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Using Postgres

Postgres version 9.4 or later is known to work.

Set up database

Assuming your PostgreSQL database user is called postgres, create a user synapse_user with:

su - postgres
createuser --pwprompt synapse_user

The PostgreSQL database used must have the correct encoding set, otherwise it would not be able to store UTF8 strings. To create a database with the correct encoding use, e.g.:

 OWNER synapse_user;

This would create an appropriate database named synapse owned by the synapse_user user (which must already exist).

Set up client in Debian/Ubuntu

Postgres support depends on the postgres python connector psycopg2. In the virtual env:

sudo apt-get install libpq-dev
pip install psycopg2

Set up client in RHEL/CentOs 7

Make sure you have the appropriate version of postgres-devel installed. For a postgres 9.4, use the postgres 9.4 packages from [here](

As with Debian/Ubuntu, postgres support depends on the postgres python connector psycopg2. In the virtual env:

sudo yum install postgresql-devel libpqxx-devel.x86_64
export PATH=/usr/pgsql-9.4/bin/:$PATH
pip install psycopg2

Synapse config

When you are ready to start using PostgreSQL, edit the database section in your config file to match the following lines:

    name: psycopg2
        user: <user>
        password: <pass>
        database: <db>
        host: <host>
        cp_min: 5
        cp_max: 10

All key, values in args are passed to the psycopg2.connect(..) function, except keys beginning with cp_, which are consumed by the twisted adbapi connection pool.

Porting from SQLite


The script synapse_port_db allows porting an existing synapse server backed by SQLite to using PostgreSQL. This is done in as a two phase process:

  1. Copy the existing SQLite database to a separate location (while the server is down) and running the port script against that offline database.
  2. Shut down the server. Rerun the port script to port any data that has come in since taking the first snapshot. Restart server against the PostgreSQL database.

The port script is designed to be run repeatedly against newer snapshots of the SQLite database file. This makes it safe to repeat step 1 if there was a delay between taking the previous snapshot and being ready to do step 2.

It is safe to at any time kill the port script and restart it.

Using the port script

Firstly, shut down the currently running synapse server and copy its database file (typically homeserver.db) to another location. Once the copy is complete, restart synapse. For instance:

./synctl stop
cp homeserver.db homeserver.db.snapshot
./synctl start

Copy the old config file into a new config file:

cp homeserver.yaml homeserver-postgres.yaml

Edit the database section as described in the section Synapse config above and with the SQLite snapshot located at homeserver.db.snapshot simply run:

synapse_port_db --sqlite-database homeserver.db.snapshot \
    --postgres-config homeserver-postgres.yaml

The flag --curses displays a coloured curses progress UI.

If the script took a long time to complete, or time has otherwise passed since the original snapshot was taken, repeat the previous steps with a newer snapshot.

To complete the conversion shut down the synapse server and run the port script one last time, e.g. if the SQLite database is at homeserver.db run:

synapse_port_db --sqlite-database homeserver.db \
    --postgres-config homeserver-postgres.yaml

Once that has completed, change the synapse config to point at the PostgreSQL database configuration file homeserver-postgres.yaml:

./synctl stop
mv homeserver.yaml homeserver-old-sqlite.yaml
mv homeserver-postgres.yaml homeserver.yaml
./synctl start

Synapse should now be running against PostgreSQL.