By default PostgreSQL is configured to be bound to “localhost”.

$ netstat -nlt
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:443             0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:11211         0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:80              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:22              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:5432          0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:3737          0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp6       0      0 :::22                   :::*                    LISTEN

As we can see above port 5432 is bound to 127.0.0.1. It means any attempt to connect to the postgresql server from outside the machine will be refused. We can try hitting the port 5432 by using telnet.

$ telnet 107.170.11.79 5432
Trying 107.170.11.79...
telnet: connect to address 107.170.11.79: Connection refused
telnet: Unable to connect to remote host

Configuring postgresql.conf

In order to fix this issue we need to find postgresql.conf. In different systems it is located at different place. I usually search for it.

$ find \ -name "postgresql.conf"
/var/lib/pgsql/9.4/data/postgresql.conf

Open postgresql.conf file and replace line

listen_addresses = 'localhost'

with

listen_addresses = '*'

Now restart postgresql server.

$ netstat -nlt
Proto Recv-Q Send-Q Local Address           Foreign Address         State
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:11211         0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:80              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:22              0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 0.0.0.0:5432            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:25            0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp        0      0 127.0.0.1:2812          0.0.0.0:*               LISTEN
tcp6       0      0 ::1:11211               :::*                    LISTEN
tcp6       0      0 :::22                   :::*                    LISTEN
tcp6       0      0 :::5432                 :::*                    LISTEN
tcp6       0      0 ::1:25                  :::*                    LISTEN

Here we can see that “Local Address” for port 5432 has changed to 0.0.0.0.

Configuring pg_hba.conf

Let’s try to connect to remote postgresql server using “psql”.

$ psql -h 107.170.158.89 -U postgres
psql: could not connect to server: Connection refused
	Is the server running on host "107.170.158.89" and accepting
	TCP/IP connections on port 5432?

In order to fix it, open pg_hba.conf and add following entry at the very end.

host    all             all              0.0.0.0/0                       md5
host    all             all              ::/0                            md5

The second entry is for IPv6 network.

Do not get confused by “md5” option mentioned above. All it means is that a password needs to be provided. If you want client to allow collection without providing any password then change “md5” to “trust” and that will allow connection unconditionally.

Restart postgresql server.

$ psql -h 107.170.158.89 -U postgres
Password for user postgres:
psql (9.4.1, server 9.4.5)
Type "help" for help.

postgres=# \l

You should be able to see list of databases.

Now we are able to connect to postgresql server remotely.

Please note that in the real world you should be using extra layer of security by using “iptables”.