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PostgreSQL service

A pg_service.conf file allows to use an named alias for a PostgreSQL server connection. Instead of storing hostname, port, database name and more into the QGIS Project file, these can be stored separately. It is even possible to store username and password in a pg_service.conf file, to avoid having this stored in clear text in the QGIS Project.

Read more about PostgreSQL services in the QGIS documentation.

QField - Direct Connection

If you directly connect from QGIS to your database you can make use of a pg_service.conf file by placing it in the QField data folder. You can place your file either on the Internal Device Storage or on the SD Card Storage. You can check the path for the QField data folder in the bottom of the About QField screen in the app.

Usually the path on Android devices looks something like this: /Android/data/ch.opengis.qfield/files/QField.


Unlike on *NIX systems where the file is named .pg_service.conf, the file on Android is named pg_service.conf without a leading dot sign (.).


QFieldCloud support pg_service.conf configurations too. You need to configure your PostgreSQL layers with "Offline editing" cloud action and store your service settings on QFieldCloud Project's Secrets page.

Read more how to configure PostgreSQL service in the QFieldCloud documentation.

Creating a pg_service.conf File for PostgreSQL Connection in QGIS and Secrets

Before beginning, ensure that your PostgreSQL database allows connections from QFieldCloud. Refer to Technical specs for instructions.

Setup pg_service.conf File

We first need to set up a configuration file. There are many options to organize this, read more in the PostgreSQL documentation or follow the description below.

  1. Create a Configuration File:

  2. On Windows: Create a file named pg_service.conf and store it in a convenient location.

  3. On Linux/MacOS/Unix: Create a file named .pg_service.conf in your home folder (~).

  4. Define Connection Parameters:

Within the file, specify connection parameters for your PostgreSQL database using the following format:


Replace placeholders (your_host_or_ip, your_port, your_database_name, your_username, your_password) with actual connection details and save the file.


Additional Configuration Steps for Windows

  1. Set Environment Variable: To ensure QGIS recognizes pg_service.conf, create an environment variable pointing to its location:

  2. Navigate to "This PC" or "My Computer" > Properties > Advanced System Settings > Environment Variables.

  3. Add a new variable:
    • Variable name: PGSERVICEFILE
    • Variable value: C:\Users\<YourUsername>\AppData\Roaming\postgresql\pg_service.conf (or your pg_service.conf file path).

Alternatively, you can set environment variables directly in QGIS via Settings > Options > System > Environment. Refer to QGIS System Settings for details.

QGIS System Environment Variables
QGIS System Environment Variables

  1. Test the Connection in QGIS: Open QGIS and set up a new PostgreSQL connection using the service name defined in pg_service.conf (e.g., [MY_QGIS_DB]) in the connection details. QGIS will read configuration from pg_service.conf automatically.

  2. Open QGIS.

  3. Go to "Layer" > "Add Layer" > "Add PostGIS Layers..."
  4. In "Create a New PostGIS Connection," select "Service" from the drop-down menu.
  5. Enter the service name from pg_service.conf (e.g., [NINJA_DB]) in the "Service" field.
  6. Click "OK" to connect to your PostgreSQL database using configurations from pg_service.conf.

Test your connections
Test your connections

  1. Add Parameter to QFieldCloud Secrets: Navigate to the project's secrets page and copy the service directly from .pg_service.conf to the secret. Follow Secrets for guidance.

Add the secret
Add the secret