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Postgres Operator

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The Postgres Operator delivers an easy to run highly-available PostgreSQL clusters on Kubernetes (K8s) powered by Patroni. It is configured only through Postgres manifests (CRDs) to ease integration into automated CI/CD pipelines with no access to Kubernetes API directly, promoting infrastructure as code vs manual operations.

Operator features

  • Rolling updates on Postgres cluster changes, incl. quick minor version updates
  • Live volume resize without pod restarts (AWS EBS, PVC)
  • Database connection pooler with PGBouncer
  • Restore and cloning Postgres clusters (incl. major version upgrade)
  • Additionally logical backups to S3 bucket can be configured
  • Standby cluster from S3 WAL archive
  • Configurable for non-cloud environments
  • Basic credential and user management on K8s, eases application deployments
  • Support for custom TLS certificates
  • UI to create and edit Postgres cluster manifests
  • Works well on Amazon AWS, Google Cloud, OpenShift and locally on Kind
  • Support for AWS EBS gp3 migration

PostgreSQL features

The Postgres Operator has been developed at Zalando and is being used in production for over three years.

Notes on Postgres 13 support

If you are new to the operator, you can skip this and just start using the Postgres operator as is, Postgres 13 is ready to go.

The Postgres operator supports Postgres 13 with the new Spilo Image that includes also the recent Patroni version to support PG13 settings. More work on optimizing restarts and rolling upgrades is pending.

If you are already using the Postgres operator in older version with a Spilo 12 Docker image you need to be aware of the changes for the backup path. We introduce the major version into the backup path to smoothen the major version upgrade that is now supported manually.

The new operator configuration can set a compatibility flag enable_spilo_wal_path_compat to make Spilo look for wal segments in the current path but also old format paths. This comes at potential performance costs and should be disabled after a few days.

The newest Spilo 13 image is:

The last Spilo 12 image is:

Getting started

For a quick first impression follow the instructions of this tutorial.

Supported setups of Postgres and Applications



There is a browser-friendly version of this documentation at


There are two places to get in touch with the community:

  1. The GitHub issue tracker
  2. The #postgres-operator slack channel