Development Environment

The PostgreSQL Operator is an open source project hosted on GitHub.

This guide is intended for those wanting to build the Operator from source or contribute via pull requests.


The target development host for these instructions is a CentOS 8 or RHEL 8 host. Others operating systems are possible, however we do not support building or running the Operator on others at this time.

Environment Variables

The following environment variables are expected by the steps in this guide:

Variable Example Description
PGOROOT $HOME/postgres-operator Operator repository location
PGO_CONF_DIR $PGOROOT/installers/ansible/roles/pgo-operator/files Operator Config Template Directory
examples/ contains the above variable definitions as well as others used by postgres-operator tools

Other requirements

  • The development host has git installed and has cloned the postgres-operator repository. Makefile targets below are run from the repository directory.
  • Deploying the Operator will require deployment access to a Kubernetes or OpenShift cluster
  • Once you have cloned the git repository, you will need to download the CentOS repository files and GPG keys and place them in the $PGOROOT/conf directory. You can do so with the following code:
curl > conf/crunchypg12.repo
curl > conf/crunchypg11.repo
curl > conf/RPM-GPG-KEY-crunchydata-dev



Configuring build dependencies is automated via the setup target in the project Makefile:

make setup

The setup target ensures the presence of:

  • go compiler version 1.13+
  • NSQ messaging binaries
  • buildah OCI image building tool version 1.14.9+

Code Generation

Code generation is leveraged to generate the clients and informers utilized to interact with the various Custom Resources (e.g. pgclusters) comprising the PostgreSQL Operator declarative API. Code generation is provided by the Kubernetes code-generator project, and the following Make target is included within the PostgreSQL Operator project to update that code as needed:

# Update any generated code:
make generate

Therefore, in the event that a Custom Resource defined within the PostgreSQL Operator API ($PGOROOT/pkg/apis/ is updated, the verify-codegen target will indicate that an update is needed, and the update-codegen target should then be utilized to generate the updated code prior to compiling.


Please be sure to have your GPG Key and .repo file in the conf directory before proceeding.

You will build all the Operator binaries and Docker images by running:

make all

This assumes you have Docker installed and running on your development host.

By default, the Makefile will use buildah to build the container images, to override this default to use docker to build the images, set the IMGBUILDER variable to docker

After a full compile, you will have a pgo binary in $PGOROOT/bin and the Operator images in your local Docker registry.


Now that you have built the PostgreSQL Operator images, you can now deploy them to your Kubernetes cluster by following the Bash Installation Guide.


Once the PostgreSQL Operator is deployed, you can run the end-to-end regression test suite interface with the PostgreSQL client. You need to ensure that the pgo client executable is in your $PATH. The test suite can be run using the following commands:

cd $PGOROOT/testing/pgo_cli
GO111MODULE=on go test -count=1 -parallel=2 -timeout=30m -v .

For more information, please follow the testing README in the source repository.


Debug level logging in turned on by default when deploying the Operator.

Sample bash functions are supplied in examples/ to view the Operator logs.

You can view the Operator REST API logs with the alog bash function.

You can view the Operator core logic logs with the olog bash function.

You can view the Scheduler logs with the slog bash function.

These logs contain the following details:

Logging Level
Message Content
Function Information
File Information
PGO version

Additionally, you can view the Operator deployment Event logs with the elog bash function.

You can enable the pgo CLI debugging with the following flag:

pgo version --debug

You can set the REST API URL as follows after a deployment if you are developing on your local host by executing the setip bash function.