What is PostgresqlCO.NF?

PostgresqlCO.NF (CONF for short) is your postgresql.conf documentation and ultimate recommendations’ source. Our mission is to help you tune and optimize all of your PostgreSQL configuration. With around 290 configuration parameters in postgresql.conf (and counting), it is definitely a difficult task! We aim to make PostgreSQL configuration accessible for HUMANS.

CONF is, according to our users, “literally the best Postgres configuration reference ever created.

Why you should be using CONF

There are almost 300 parameters and with each new Postgres version more are added. Parameters can be integers, real, string, enum or bool. Numeric values may have units (or unit-less) and some units can be confusing (like “blocks of 8kB”). It can be challenging to try to understand them all.

You can learn many things by reading the documentation reference, but CONF aggregates the official documentation, plus some recommendations and relevant links to StackOverflow and the -hackers mailing list in a direct and easy to read format that you can bookmark or share a link of an specific parameter to someone, and if you already are an expert you can comment on the site and add your thoughts on how to tune any given parameter.

Some parameters require restart. Having a quick and clear reference of all the parameters context can help you to plan ahead whether you need or not a maintenance window for your deployment. Consider archive_mode parameter as an example: it’s required for WAL archiving but it’s off by default and requires restart; the archive_command on the other hand does not require restart. Actually, one good recommendation is to set archive_mode to on and archive_command to /bin/true until you find the real archive_command you will use in production, but never have to restart for this reason. This is just the tip of the iceberg on what you can learn by just reading the docs.

However CONF it’s not just a documentation reference. Right now we are working hard on a fully featured application service where you can have a graphical configuration interface (or UI) with Drag & Drop of your postgresql.conf files with automatic validation, and a REST API where you can store and share your custom postgresql.conf configuration files. You will also be able to download your configurations in several formats, like the native postgresql.conf, YAML or JSON.

Subscribe to our extremely low traffic mailing list on https://postgresqlco.nf to become a beta tester of the configurator when the software will be ready.

But wait, there’s more. There is a little hidden feature that we want to make public today. It is a small JavaScript snippet that you can add to your web/blog that converts all the parameters found in the html and shows a nice tooltip with info about that parameter. Like magic!

Adding it to your website will take you 1 minute. Check the documentation page and grab it while it’s hot. We are improving it with more options in later versions, but we can’t wait to hear your comments and feedback (and of course bugs reports).

The redesign

On December 31, 2019, we deployed (yes, we deployed on 12/31, it wasn’t Friday but it’s pretty much the same thing!) a new version of the postgresqlCO.NF website, saying goodbye to both the old year and design. We had been working on the redesign of our Postgres Documentation page for a while.

First of all, we decided to give CONF a more modern look, changing the UI color scheme and unifying all fonts and sizes. Now, all pages have the same look and feel: clean, professional and most importantly, intuitive. We believe it is important that these services are not only useful, but also pleasant and easy to use. We kept the three-column structure, but we reorganised the content. This redesign also fixes many small bugs that existed in the previous version.

Last but not least, the whole infrastructure that runs CONF has changed. We migrated from a web application powered by Java that dynamically renders the pages served from Google Cloud, to a statically generated web site served from Amazon S3 using CloudFront. This drastically improves the performance of the whole site, giving a better user experience.

Feel free to give us your feedback about this new version of CONF and stay tuned to our updates, as we will be adding some new and highly requested features (like a dark mode 🕶) really soon!

Do you want to know where it all started?