Npgsql is the recommended provider to connect to PostgreSQL 7.x and 8.x databases on .NET and Mono.

Mono distributes the Npgsql database provider for PostgreSQL.

  • Home site: Npgsql

  • fully managed provider for PostgreSQL

  • does not require a client library

  • in namespace Npgsql and assembly Npgsql

Current Status

  • Can be used with Postgresql 7.x and 8.x databases

  • Has some support for ADO.NET 2.0 including GetSchema.

  • You can send insert, update, delete queries

through NpgsqlCommand.ExecuteNonQuery() method.

  • You can send queries like, select count(*) from table, select version() with NpgsqlCommand.ExecuteScalar() method.

  • There is logging support. To use it, place code like that in your program:

NpgsqlEventLog.Level = LogLevel.Debug;
NpgsqlEventLog.LogName = "NpgsqlTests.LogFile";
  • There is a winforms test suite (Thanks Dave Page).

  • Better support of ODBC-like ConnectionString in NpgsqlConnection (Thanks Dave Page)

  • You can use parameter names with Npgsql (:) or SqlServer (@) prefix style. This easy porting of code from Sql server to postgresql

  • You can use native large object support

Action plan

  • Any features or bugs for Npgsql should be implemented in Npgsql’s main source code repository. Only bugs necessary for building and running of Npgsql on Mono can be done in Mono’s source code repository, but once applied they should be sent to Npgsql’s mailing list for inclusion into their source code repository.

  • Add any missing functionality to Npgsql. If this funtionality works on .NET but not on Mono, implement the missing features or fix the bugs in Mono

Using Npgsql


  • Have a working mono and mcs

  • Get Npgsql and make sure the binary assembly Npgsql.dll is installed in the same place that the mono class libraries are located.

  • Connection String Parameters:

Parameter Definition Description Example
Server hostname of the PostgreSQL Server Server=localhost
Database name of the database Database=postgres
Port Network port to connect. Optional Port=54321
User ID user id User ID=postgres
Password password Password=mypass12
Encoding Encoding to be used. Possible values: ASCII(default) and UNICODE. Use UNICODE if you are getting problems with UTF-8 values Encoding=UNICODE
SSL True or False. Controls whether to attempt a secure connection. Default = False SSL=true
Pooling True or False. Controls whether connection pooling is used. Default = True Pooling=false
MinPoolSize Min size of connection pool. Default: 1 MinPoolSize=2
MaxPoolSize Max size of connection pool. Default: 20 MaxPoolSize=6
Timeout Time to wait for connection open in seconds Timeout=30
Sslmode Mode for ssl connection control. Sslmode can be one of the following values:
           Prefer - If it is possible to connect using ssl, it will be used.
           Require - If an ssl connection cannot be made, an exception is thrown.
           Allow - Not supported yet, just connects without ssl.
           Disable - No ssl connection is done.
           Default is Disable. 
Protocol Protocol version to use, instead of automatic detection. First tries 3 and fallsback to 2; Integer 2 or 3. Protocol=2


Some Connection Example

 using System;
 using System.Data;
 using Npgsql;
 public class Test
    public static void Main(string[] args)
       string connectionString =
          "Server=localhost;" +
          "Database=test;" +
          "User ID=postgres;" +
       IDbConnection dbcon;
       dbcon = new NpgsqlConnection(connectionString);
       IDbCommand dbcmd = dbcon.CreateCommand();
       // requires a table to be created named employee
       // with columns firstname and lastname
       // such as,
       //        CREATE TABLE employee (
       //           firstname varchar(32),
       //           lastname varchar(32));
       string sql =
           "SELECT firstname, lastname " +
           "FROM employee";
       dbcmd.CommandText = sql;
       IDataReader reader = dbcmd.ExecuteReader();
       while(reader.Read()) {
            string FirstName = reader.GetString(reader.GetOrdinal("firstname"));
            string LastName = reader.GetString(reader.GetOrdinal("lastname"));
            Console.WriteLine("Name: " +
                 FirstName + " " + LastName);
       // clean up
       reader = null;
       dbcmd = null;
       dbcon = null;
  • Building C# Example:
  • Save the example to a file, such as, TestExample.cs
mcs TestExample.cs -r:System.Data.dll -r:Npgsql.dll
  • Running the Example:
mono TestExample.exe

Howto use PostgreSQL from ASP.Net

<%@ Page Language="c#" Title="postgres via Npgsql" %>
<%@ Assembly name="System" %>
<%@ Assembly name="System.Data" %>
<%@ Assembly name="Npgsql" %>
<script runat="server">
                protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
                        if (!Page.IsPostBack)
                      string connectionString =
                        "Server=localhost;" +
                        "Database=test;" +
                        "User ID=postgres;" +
                        System.Data.IDbConnection dbcon;
                        dbcon = new Npgsql.NpgsqlConnection(connectionString);
                        System.Data.IDbCommand dbcmd = dbcon.CreateCommand();
                        string sql =
                                "SELECT firstname, lastname " +
                                "FROM employee";
                        dbcmd.CommandText = sql;
                        System.Data.IDataReader reader = dbcmd.ExecuteReader();
                                dg.DataSource = reader;
                        reader = null;
                        dbcmd = null;
                        dbcon = null;
The DataGrid that follows should list employees </ br>
<asp:DataGrid id="dg" runat="server">
// requires a table to be created named employee
// with columns firstname and lastname
// such as,<br />
//        CREATE TABLE employee (<br />
//           firstname varchar(32),<br />
//           lastname varchar(32));<br />
//<br />
// create records thus<br />
//        INSERT INTO employee <br />
//           SELECT 'Rob','Davis';<br />
//        INSERT INTO employee <br />
//           SELECT 'Sarah','Davis';<br />
  • More examples can be found in Npgsql Users Manual here

Installation instructions for PostgreSQL DBMS


  • Read the PostgreSQL Installation Instructions

at /usr/doc/postgresql-x.x.x/html/installation.html

  • Depending on your UNIX system, PostgreSQL maybe already installed, a database user ‘postgres’ created, a linux user ‘postgres’ created and initdb ran. Or maybe not.
adduser postgres
mkdir /usr/local/pgsql/data
chown postgres /usr/local/pgsql/data
su - postgres
initdb -D /usr/local/pgsql/data
postmaster -i -D /usr/local/pgsql/data
createdb test
psql test
  • Make sure you have a database user named postgres. It is best to install the PostgreSQL DBMS under linux user postgres. When you run the postmaster, run it under the user postgres as well. If this was not done, then you will need to create a user named postgres for the System.Data tests.

  • If you already installed PostgeSQL and you do not have a database user named postgres, then you can create user postgres using psql:

psql test
create user postgres with password 'fun2db';
  • The postmaster must be run with -i option.

  • In the /usr/local/pgsql/data/pg_hba.conf file, you need to have the AUTH_TYPE set to md5. You can read more on this at /usr/doc/postgresql-7.2.1/html/client-authentication.html or wherever your PostgreSQL html docs are located. See the 2nd line below, host has an AUTH_TYPE md5 in pg_hba.conf.

# # TYPE     DATABASE    IP_ADDRESS    MASK               AUTH_TYPE

 local      all                                          trust
 host       all    md5
  • If you can not find your PostgreSQL documentation locally or you did not install it, then you can get it here.

On Windows using native PostgreSQL