Installation

The release page has pre-compiled binaries for Mac OS X, Windows, Linux and FreeBSD . The Linux binary is a static executable that can be run on any Linux distribution.

If you use macOS Homebrew, then you can install PostgREST from the official repo.

brew install postgrest

If you use FreeBSD, then you can install PostgREST from the official ports.

pkg install hs-postgrest

If you use Arch Linux, then you can install PostgREST from the official repo.

pacman -S postgrest

If you use Nix, then you can install PostgREST from nixpkgs.

nix-env -i haskellPackages.postgrest

If you use Windows, you can install PostgREST using Scoop command-line installer.

scoop install postgrest

When a pre-built binary does not exist for your system you can build the project from source.

Running

If you downloaded PostgREST from the release page, first extract the compressed file to obtain the executable.

# For UNIX platforms
tar Jxf postgrest-[version]-[platform].tar.xz

# On Windows you should unzip the file

Now you can run postgrest with the --help flag to see usage instructions:

# Running postgrest binary
./postgrest --help

# Running postgrest installed from a package manager
postgrest --help

# You should see a usage help message

The PostgREST server reads a configuration file as its only argument:

postgrest /path/to/postgrest.conf

# You can also generate a sample config file with
# postgrest 2> postgrest.conf
# You'll need to edit this file and remove the usage parts for postgrest to read it

For a complete reference of the configuration file, see Configuration.

Note

If you see a dialog box like this on Windows, it may be that the pg_config program is not in your system path.

_images/win-err-dialog.png

It usually lives in C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\<version>\bin. See this article about how to modify the system path.

To test that the system path is set correctly, run pg_config from the command line. You should see it output a list of paths.

PostgreSQL dependency

To use PostgREST you will need an underlying database. We require PostgreSQL 9.4 or greater, but recommend at least 9.5 for row-level security features. You can use something like Amazon RDS but installing your own locally is cheaper and more convenient for development.

Docker

You can get the official PostgREST Docker image with:

docker pull postgrest/postgrest

The image consults an internal /etc/postgrest.conf file. To customize this file you can either mount a replacement configuration file into the container, or use environment variables. The environment variables will be interpolated into the default config file.

These variables match the options shown in our Configuration section, except they are capitalized, have a PGRST_ prefix, and use underscores. To get a list of the available environment variables, run this:

docker inspect -f "{{.Config.Env}}" postgrest/postgrest

You can also specify a config file by mounting the file to the container:

docker run -v /absolute/path/to/config:/etc/postgrest.conf postgrest/postgrest

There are two ways to run the PostgREST container: with an existing external database, or through docker-compose.

The first way to run PostgREST in Docker is to connect it to an existing native database on the host.

# Run the server
docker run --rm --net=host -p 3000:3000 \
  -e PGRST_DB_URI="postgres://postgres@localhost/postgres" \
  -e PGRST_DB_ANON_ROLE="postgres" \
  postgrest/postgrest

The database connection string above is just an example. Adjust the role and password as necessary. You may need to edit PostgreSQL’s pg_hba.conf to grant the user local login access.

Note

Docker on Mac does not support the --net=host flag. Instead you’ll need to create an IP address alias to the host. Requests for the IP address from inside the container are unable to resolve and fall back to resolution by the host.

sudo ifconfig lo0 10.0.0.10 alias

You should then use 10.0.0.10 as the host in your database connection string. Also remember to include the IP address in the listen_address within postgresql.conf. For instance:

listen_addresses = 'localhost,10.0.0.10'

You might also need to add a new IPv4 local connection within pg_hba.conf. For instance:

host    all             all             10.0.0.10/32            trust

To avoid having to install the database at all, you can run both it and the server in containers and link them together with docker-compose. Use this configuration:

# docker-compose.yml

version: '3'
services:
  server:
    image: postgrest/postgrest
    ports:
      - "3000:3000"
    links:
      - db:db
    environment:
      PGRST_DB_URI: postgres://app_user:password@db:5432/app_db
      PGRST_DB_SCHEMA: public
      PGRST_DB_ANON_ROLE: app_user #In production this role should not be the same as the one used for the connection
      PGRST_SERVER_PROXY_URI: "http://127.0.0.1:3000"
    depends_on:
      - db
  db:
    image: postgres
    ports:
      - "5432:5432"
    environment:
      POSTGRES_DB: app_db
      POSTGRES_USER: app_user
      POSTGRES_PASSWORD: password
  # Uncomment this if you want to persist the data.
  # volumes:
  #   - "./pgdata:/var/lib/postgresql/data"

Go into the directory where you saved this file and run docker-compose up. You will see the logs of both the database and PostgREST, and be able to access the latter on port 3000.

If you want to have a visual overview of your API in your browser you can add swagger-ui to your docker-compose.yml:

swagger:
  image: swaggerapi/swagger-ui
  ports:
    - "8080:8080"
  expose:
    - "8080"
  environment:
    API_URL: http://localhost:3000/

With this you can see the swagger-ui in your browser on port 8080.

Deploying to Heroku

Assuming your making modifications locally and then pushing to GitHub, it’s easy to deploy to Heroku.

  1. Create a new app on Heroku
  2. In Settings add the following buildpack https://github.com/PostgREST/postgrest-heroku
  3. Add the require Config Vars in Heroku (see https://github.com/PostgREST/postgrest/blob/master/app.json#L7-L57 for more details)
  4. Modify your postgrest.conf file as required to match your Config Vars in Heroku
  5. Create your Procfile and add ./env-to-config ./postgrest postgrest.conf
  6. Push your changes to GitHub
  7. Set Heroku to automatically deploy from Master and then manually deploy the branch for the first build