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Database Access with Self-Hosted PostgreSQL


This guide will help you to:

  • Set up Teleport to access your self-hosted PostgreSQL.
  • Connect to your databases through Teleport.

Teleport Database Access PostgreSQL Self-Hosted


  • A self-hosted PostgreSQL instance.
  • A host, e.g., an Amazon EC2 instance, where you will run the Teleport Database Service.
  • The tsh client tool version >= 9.2.3.

    tsh version

    Teleport v9.2.3 go1.17

    See Installation for details.

  • A host where you will install the Teleport Auth Service and Proxy Service.

  • A registered domain name.

  • The tsh client tool version >= 9.2.3, which you can download by visiting the customer portal.

    tsh version

    Teleport v9.2.3 go1.17

  • A host where you will install the Teleport Auth Service and Proxy Service.

  • A registered domain name.

  • The tctl and tsh client tools version >= 9.1.2.

    You can download these from Teleport Cloud Downloads.

    tctl version

    Teleport v9.1.2 go1.17

    tsh version

    Teleport v9.1.2 go1.17

Verify that your Teleport client is connected by running the following on your Auth Service host:

tctl status


Version 9.2.3

CA pin sha256:sha-hash-here

Remain logged in to your Auth Service host so you can run subsequent tctl commands in this guide.

To connect to Teleport, log in to your cluster using tsh, then use tctl remotely:

tsh login [email protected]
tctl status


Version 9.1.2

CA pin sha256:sha-hash-here

You must run subsequent tctl commands in this guide on your local machine.

Step 1/5. Set up the Teleport Auth and Proxy services

Teleport Database Access for PostgreSQL is available starting from the 6.0 release.

On the host where you will run the Auth Service and Proxy Service, download the latest version of Teleport for your platform from our downloads page and follow the installation instructions.

Teleport requires a valid TLS certificate to operate and can fetch one automatically using Let's Encrypt's ACME protocol. Before Let's Encrypt can issue a TLS certificate for the Teleport Proxy host's domain, the ACME protocol must verify that an HTTPS server is reachable on port 443 of the host.

You can configure the Teleport Proxy service to complete the Let's Encrypt verification process when it starts up.

Run the following teleport configure command, where is the domain name of your Teleport cluster and [email protected] is an email address used for notifications (you can use any domain):

teleport configure --acme [email protected] > /etc/teleport.yaml

The --acme, --acme-email, and --cluster-name flags will add the following settings to your Teleport configuration file:

  enabled: "yes"
  web_listen_addr: :443
    enabled: "yes"
    email: [email protected]

Port 443 on your Teleport Proxy Service host must allow traffic from all sources.

Next, start the Teleport Auth and Proxy Services:

sudo teleport start

You will run subsequent tctl commands on the host where you started the Auth and Proxy Services.

If you do not have a Teleport Cloud account, use our signup form to get started. Teleport Cloud manages instances of the Proxy Service and Auth Service, and automatically issues and renews the required TLS certificate.

You must log in to your cluster before you can run tctl commands.

tsh login
tctl status

The Database Service requires a valid auth token to connect to the cluster. Generate one by running the following command against your Teleport Auth Service and save it in /tmp/token on the node that will run the Database Service:

tctl tokens add --type=db

Install Teleport on the host where you will run the Teleport Database Service:

Download Teleport's PGP public key

sudo curl \ -o /usr/share/keyrings/teleport-archive-keyring.asc

Add the Teleport APT repository

echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/teleport-archive-keyring.asc] stable main" \| sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/teleport.list > /dev/null
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install teleport
sudo yum-config-manager --add-repo
sudo yum install teleport

Optional: Using DNF on newer distributions

$ sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo

$ sudo dnf install teleport


<checksum> <filename>

curl -O
shasum -a 256 teleport-v9.2.3-linux-amd64-bin.tar.gz

Verify that the checksums match

tar -xzf teleport-v9.2.3-linux-amd64-bin.tar.gz
cd teleport
sudo ./install

<checksum> <filename>

curl -O
shasum -a 256 teleport-v9.2.3-linux-arm-bin.tar.gz

Verify that the checksums match

tar -xzf teleport-v9.2.3-linux-arm-bin.tar.gz
cd teleport
sudo ./install

<checksum> <filename>

curl -O
shasum -a 256 teleport-v9.2.3-linux-arm64-bin.tar.gz

Verify that the checksums match

tar -xzf teleport-v9.2.3-linux-arm64-bin.tar.gz
cd teleport
sudo ./install

Create a Teleport user

Create a local Teleport user with the built-in access role:

tctl users add \ --roles=access \ --db-users=\* \ --db-names=\* \ alice
--rolesList of roles to assign to the user. The builtin access role allows them to connect to any database server registered with Teleport.
--db-usersList of database usernames the user will be allowed to use when connecting to the databases. A wildcard allows any user.
--db-namesList of logical databases (aka schemas) the user will be allowed to connect to within a database server. A wildcard allows any database.

Database names are only enforced for PostgreSQL and MongoDB databases.

For more detailed information about database access controls and how to restrict access see RBAC documentation.

Step 2/5. Create a certificate/key pair

Teleport uses mutual TLS authentication with self-hosted databases. These databases must be configured with Teleport's certificate authority to be able to verify client certificates. They also need a certificate/key pair that Teleport can verify.

Create the secrets:

Export Teleport's certificate authority and a generate certificate/key pair

for host with a 1-year validity period.

tctl auth sign --format=db --out=server --ttl=2190h

We recommend using a shorter TTL, but keep mind that you'll need to update the database server certificate before it expires to not lose the ability to connect. Pick the TTL value that best fits your use-case.

The command will create 3 files: server.cas, server.crt and server.key which you'll need to enable mutual TLS on your PostgreSQL server.

Step 3/5. Configure your PostgreSQL server

To configure your PostgreSQL server to accept TLS connections, add the following to the PostgreSQL configuration file, postgresql.conf:

ssl = on
ssl_cert_file = '/path/to/server.crt'
ssl_key_file = '/path/to/server.key'
ssl_ca_file = '/path/toa/server.cas'

See Secure TCP/IP Connections with SSL in the PostgreSQL documentation for more details.

Additionally, PostgreSQL should be configured to require client certificate authentication from clients connecting over TLS. This can be done by adding the following entries to PostgreSQL's host-based authentication file pg_hba.conf:

hostssl all             all             ::/0                    cert
hostssl all             all                  cert

You should also ensure that you have no higher-priority md5 authentication rules that will match, otherwise PostgreSQL will offer them first, and the certificate-based Teleport login will fail.

See The pg_hba.conf File in the PostgreSQL documentation for more details.

Step 4/5. Start the Database Service

On the host where you will run the Teleport Database Service, start Teleport with the appropriate configuration.

You can start the Teleport Database Service without configuration file using a CLI command:

teleport db start \ --token=/tmp/token \ \ --name=test \ --protocol=postgres \ \ --labels=env=dev

Note that the --auth-server flag must point to the Teleport cluster's Proxy Service endpoint because the Database Service always connects back to the cluster over a reverse tunnel.

Generate a configuration file at /etc/teleport.yaml for the Database Service:

teleport db configure create \ -o file \ --token=/tmp/token \ \ --name=test \ --protocol=postgres \ \ --labels=env=dev

A single Teleport process can run multiple different services, for example multiple Database Service agents as well as the SSH Service or Application Service.

Start the database service:

teleport start --config=/path/to/teleport-db.yaml --token=/tmp/token

Step 5/5. Connect

Once the Database Service has joined the cluster, log in to see the available databases:

tsh login --user=testuser
tsh db ls

Name Description Labels

------- ------------------ --------

example Example PostgreSQL env=dev

Note that you will only be able to see databases your role has access to. See RBAC section for more details.

To connect to a particular database server, first retrieve credentials from Teleport using tsh db login command:

tsh db login example

You can be logged in to multiple databases simultaneously.

You can optionally specify the database name and the user to use by default when connecting to the database instance:

tsh db login --db-user=postgres --db-name=postgres example

Once logged in, connect to the database:

tsh db connect example

The psql command-line client should be available in PATH in order to be able to connect.

To log out of the database and remove credentials:

Remove credentials for a particular database instance.

tsh db logout example

Remove credentials for all database instances.

tsh db logout