Tutorial: How to use PostgreSQL

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to use PostgreSQL with your project ✨ πŸš€ 😊

You can find the result of this tutorial on github here

This tutorial is a natural follow-up of How to write Controllers. You can either go for that tutorial first and come back later or be a rebel, skip it and read on 😊


1. Install Homebrew
2. Install PostgreSQL
3. Create and generate a new project
4. Configure your project to use PostgreSQL

1. Install Homebrew

If you don’t have it yet I highly recommend to get it. It makes it super easy for you to install dependencies like PostgreSQL. To install Homebrew execute the following in your terminal:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

We will also install brew services. It will make it incredibly easy to start the PostgreSQL server and let it start alongside with your mac! It’s awesome ✨!

brew tap homebrew/services

Now whenever you want to know what services are running just execute:

brew services list

2. Install PostgreSQL

Installing PostgreSQL with Homebrew is so easy, what am I even here for πŸ˜„?

brew install postgresql

That’s it. Done. Now to init postgresql just execute the following command:

initdb /usr/local/var/postgres

Next start postgresql with:

brew services start postgresql

See how easy brew services makes it? postgresql now starts alongside your mac!

Now let’s create a database that we want to be used by our project. To create a new database we stay in our terminal and just execute:

createdb mycooldb;

Terminal Cheatsheet:

connect to mycooldb database: psql mycooldb
within server list databases: \l
within server to exit server: \q

Alrighty! You are ready for step 3. Create and generate a new project 😊

3. Create and generate a new project

We will use the outcome of the tutorial mentioned in the beginning as a template to create our new project:

vapor new projectName --template=vaporberlin/my-first-controller --branch=vapor-2

Before we generate an Xcode project we would have to change the package name within Package.swift:

// swift-tools-version:4.0import PackageDescriptionlet package = Package(
name: "projectName", // changed
products: [
.library(name: "App", targets: ["App"]),
.executable(name: "Run", targets: ["Run"])
dependencies: [
.package(url: "https://github.com/vapor/vapor.git", .upToNextMajor(from: "2.1.0")),
.package(url: "https://github.com/vapor/leaf-provider.git", .upToNextMajor(from: "1.1.0")),
.package(url: "https://github.com/vapor/fluent-provider.git", .upToNextMajor(from: "1.3.0")),
.package(url: "https://github.com/vapor-community/postgresql-provider.git", .upToNextMajor(from: "2.1.0")) // added
targets: [
.target(name: "App", dependencies: ["Vapor", "LeafProvider", "FluentProvider", "PostgreSQLProvider"],
exclude: [
.target(name: "Run", dependencies: ["App"]),
.testTarget(name: "AppTests", dependencies: ["App", "Testing"])

Now in the terminal at the root directory projectName/ execute:

vapor update -y

It may take a bit fetching the dependency, but when done you should have a project structure like this:

β”œβ”€β”€ Package.swift
β”œβ”€β”€ Sources/
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ App/
β”‚ β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ Controllers/
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚ └── UserController.swift
β”‚ β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ Models/
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚ └── User.swift
β”‚ β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ Routes/
β”‚ β”‚ β”‚ └── Routes.swift
β”‚ β”‚ └── Setup/
β”‚ β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ Config+Setup.swift
β”‚ β”‚ └── Droplet+Setup.swift
β”‚ └── Run/
β”œβ”€β”€ Tests/
β”œβ”€β”€ Config/
β”œβ”€β”€ Resources/
β”œβ”€β”€ Public/
β”œβ”€β”€ Dependencies/
└── Products/

If you now cmd+r or run we should be able to access the /user route 😊!

Note: make sure to select Run as a scheme next to your button before running the app

4. Configure your project to use PostgreSQL

Now all we need is a configuration file that holds our database information. Create a new Folder within Config/ and name it secrets/ so all our sensitive configuration files won’t be tracked by git.

Within Config/secrets/ create a file and name it postgresql.json and insert the following configuration:

"hostname": "",
"user": "martinlasek", // use your own mac user
"password": "",
"database": "mycooldb",
"port": 5432

NOTE: To find out your mac user execute the following in terminal: whoami

Then we will tell fluent to use postgresql as a driver. In Config/fluent.json:

"driver": "postgresql", ...

Lastly we’ll add the PostgreSQLProvider within Setup/Config+Setup.swift:

import LeafProvider
import FluentProvider
import PostgreSQLProvider // added
extension Config {
public func setup() throws {
try setupProviders()
try setupPreparations()
private func setupProviders() throws {
try addProvider(LeafProvider.Provider.self)
try addProvider(FluentProvider.Provider.self)
try addProvider(PostgreSQLProvider.Provider.self) // added
private func setupPreparations() throws {

Our final cmd+r or run and refresh of /user and that’s it! You successfully configured your project to use a postgresql database πŸŽ‰ πŸš€ πŸŽ‰

Thank you a lot for reading! If you have any questions or improvements β€” write a comment! I would love to hear from you! 😊



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