Desktop Deployment

pgAdmin may be deployed as a desktop application by configuring the application to run in desktop mode and then utilising the desktop runtime to host the program on a supported Windows, Mac OS X or Linux installation.

The desktop runtime is a system-tray application that when launched, runs the pgAdmin server and launches a web browser to render the user interface. If additional instances of pgAdmin are launched, a new browser tab will be opened and be served by the existing instance of the server in order to minimise system resource utilisation. Clicking the icon in the system tray will present a menu offering options to open a new pgAdmin window, configure the runtime, view the server log and shut down the server.


Pre-compiled and configured installation packages are available for a number of platforms. These packages should be used by end-users whereever possible - the following information is useful for the maintainers of those packages and users interested in understanding how pgAdmin works.

See also

For detailed instructions on building and configuring pgAdmin from scratch, please see the README file in the top level directory of the source code. For convenience, you can find the latest version of the file here, but be aware that this may differ from the version included with the source code for a specific version of pgAdmin.


From pgAdmin 4 v2 onwards, the default configuration mode is server, however, this is overridden by the desktop runtime at startup. In most environments, no Python configuration is required unless you wish to override other default settings.

There are multiple configuration files that are read at startup by pgAdmin. These are as follows:

  • This is the main configuration file, and should not be modified. It can be used as a reference for configuration settings, that may be overridden in one of the following files.

  • This file is read after and is intended for packagers to change any settings that are required for their pgAdmin distribution. This may typically include certain paths and file locations. This file is optional, and may be created by packagers in the same directory as if needed.

  • This file is read after and is intended for end users to change any default or packaging specific settings that they may wish to adjust to meet local preferences or standards.This file is optional, and may be created by users in the same directory as if needed.


If the SERVER_MODE setting is changed in or, you will most likely need to re-set the LOG_FILE, SQLITE_PATH, SESSION_DB_PATH and STORAGE_DIR values as well as they will have been set based on the default configuration or overridden by the runtime.


When executed, the runtime will automatically try to execute the pgAdmin Python application. If execution fails, it will prompt you to adjust the Python Path to include the directories containing the pgAdmin code as well as any additional Python dependencies. You can enter a list of paths by separating them with a semi-colon character, for example:


The configuration settings are stored using the QSettings class in Qt, which will use an INI file on Unix systems (~/.config/pgadmin/pgadmin4.conf), a plist file on Mac OS X (~/Library/Preferences/org.pgadmin.pgadmin4.plist), and the registry on Windows (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\pgadmin\pgadmin4).

The configuration settings:






The directory containing



An alternate command to run instead of the default browser.



The number of seconds to wait for application server startup.



The Python module search path