psql: Could not Connect to Server: Connection Refused

Evan Hicks

The Problem

When configuring Postgres initially, this error is quite common: psql: could not connect to server: Connection refused Is the server running on host "<your host>" and accepting TCP/IP connections on port 5432. It occurs because Postgres isn’t listening on the correct port (5432 is what psql expects by default) or there is an issue connecting from your computer to that port.

The Solution

First, double check that the Postgres process is running where you expect it to be. If you are trying to connect to a Postgres instance on the same host as your terminal, you can run lsof -p :5432 which will show which, if any, processes are listening on that port. The postgres process should be connected there.

You can also look at the listen_address and port value in your postgresql.conf to make sure Postgres is accepting connections on the address and port you expect. If the connection is still failing, then there might be a permission issue in the pg_hba.conf access configuration file. Make sure this is set up correctly to accept connections from your IP. Finally, ensure there are no firewalls or iptables on the Postgres server that are blocking connections.

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