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pgAdmin 4
pgAdmin 4 is a rewrite of the popular pgAdmin3 management tool for the
PostgreSQL ( database.
In the following documentation and examples, "$PGADMIN4_SRC/" is used to denote
the top-level directory of a copy of the pgAdmin source tree, either from a
tarball or a git checkout.
pgAdmin 4 is written as a web application in Python, using jQuery and Bootstrap
for the client side processing and UI. On the server side, Flask is being
Although developed using web technologies, pgAdmin 4 can be deployed either on
a web server using a browser, or standalone on a workstation. The runtime/
subdirectory contains a QT based runtime application intended to allow this -
it is essentially a Python application server that runs in the system tray
and allows the user to connect to the application using their web browser.
Building the Runtime
To build the runtime, the following packages must be installed:
- QT 4.6 or above
- Python 2.6, 2.7 or 3.3+ (2.7 only on Windows)
Assuming both qmake and python-config are in the path:
$ cd $PGADMIN4_SRC/runtime
$ qmake
Project MESSAGE: Building for QT5+...
Project MESSAGE: Building for Linux/Mac...
Project MESSAGE: Using /usr/bin/python-config
Project MESSAGE: Python2 detected.
$ make
To build the runtime in debug mode, use the option below with qmake
$ qmake CONFIG+=debug
To build the runtime in release mode, use the option below with qmake
$ qmake CONFIG+=release
By default, the runtime application will be built in release mode.
On Linux, an executable called 'pgAdmin4' will be built, and on Mac OS X, an
app bundle called will be created.
To build the runtime on a Windows system, export PYTHON_HOME and PYTHON_VERSION
variables in the System environment. Specify the PYTHON_VERSION with the major
and minor number. Do not specify micro level version.
For example, given a Python version of A.B.C; A - Major number, B - Minor
number, C - Micro level (Bug fix releases).
If Python version is 2.7.12 than specify PYTHON_VERSION=27
e.g. PYTHON_HOME=C:\Python27\
You can also use Qt Creator to build, develop and debug the runtime. Simply
open the $PGADMIN4_SRC/runtime/ project file in Qt Creator and
configure the project with a supported version of Qt when prompted.
Create Database Migrations
In order to make changes to the SQLite DB, navigate to the 'web' directory:
(pgadmin4) $ cd $PGADMIN4_SRC/web
Create a migration file with the following command:
(pgadmin4) $ flask db revision
This will create a file in: $PGADMIN4_SRC/web/migrations/versions/ .
Add any changes to the 'upgrade' function.
Increment the SCHEMA_VERSION in $PGADMIN4_SRC/web/pgadmin/model/ file.
There is no need to increment the SETTINGS_SCHEMA_VERSION.
Configuring the Python Environment
In order to run the Python code, a suitable runtime environment is required.
Python versions - Python 2.6, 2.7 or 3.3+ are currently supported. It is
recommended that a Python Virtual Environment is setup for this purpose,
rather than using the system Python environment. On Linux and Mac systems, the
process is fairly simple - adapt as required for your distribution:
1) Install the virtualenv packages into the system Python environment
$ sudo pip install virtualenv virtualenvwrapper
2) Source the virtualenv wrapper tools script. You may want to add this command
to your ~/.bash_profile file for future convenience:
$ source /usr/local/bin/
3) Create a virtual environment:
$ mkvirtualenv pgadmin4
To make use of the virtual environment in the future, use the following
command to re-activate it:
$ workon pgadmin4
4) Ensure that a PostgreSQL installation's bin/ directory is in the path (so
pg_config can be found for building psycopg2), and install the required
(pgadmin4) $ PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/bin pip install -r $PGADMIN4_SRC/requirements.txt
If you are planning to run the regression tests, you also need to install
additional requirements from web/regression/requirements.txt:
(pgadmin4) $ pip install -r $PGADMIN4_SRC/web/regression/requirements.txt
5) Create a local configuration file for pgAdmin. Edit
$PGADMIN4_SRC/web/ and add any desired configuration options
(use the file as a reference - any settings duplicated in will override those in A typical development
configuration may look like:
from config import *
# Debug mode
DEBUG = True
# App mode
# Enable the test module
# Log
# Use a different config DB for each server mode.
if SERVER_MODE == False:
SQLITE_PATH = os.path.join(
SQLITE_PATH = os.path.join(
This configuration allows easy switching between server and desktop modes
for testing.
6) The initial setup of the configuration database is interactive in server
mode, and non-interactive in desktop mode. You can run it either by
(pgadmin4) $ python $PGADMIN4_SRC/web/
or by starting pgAdmin 4:
(pgadmin4) $ python $PGADMIN4_SRC/web/
Whilst it is possible to automatically run setup in desktop mode by running
the runtime, that will not work in server mode as the runtime doesn't allow
command line interaction with the setup program.
At this point you will be able to run pgAdmin 4 from the command line in either
server or desktop mode, and access it from a web browser using the URL shown in
the terminal once pgAdmin has started up.
Setup of an environment on Windows is somewhat more complicated unfortunately,
largely due to the lack of a native compiler toolset. Thankfully, Microsoft
supply a free compiler specifically for Python 2.7 users. Download and install
it from:
A blog detailing the setup of Virtual Environments on Windows can be found
Once a virtual environment has been created and enabled, setup can continue
from step 4 above.
Building the Web Assets
pgAdmin is dependent on a number of third party Javascript libraries. These,
along with it's own Javascript code, SCSS/CSS code and images must be
compiled into a "bundle" which is transferred to the browser for execution
and rendering. This is far more efficient than simply requesting each
asset as it's needed by the client.
To create the bundle, you will need the 'yarn' package management tool to be
installed. Then, you can run the following commands on a *nix system to
download the required packages and build the bundle:
(pgadmin4) $ cd $PGADMIN4_SRC
(pgadmin4) $ make install-node
(pgadmin4) $ make bundle
On Windows systems (where "make" is not available, the following commands
can be used:
C:\> cd $PGADMIN4_SRC\web
C:\$PGADMIN4_SRC\web> yarn install
C:\$PGADMIN4_SRC\web> yarn run bundle
Configuring the Runtime
The pgAdmin 4 Runtime maintains it's own Python Path to avoid conflicts with
packages or other issues in the system Python installation. It will also search
a number of known locations for the file needed to run pgAdmin
(including relative locations in a source code tree), however you can specify
an alternate path if needed.
If either a working environment or cannot be found at startup, the
runtime will prompt for the locations. Alternatively, you can click the try
icon and select the Configuration option to open the configuration dialogue.
On a Linux/Mac system, the Python Path will typically consist of a single path
to the virtual environment's site-packages directory, e.g.
On Windows, multiple paths are likely to be required, e.g.
If you wish to specify a specific copy of the Python code to run, you can set
the Application Path to a directory containing, e.g.
Building the documentation
In order to build the docs, an additional Python package is required in the
virtual environment. This can be installed with the pip package manager:
$ workon pgadmin4
(pgadmin4) $ pip install Sphinx
The docs can then be built using the Makefile in $PGADMIN4_SRC, e.g.
(pgadmin4) $ make docs
The output can be found in $PGADMIN4_SRC/docs/en_US/_build/html/index.html
Building packages
Most packages can be built using the Makefile in $PGADMIN4_SRC, provided all
the setup and configuration above has been completed.
To build a source tarball:
(pgadmin4) $ make src
To build a PIP Wheel, activate either a Python 2 or Python 3 virtual
environment as desired, configured with all the required packages, and then
(pgadmin4) $ make pip
On a Mac, build an application bundle in a disk image (DMG file) with:
(pgadmin4) $ make appbundle
Configure the framework.conf to match the QT and Python versions the app is
being built with:
$ cp $PGADMIN4_SRC/pkg/mac/ $PGADMIN4_SRC/pkg/mac/framework.conf
$ vi $PGADMIN4_SRC/pkg/mac/framework.conf
If you have an Apple code signing certificate, both the app bundle and disk
image can be automatically signed by configuring signing:
$ cp $PGADMIN4_SRC/pkg/mac/ $PGADMIN4_SRC/pkg/mac/codesign.conf
$ vi $PGADMIN4_SRC/pkg/mac/codesign.conf
Edit the file as appropriate, ensuring the various version numbers are correct
and that the appropriate developer ID is specified.
On Windows, the InnoSetup tool is required to create an installer. Download the
Unicode version from:
A number of environment variables may need to be set to enable the build script
to function. The defaults will usually work on a typical 64 bit system with
Qt 5.5.1, Python 2.7 and Visual Studio 2013. The examples below are for a
similar 32 bit system:
INNOTOOL=C:\Program Files\Inno Setup 5
PGDIR=C:\Program Files\PostgreSQL\10
VCDIR=C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\VC
To build the installer:
C:\$PGADMIN4_SRC> make x86
If you have a code signing certificate, this will automatically be used if
found in the Windows Certificate Store to sign the installer.
See for support options.
Project info
The source code repository can be found here:;a=summary
A Redmine project for pgAdmin 4 can be found at the address below. A PostgreSQL
community account is required to access this site. Please note that at present
only project developers can log bug and feature requests:
If you wish to discuss pgAdmin 4, or contribute to the project, please use the
pgAdmin Hackers mailing list:
Dave Page
pgAdmin Project Lead
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