Configuring the Client

Unlike psql and other libpq based programs the JDBC driver does server certificate validation by default. This means that when establishing a SSL connection the JDBC driver will validate the server's identity preventing "man in the middle" attacks. It does this by checking that the server certificate is signed by a trusted authority. If you have a certificate signed by a global certificate authority (CA), there is nothing further to do because Java comes with copies of the most common CA's certificates. If you are dealing with a self-signed certificate though, you need to make this available to the Java client to enable it to validate the server's certificate.


Only the JDBC 3 driver supports SSL. The 1.4 JDK was the first version to come bundled with SSL support. Previous JDK versions that wanted to use SSL could make use of the additional JSSE library, but it does not support the full range of features utilized by the PostgreSQL™ JDBC driver.

To make the server certificate available to Java, the first step is to convert it to a form Java understands.

openssl x509 -in server.crt -out server.crt.der -outform der

From here the easiest thing to do is import this certificate into Java's system truststore.

keytool -keystore $JAVA_HOME/lib/security/cacerts -alias postgresql -import -file server.crt.der

The default password for the cacerts keystore is changeit. The alias to postgesql is not important and you may select any name you desire.

If you do not have access to the system cacerts truststore you can create your own truststore.

keytool -keystore mystore -alias postgresql -import -file server.crt.der.

When starting your Java application you must specify this keystore and password to use.

java com.mycompany.MyApp

In the event of problems extra debugging information is available by adding to your command line.

To instruct the JDBC driver to try and establish a SSL connection you must add the connection URL parameter ssl=true.

Using SSL without Certificate Validation

In some situations it may not be possible to configure your Java environment to make the server certificate available, for example in an applet. For a large scale deployment it would be best to get a certificate signed by recognized certificate authority, but that is not always an option. The JDBC driver provides an option to establish a SSL connection without doing any validation, but please understand the risk involved before enabling this option.

A non-validating connection is established via a custom SSLSocketFactory class that is provided with the driver. Setting the connection URL parameter sslfactory=org.postgresql.ssl.NonValidatingFactory will turn off all SSL validation.

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