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A template for PostgreSQL High Availability with Etcd, Consul, ZooKeeper, or Kubernetes


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Patroni: A Template for PostgreSQL HA with ZooKeeper, etcd or Consul

You can find a version of this documentation that is searchable and also easier to navigate at

There are many ways to run high availability with PostgreSQL; for a list, see the PostgreSQL Documentation.

Patroni is a template for high availability (HA) PostgreSQL solutions using Python. For maximum accessibility, Patroni supports a variety of distributed configuration stores like ZooKeeper, etcd, Consul or Kubernetes. Database engineers, DBAs, DevOps engineers, and SREs who are looking to quickly deploy HA PostgreSQL in datacenters - or anywhere else - will hopefully find it useful.

We call Patroni a "template" because it is far from being a one-size-fits-all or plug-and-play replication system. It will have its own caveats. Use wisely.

Currently supported PostgreSQL versions: 9.3 to 16.

Note to Citus users: Starting from 3.0 Patroni nicely integrates with the Citus database extension to Postgres. Please check the Citus support page in the Patroni documentation for more info about how to use Patroni high availability together with a Citus distributed cluster.

Note to Kubernetes users: Patroni can run natively on top of Kubernetes. Take a look at the Kubernetes chapter of the Patroni documentation.

How Patroni Works

Patroni originated as a fork of Governor, the project from Compose. It includes plenty of new features.

For an example of a Docker-based deployment with Patroni, see Spilo, currently in use at Zalando.

For additional background info, see:

Development Status

Patroni is in active development and accepts contributions. See our Contributing section below for more details.

We report new releases information here.


There are two places to connect with the Patroni community: on github, via Issues and PRs, and on channel #patroni in the PostgreSQL Slack. If you're using Patroni, or just interested, please join us.

Technical Requirements/Installation

Pre-requirements for Mac OS

To install requirements on a Mac, run the following:

brew install postgresql etcd haproxy libyaml python


Starting from psycopg2-2.8 the binary version of psycopg2 will no longer be installed by default. Installing it from the source code requires C compiler and postgres+python dev packages. Since in the python world it is not possible to specify dependency as psycopg2 OR psycopg2-binary you will have to decide how to install it.

There are a few options available:

  1. Use the package manager from your distro
sudo apt-get install python3-psycopg2  # install psycopg2 module on Debian/Ubuntu
sudo yum install python3-psycopg2      # install psycopg2 on RedHat/Fedora/CentOS
  1. Specify one of psycopg, psycopg2, or psycopg2-binary in the list of dependencies when installing Patroni with pip (see below).

General installation for pip

Patroni can be installed with pip:

pip install patroni[dependencies]

where dependencies can be either empty, or consist of one or more of the following:

etcd or etcd3
python-etcd module in order to use Etcd as DCS
python-consul module in order to use Consul as DCS
kazoo module in order to use Zookeeper as DCS
kazoo module in order to use Exhibitor as DCS (same dependencies as for Zookeeper)
kubernetes module in order to use Kubernetes as DCS in Patroni
pysyncobj module in order to use python Raft implementation as DCS
boto3 in order to use AWS callbacks
all of the above (except psycopg family)
psycopg[binary]>=3.0.0 module
psycopg2>=2.5.4 module
psycopg2-binary module

For example, the command in order to install Patroni together with psycopg3, dependencies for Etcd as a DCS, and AWS callbacks is:

pip install patroni[psycopg3,etcd3,aws]

Note that external tools to call in the replica creation or custom bootstrap scripts (i.e. WAL-E) should be installed independently of Patroni.

Running and Configuring

To get started, do the following from different terminals:

> etcd --data-dir=data/etcd --enable-v2=true
> ./ postgres0.yml
> ./ postgres1.yml

You will then see a high-availability cluster start up. Test different settings in the YAML files to see how the cluster's behavior changes. Kill some of the components to see how the system behaves.

Add more postgres*.yml files to create an even larger cluster.

Patroni provides an HAProxy configuration, which will give your application a single endpoint for connecting to the cluster's leader. To configure, run:

> haproxy -f haproxy.cfg
> psql --host --port 5000 postgres

YAML Configuration

Go here for comprehensive information about settings for etcd, consul, and ZooKeeper. And for an example, see postgres0.yml.

Environment Configuration

Go here for comprehensive information about configuring(overriding) settings via environment variables.

Replication Choices

Patroni uses Postgres' streaming replication, which is asynchronous by default. Patroni's asynchronous replication configuration allows for maximum_lag_on_failover settings. This setting ensures failover will not occur if a follower is more than a certain number of bytes behind the leader. This setting should be increased or decreased based on business requirements. It's also possible to use synchronous replication for better durability guarantees. See replication modes documentation for details.

Applications Should Not Use Superusers

When connecting from an application, always use a non-superuser. Patroni requires access to the database to function properly. By using a superuser from an application, you can potentially use the entire connection pool, including the connections reserved for superusers, with the superuser_reserved_connections setting. If Patroni cannot access the Primary because the connection pool is full, behavior will be undesirable.