Server Deployment

pgAdmin may be deployed as a web application by configuring the app to run in server mode and then deploying it either behind a webserver running as a reverse proxy, or using the WSGI interface.

The following instructions demonstrate how pgAdmin may be run as a WSGI application under Apache HTTP, using mod_wsgi.

Requirements

Important: Some components of pgAdmin require the ability to maintain affinity between client sessions and a specific database connection (for example, the Query Tool in which the user might run a BEGIN command followed by a number of DML SQL statements, and then a COMMIT). pgAdmin has been designed with built-in connection management to handle this, however it requires that only a single Python process is used because it is not easily possible to maintain affinity between a client session and one of multiple WSGI worker processes.

On Windows systems, the Apache HTTP server uses a single process, multi-threaded architecture. WSGI applications run in embedded mode, which means that only a single process will be present on this platform in all cases.

On Unix systems, the Apache HTTP server typically uses a multi-process, single threaded architecture (this is dependent on the MPM that is chosen at compile time). If embedded mode is chosen for the WSGI application, then there will be one Python environment for each Apache process, each with it’s own connection manager which will lead to loss of connection affinity. Therefore one should use mod_wsgi‘s daemon mode, configured to use a single process. This will launch a single instance of the WSGI application which is utilised by all the Apache worker processes.

Whilst it is true that this is a potential performance bottleneck, in reality pgAdmin is not a web application that’s ever likely to see heavy traffic unlike a busy website, so in practice should not be an issue.

Future versions of pgAdmin may introduce a shared connection manager process to overcome this limitation, however that is a significant amount of work for little practical gain.

Configuration

In order to configure pgAdmin to run in server mode, it is first necessary to configure the Python code to run in multi-user mode, and then to configure the web server to find and execute the code.

Note that there are multiple configuration files that are read at startup by pgAdmin. These are as follows:

  • config.py: This is the main configuration file, and should not be modified. It can be used as a reference for configuration settings, that may be overridden in one of the following files.
  • config_distro.py: This file is read after config.py and is intended for packagers to change any settings that are required for their pgAdmin distribution. This may typically include certain paths and file locations.
  • config_local.py: This file is read after config_distro.py and is intended for end users to change any default or packaging specific settings that they may wish to adjust to meet local preferences or standards.

Python

In order to configure the Python code, follow these steps:

  1. Create a config_local.py file alongside the existing config.py file.

  2. Edit config_local.py and add the following setting:

    SERVER_MODE = True
    
  3. In most cases, the default file locations are setup for running in desktop mode. Add settings similar to the following to config_local.py to use paths suitable for server mode.

    NOTE: You must ensure the directories specified are writeable by the user that the web server processes will be running as, e.g. apache or www-data.

    LOG_FILE = '/var/log/pgadmin4/pgadmin4.log'
    SQLITE_PATH = '/var/lib/pgadmin4/pgadmin4.db'
    SESSION_DB_PATH = '/var/lib/pgadmin4/sessions'
    STORAGE_DIR = '/var/lib/pgadmin4/storage'
    
  4. Run the following command to create the configuration database:

    # python setup.py
    
  5. Change the ownership of the configuration database to the user that the web server processes will run as, for example, assuming that the web server runs as user www-data in group www-data, and that the SQLite path is /var/lib/pgadmin4/pgadmin4.db:

    # chown www-data:www-data /var/lib/pgadmin4/pgadmin4.db
    

Apache HTTPD Configuration (Windows)

Once Apache HTTP has been configured to support mod_wsgi, the pgAdmin application may be configured similarly to the example below:

<VirtualHost *>
    ServerName pgadmin.example.com
    WSGIScriptAlias / "C:\Program Files\pgAdmin4\web\pgAdmin4.wsgi"
    <Directory "C:\Program Files\pgAdmin4\web">
            Order deny,allow
            Allow from all
    </Directory>
</VirtualHost>

Apache HTTPD Configuration (Linux/Unix)

Once Apache HTTP has been configured to support mod_wsgi, the pgAdmin application may be configured similarly to the example below:

<VirtualHost *>
    ServerName pgadmin.example.com

    WSGIDaemonProcess pgadmin processes=1 threads=25
    WSGIScriptAlias / /opt/pgAdmin4/web/pgAdmin4.wsgi

    <Directory /opt/pgAdmin4/web>
        WSGIProcessGroup pgadmin
        WSGIApplicationGroup %{GLOBAL}
        Order deny,allow
        Allow from all
    </Directory>
</VirtualHost>

Note: If you’re using Apache HTTPD 2.4 or later, replace the lines:

Order deny,allow
Allow from all

with:

Require all granted

Adjust as needed to suit your access control requirements.