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pgAdmin 4

pgAdmin 4 is a rewrite of the popular pgAdmin3 management tool for the PostgreSQL ( database.

In the following documentation and examples, "$PGADMIN4_SRC/" is used to denote the top-level directory of a copy of the pgAdmin source tree, either from a tarball or a git checkout.


pgAdmin 4 is written as a web application in Python, using jQuery and Bootstrap for the client side processing and UI. On the server side, Flask is being utilised.

Although developed using web technologies, pgAdmin 4 can be deployed either on a web server using a browser, or standalone on a workstation. The runtime/ subdirectory contains a QT based runtime application intended to allow this - it is essentially a Python application server that runs in the system tray and allows the user to connect to the application using their web browser.

Building the Runtime

To build the runtime, the following packages must be installed:

  • QT 5 (Use the VC++ build on Windows, not MinGW).
  • Python 3.4+

An environment variable named PGADMINPYTHONDIR must be set to the directory in which Python has been installed, for example:

  • /usr
  • /usr/local/python-3.8
  • C:\Python38

Assuming both qmake is in the path:

[email protected]:~/git/pgadmin4$ cd runtime [email protected]:~/git/pgadmin4/runtime$ export PGADMINPYTHONDIR=/opt/local [email protected]:~/git/pgadmin4/runtime$ qmake Project MESSAGE: ================================== Project MESSAGE: Configuring the pgAdmin 4 runtime. Project MESSAGE: ================================== Project MESSAGE: Qt version: 5 Project MESSAGE: Platform: macOS Project MESSAGE: Python executable: /opt/local/bin/python3 Project MESSAGE: Python version: 3.8 (38) Project MESSAGE: Python config: /opt/local/bin/python3-config Project MESSAGE: CXXFLAGS: -pipe -stdlib=libc++ -I/opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.8/include/python3.8 -I/opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.8/include/python3.8 Project MESSAGE: LDFLAGS: -stdlib=libc++ -L/opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.8/lib/python3.8/config-3.8-darwin -ldl -framework CoreFoundation Project MESSAGE: LIBS: -lpython3.8 -ldl -framework CoreFoundation [email protected]:~/git/pgadmin4/runtime$ make ...

To build the runtime in debug mode, use the option below with qmake: $ qmake CONFIG+=debug

To build the runtime in release mode, use the option below with qmake: $ qmake CONFIG+=release

By default, the runtime application will be built in release mode.

On Linux, an executable called 'pgAdmin4' will be built, on Windows, 'pgAdmin4.exe', and on Mac OS X, an app bundle called will be created.

You can also use Qt Creator to build, develop and debug the runtime. Simply open the $PGADMIN4_SRC/runtime/ project file in Qt Creator and configure the project with a supported version of Qt when prompted.

Create Database Migrations

In order to make changes to the SQLite DB, navigate to the 'web' directory:

(pgadmin4) $ cd $PGADMIN4_SRC/web

Create a migration file with the following command:

(pgadmin4) $ flask db revision

This will create a file in: $PGADMIN4SRC/web/migrations/versions/ . Add any changes to the 'upgrade' function. Increment the SCHEMAVERSION in $PGADMIN4SRC/web/pgadmin/model/ file.

There is no need to increment the SETTINGSSCHEMAVERSION.

Configuring the Python Environment

In order to run the Python code, a suitable runtime environment is required. Python version 3.4 and later are currently supported. It is recommended that a Python Virtual Environment is setup for this purpose, rather than using the system Python environment. On Linux and Mac systems, the process is fairly simple - adapt as required for your distribution:

1) Install the virtualenv packages into the system Python environment

$ sudo pip install virtualenv virtualenvwrapper

2) Source the virtualenv wrapper tools script. You may want to add this command to your ~/.bash_profile file for future convenience:

$ source /usr/local/bin/

3) Create a virtual environment:

$ mkvirtualenv pgadmin4

To make use of the virtual environment in the future, use the following command to re-activate it:

$ workon pgadmin4

4) Ensure that a PostgreSQL installation's bin/ directory is in the path (so pg_config can be found for building psycopg2), and install the required packages:

(pgadmin4) $ PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/pgsql/bin pip install -r $PGADMIN4_SRC/requirements.txt

If you are planning to run the regression tests, you also need to install additional requirements from web/regression/requirements.txt:

(pgadmin4) $ pip install -r $PGADMIN4_SRC/web/regression/requirements.txt

5) Create a local configuration file for pgAdmin. Edit $PGADMIN4SRC/web/ and add any desired configuration options (use the file as a reference - any settings duplicated in will override those in A typical development configuration may look like:

from config import *

Debug mode

DEBUG = True

App mode


Enable the test module






Use a different config DB for each server mode.

if SERVER_MODE == False: SQLITE_PATH = os.path.join( DATA_DIR, 'pgadmin4-desktop.db' ) else: SQLITE_PATH = os.path.join( DATA_DIR, 'pgadmin4-server.db' )

This configuration allows easy switching between server and desktop modes for testing.

6) The initial setup of the configuration database is interactive in server mode, and non-interactive in desktop mode. You can run it either by running:

(pgadmin4) $ python $PGADMIN4_SRC/web/

or by starting pgAdmin 4:

(pgadmin4) $ python $PGADMIN4_SRC/web/

Whilst it is possible to automatically run setup in desktop mode by running the runtime, that will not work in server mode as the runtime doesn't allow command line interaction with the setup program.

At this point you will be able to run pgAdmin 4 from the command line in either server or desktop mode, and access it from a web browser using the URL shown in the terminal once pgAdmin has started up.

Setup of an environment on Windows is somewhat more complicated unfortunately, please see pkg/win32/README.txt for complete details.

Once a virtual environment has been created and enabled, setup can continue from step 4 above.

Building the Web Assets

pgAdmin is dependent on a number of third party Javascript libraries. These, along with it's own Javascript code, SCSS/CSS code and images must be compiled into a "bundle" which is transferred to the browser for execution and rendering. This is far more efficient than simply requesting each asset as it's needed by the client.

To create the bundle, you will need the 'yarn' package management tool to be installed. Then, you can run the following commands on a *nix system to download the required packages and build the bundle:

(pgadmin4) $ cd $PGADMIN4_SRC
(pgadmin4) $ make install-node
(pgadmin4) $ make bundle

On Windows systems (where "make" is not available, the following commands can be used:

C:\> cd $PGADMIN4_SRC\web
C:\$PGADMIN4_SRC\web> yarn install
C:\$PGADMIN4_SRC\web> yarn run bundle

Creating pgAdmin themes

To create a pgAdmin theme, you need to create a directory under web/pgadmin/static/scss/resources. Copy the sample file theme.variables.scss.sample to the new directory and rename it to _theme.variables.scss. Change the desired hexadecimal values of the colors and bundle pgAdmin. You can also add a preview image in the theme directory with the name as

preview.png. It is recommended that the preview image should not be larger in size as it may take time to load on slow networks. Run the yarn run bundle and you're good to go. No other changes are required, pgAdmin bundle will read the directory and create other required entries to make them available in preferences.

The name of the theme is derived from the directory name. Underscores (_) and hyphens (-) will be replaced with spaces and the result will be camel cased.

Configuring the Runtime

The pgAdmin 4 Runtime maintains it's own Python Path to avoid conflicts with packages or other issues in the system Python installation. It will also search a number of known locations for the file needed to run pgAdmin (including relative locations in a source code tree), however you can specify an alternate path if needed.

If either a working environment or cannot be found at startup, the runtime will prompt for the locations. Alternatively, you can click the try icon and select the Configuration option to open the configuration dialogue.

On a Linux/Mac system, the Python Path will typically consist of a single path to the virtual environment's site-packages directory, e.g.


On Windows, multiple paths are likely to be required, e.g.


If you wish to specify a specific copy of the Python code to run, you can set the Application Path to a directory containing, e.g.


Building the documentation

In order to build the docs, an additional Python package is required in the virtual environment. This can be installed with the pip package manager:

$ workon pgadmin4
(pgadmin4) $ pip install Sphinx

The docs can then be built using the Makefile in $PGADMIN4_SRC, e.g.

(pgadmin4) $ make docs

The output can be found in $PGADMIN4SRC/docs/enUS/_build/html/index.html

Building packages

Most packages can be built using the Makefile in $PGADMIN4_SRC, provided all the setup and configuration above has been completed.

To build a source tarball:

(pgadmin4) $ make src

To build a PIP Wheel, activate either a Python 2 or Python 3 virtual environment as desired, configured with all the required packages, and then run:

(pgadmin4) $ make pip

To build the macOS AppBundle, please see pkg/mac/README.

To build the Windows installer, please see pkg/win32/README.txt.


See for support options.

Project info

The source code repository can be found here:;a=summary

A Redmine project for pgAdmin 4 can be found at the address below. A PostgreSQL community account is required to access this site. Please note that at present only project developers can log bug and feature requests:

If you wish to discuss pgAdmin 4, or contribute to the project, please use the pgAdmin Hackers mailing list:

[email protected]

-- Dave Page pgAdmin Project Lead

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