a Postgres pod. This psql command connects to the default Postgres database, postgres.

kubectl exec -it postgres-sample-0 -- psql
psql (11.13 (VMware Postgres 11.13.1))
Type "help" for help.


You can also simply execute a bash shell in the pod and then execute Postgres utilities as needed. For example:

kubectl exec -it postgres-sample-0 -- /bin/bash
postgres@postgres-sample-0:/$ createdb mydb
postgres@postgres-sample-0:/$ psql mydb
psql (11.13 (VMware Postgres 11.13.1))
Type "help" for help.

mydb=# create role user1 login;

Accessing Postgres with External Clients

If you have installed psql or another Postgres client application outside of Kubernetes (for example, on your local client machine), you can connect to a Postgres database on Kubernetes using Postgres connection parameters, passed as command-line options or in a connection string.

  1. These commands get the sample database name, database role, and password from a Kubernetes secret.

    dbname=$(kubectl get secret postgres-sample-db-secret -o go-template='{{.data.dbname | base64decode}}')
    username=$(kubectl get secret postgres-sample-db-secret -o go-template='{{.data.username | base64decode}}')
    password=$(kubectl get secret postgres-sample-db-secret -o go-template='{{.data.password | base64decode}}')
  2. For a TKGI or GKE deployment, these commands get the external host address and port from the Postgres load balancer.

    host=$(kubectl get service postgres-sample -o jsonpath='{.status.loadBalancer.ingress[0].ip}')
    port=$(kubectl get service postgres-sample -o jsonpath='{.spec.ports[0].port}')
  3. For Minikube deployments, the Postgres load balancer is not used. Get the external host address and port using these commands:

    host=$(minikube ip)
    port=$(kubectl get service postgres-sample -o jsonpath='{.spec.ports[0].nodePort}')
  4. Execute the psql command, specifying the connection parameters.

    PGPASSWORD=$password psql -h $host -p $port -d $dbname -U $username
    psql (11.13 (VMware Postgres 11.13.1))
    Type "help" for help.
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