Exposing Postgres Services


This section explains how to expose a PostgreSQL service externally, allowing access to your PostgreSQL database from outside your Kubernetes cluster using NGINX Ingress Controller.

If you followed the QuickStart, you should have by now a database that can be accessed inside the cluster via the cluster-example-rw (primary) and cluster-example-r (read-only) services in the default namespace. Both services use port 5432.

Let's assume that you want to make the primary instance accessible from external accesses on port 5432. A typical use case, when moving to a Kubernetes infrastructure, is indeed the one represented by legacy applications that cannot be easily or sustainably "containerized". A sensible workaround is to allow those applications that most likely reside in a virtual machine or a physical server, to access a PostgreSQL database inside a Kubernetes cluster in the same network.


Allowing access to a database from the public network could expose your database to potential attacks from malicious users. Ensure you secure your database before granting external access or that your Kubernetes cluster is only reachable from a private network.

For this example, you will use NGINX Ingress Controller, since it is maintained directly by the Kubernetes project and can be set up on every Kubernetes cluster. Many other controllers are available (see the Kubernetes documentation for a comprehensive list).

We assume that:

  • the NGINX Ingress controller has been deployed and works correctly
  • it is possible to create a service of type LoadBalancer in your cluster

Ingresses are only required to expose HTTP and HTTPS traffic. While the NGINX Ingress controller can, not all Ingress objects can expose arbitrary ports or protocols.

The first step is to create a tcp-services ConfigMap whose data field contains info on the externally exposed port and the namespace, service and port to point to internally.

apiVersion: v1
kind: ConfigMap
  name: tcp-services
  namespace: ingress-nginx
  5432: default/cluster-example-rw:5432

Then, if you've installed NGINX Ingress Controller as suggested in their documentation, you should have an ingress-nginx service. You'll have to add the 5432 port to the ingress-nginx service to expose it. The ingress will redirect incoming connections on port 5432 to your database.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
  name: ingress-nginx
  namespace: ingress-nginx
    app.kubernetes.io/name: ingress-nginx
    app.kubernetes.io/part-of: ingress-nginx
  type: LoadBalancer
    - name: http
      port: 80
      targetPort: 80
      protocol: TCP
    - name: https
      port: 443
      targetPort: 443
      protocol: TCP
    - name: postgres
      port: 5432
      targetPort: 5432
      protocol: TCP
    app.kubernetes.io/name: ingress-nginx
    app.kubernetes.io/part-of: ingress-nginx

You can use cluster-expose-service.yaml and apply it using kubectl.


If you apply this file directly, you will overwrite any previous change in your ConfigMap and Service of the Ingress

Now you will be able to reach the PostgreSQL Cluster from outside your Kubernetes cluster.


Make sure you configure pg_hba to allow connections from the Ingress.

Testing on Minikube

On Minikube you can setup the ingress controller running:

minikube addons enable ingress

Then, patch the tcp-service ConfigMap to redirect to the primary the connections on port 5432 of the Ingress:

kubectl patch configmap tcp-services -n kube-system \
  --patch '{"data":{"5432":"default/cluster-example-rw:5432"}}'

You can then patch the deployment to allow access on port 5432. Create a file called patch.yaml with the following content:

      - name: nginx-ingress-controller
         - containerPort: 5432
           hostPort: 5432

and apply it to the nginx-ingress-controller deployment:

kubectl patch deployment nginx-ingress-controller --patch "$(cat patch.yaml)" -n kube-system

You can access the primary from your machine running:

psql -h $(minikube ip) -p 5432 -U postgres

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