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Adam Miedema
Adam Miedema

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Setting up Adonis v5 with PostgreSQL

In this multi-part tutorial, we'll create and deploy a multi-server architecture web application.

Part 1: Creating a front-end using NuxtJS and TailwindCSS
Part 2: Setting up Adonis v5 with PostgreSQL
Part 3: Creating a REST API using Adonis v5
Part 4: Connecting Nuxt front-end to Adonis 5 API
Part 5: Deploying a multi-server app with Cleavr

Frameworks and tools used

Part 2 - Setting up Adonis v5 with PostgreSQL

AdonisJS version 5 is now available to preview and brings about a huge overhaul as it is completely re-written in Typescript. We'll be using version 5 in this tutorial and you can check out the new documentation here.

Install AdonisJS v5 on your local machine

We'll first install our Adonis project via the terminal by running the following command.

yarn create adonis-ts-app movieapi

Swap out movieapi if you want to name your project something else.

When asked, select the option for API Server as we will be creating an API only.

Once the installation is complete, you'll be prompted to run the following commands.

cd movieapi
node ace serve --watch

This will open up the movieapi directory and then serve our starter project.

Your app will be served on your localhost, copy and paste the <address>:<port number> from the terminal and paste into your web browser.

If you see the following appear on your browser, then you're off to a good start!


Install PostgreSQL drivers for AdonisJS v5

We'll now work on installing database drivers for PostgreSQL. You may choose to use a different database type. If so, follow the instructions for the database type you want to use.

No matter the database type you choose, you'll first need to install lucid.

cd movieapi
yarn add @adonisjs/lucid@alpha

Next, run:

node ace invoke @adonisjs/lucid

You'll then be asked which database drivers to install. I'll select PostgreSQL.

Lastly, let's finish up configuring the Postgres driver.

npm i pg

Check the database connection between Adonis and Postgres

First, make sure you have an instance of PostgreSQL running on your machine.

DBngin offers a quick and easy way to manage local database servers. I'll use it to run a PostgreSQL server on my machine, and then I'll connect to it via TablePlus and add a new database named movies.

Now, open up the movieapi project in IntelliJ and navigate to the database.ts file to configure database connections.

pg: {
      client: 'pg',
      connection: {
        host: Env.get('DB_HOST', '') as string,
        port: Number(Env.get('DB_PORT', 5432)),
        user: Env.get('DB_USER', 'postgres') as string,
        password: Env.get('DB_PASSWORD', '') as string,
        database: Env.get('DB_NAME', 'movies') as string,
      healthCheck: true,

Note - postgres is typically the default username for new PostgreSQL installations.

Also, we'll want to make sure that healthCheck is set to true as Adonis only attempts to establish a connection with the database when queries are ran. And, using the health check feature is a quick way to test the database connection.

From the configs above, you can see that Adonis will first check to see if the variables exist in the .env file; so, we'll need to make sure we change the defaults in the .env file as well.


Now, let's open routes.ts, import health check, and then add a health check route.

import HealthCheck from '@ioc:Adonis/Core/HealthCheck'

Route.get('health', async ({ response }) => {
  const report = await HealthCheck.getReport()

  return report.healthy
    ? response.ok(report)
    : response.badRequest(report)

We can now check the connection. You may need to re-run node ace serve --watch if the process stopped.

Also, I received an error at this step and had to install proxy-addr to continue. If you get this error as well, just run the following command and then re-serve the project.

npm install proxy-addr

Open up your browser and append the url with /health to see the results of the health check. If you've successfully established a connection with your database, you'll see the following message:

{"healthy":true,"report":{"env":{"displayName":"Node Env Check","health":{"healthy":true}},"appKey":{"displayName":"App Key Check","health":{"healthy":true}},"lucid":{"displayName":"Database","health":{"healthy":true,"message":"All connections are healthy"},"meta":[{"connection":"pg","message":"Connection is healthy","error":null}]}}}

Now that our Adonis and PostgreSQL connection is setup and is working, we'll continue creating our API in part 3.

Following along? View Part 2 progress on GitHub at

Watch the full tutorial series uninterrupted on Youtube.

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