PostgreSQL

To add a database connection, click on the gear icon in the top right, and navigate to Admin settings > Databases > Add a database.

Fill out the fields for that database, and click Save changes at the bottom.

Connection settings

Connection details for a PostgreSQL database.

Display name

The display name for the database in the Metabase interface.

Host

Your database’s IP address, or its domain name (e.g., esc.mydatabase.com).

Port

The database port. E.g., 5432.

Database name

The name of the database you’re connecting to.

Username

The database username for the account that you want to use to connect to your database. You can set up multiple connections to the same database using different user accounts to connect to the same database, each with different sets of privileges.

Password

The password for the username that you use to connect to the database.

Schemas

You can specify which schemas you want to sync and scan. Options are:

  • All
  • Only these…
  • All except…

For the Only these and All except options, you can input a comma-separated list of values to tell Metabase which schemas you want to include (or exclude). For example:

foo,bar,baz

You can use the * wildcard to match multiple schemas.

Let’s say you have three schemas: foo, bar, and baz.

  • If you have Only these… set, and enter the string b*, you’ll sync with bar and baz.
  • If you have All except… set, and enter the string b*, you’ll just sync foo.

Note that only the * wildcard is supported; you can’t use other special characters or regexes.

Use a secure connection (SSL)

Metabase automatically tries to connect to databases with SSL first, then without if that doesn’t work. If it’s possible to connect to your database with an SSL connection, Metabase will make that the default setting for your database. If you prefer to connect without this layer of security, you can always change this setting later, but we highly recommend keeping SSL turned on to keep your data secure.

SSL Mode

PostgreSQL databases support different levels of security with their connections, with different levels of overhead.

SSL Mode options include:

  • allow
  • prefer
  • require
  • verify-ca
  • verify-full

See the PostgreSQL docs for a table about the different SSL Modes, and select the option that works for you.

SSL root certificate (PEM)

If you set the SSL Mode to either “verify-ca” or “verify-full”, you’ll need to specify a root certificate (PEM). You have the option of using a Local file path or an Uploaded file path. If you’re on Metabase Cloud, you’ll need to select Uploaded file path and upload your certificate.

Use an SSH tunnel

See our guide to SSH tunneling.

Authenticate client certificate

Toggle on to bring up client certificate options.

SSL Client Certificate (PEM)

You have the option of using a Local file path or an Uploaded file path. If you’re on Metabase Cloud, you’ll need to select Uploaded file path and upload your certificate.

SSL Client Key (PKCS-8/DER)

Again, you have the option of using a Local file path or an Uploaded file path. If you’re on Metabase Cloud, you’ll need to select Uploaded file path and upload your certificate. You’ll also need to input your SSL Client Key Password.

The private key must be PKCS8 and stored in DER format.

If you instead have a PEM SSL client key, you can convert that key to the PKCS-8/DER format using openssl. The command would look something like:

openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -inform PEM -outform DER -in client-key.pem -out client-key.pk8 -nocrypt

Unfold JSON Columns

In some databases, Metabase can unfold JSON columns into component fields to yield a table where each JSON key becomes a column. JSON unfolding is on by default, but you can turn off JSON folding if performance is slow.

Additional JDBC connection string options

You can append options to the connection string that Metabase uses to connect to your database.

Re-run queries for simple explorations

Turn this option OFF if people want to click Run (the play button) before applying any Summarize or filter selections.

By default, Metabase will execute a query as soon as you choose an grouping option from the Summarize menu or a filter condition from the action menu. If your database is slow, you may want to disable re-running to avoid loading data on each click.

Choose when Metabase syncs and scans

Turn this option ON to manage the queries that Metabase uses to stay up to date with your database. For more information, see Syncing and scanning databases.

Database syncing

If you’ve selected Choose when syncs and scans happen > ON, you’ll see the following options under Database syncing:

  • Scan sets the frequency of the sync query to hourly (default) or daily.
  • at sets the time when your sync query will run against your database (in the timezone of the server where your Metabase app is running).

Scanning for filter values

Metabase can scan the values present in each field in this database to enable checkbox filters in dashboards and questions. This can be a somewhat resource-intensive process, particularly if you have a very large database.

If you’ve selected Choose when syncs and scans happen > ON, you’ll see the following options under Scanning for filter values:

  • Regularly, on a schedule allows you to run scan queries at a frequency that matches the rate of change to your database. The time is set in the timezone of the server where your Metabase app is running. This is the best option for a small database, or tables with distinct values that get updated often.
  • Only when adding a new filter widget is a great option if you want scan queries to run on demand. Turning this option ON means that Metabase will only scan and cache the values of the field(s) that are used when a new filter is added to a dashboard or SQL question.
  • Never, I’ll do this manually if I need to is an option for databases that are either prohibitively large, or which never really have new values added. Use the Re-scan field values now button to run a manual scan and bring your filter values up to date.

Periodically refingerprint tables

Turn this option ON to scan a sample of values every time Metabase runs a sync.

A fingerprinting query examines the first 10,000 rows from each column and uses that data to guesstimate how many unique values each column has, what the minimum and maximum values are for numeric and timestamp columns, and so on. If you turn this option OFF, Metabase will only fingerprint your columns once during setup.

Default result cache duration

Database-specific caching is only available on Pro and Enterprise plans (both self-hosted and on Metabase Cloud).

How long to keep question results. By default, Metabase will use the value you supply on the cache settings page, but if this database has other factors that influence the freshness of data, it could make sense to set a custom duration. You can also choose custom durations on individual questions or dashboards to help improve performance.

Options are:

  • Use instance default (TTL). TTL is time to live, meaning how long the cache remains valid before Metabase should run the query again.
  • Custom.

If you are on a paid plan, you can also set cache duration per questions. See Advanced caching controls.

Further reading

Read docs for other versions of Metabase.

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