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Preparing database storage

Dendrite uses SQL databases to store data. Depending on the database engine being used, you may need to perform some manual steps outlined below.


Dendrite can automatically populate the database with the relevant tables and indexes, but it is not capable of creating the databases themselves. You will need to create the databases manually.

The databases must be created with UTF-8 encoding configured or you will likely run into problems with your Dendrite deployment.

At this point, you can choose to either use a single database for all Dendrite components, or you can run each component with its own separate database:

  • Single database: You will need to create a single PostgreSQL database. Monolith deployments can use a single global connection pool, which makes updating the configuration file much easier. Only one database connection string to manage and likely simpler to back up the database. All components will be sharing the same database resources (CPU, RAM, storage).

  • Separate databases: You will need to create a separate PostgreSQL database for each component. You will need to configure each component that has storage in the Dendrite configuration file with its own connection parameters. Allows running a different database engine for each component on a different machine if needs be, each with their own CPU, RAM and storage — almost certainly overkill unless you are running a very large Dendrite deployment.

For either configuration, you will want to:

  1. Configure a role (with a username and password) which Dendrite can use to connect to the database;
  2. Create the database(s) themselves, ensuring that the Dendrite role has privileges over them. As Dendrite will create and manage the database tables, indexes and sequences by itself, the Dendrite role must have suitable privileges over the database.

Connection strings

The format of connection strings for PostgreSQL databases is described in the PostgreSQL libpq manual. Note that Dendrite only supports the “Connection URIs” format and will not work with the “Keyword/Value Connection string” format.

Example supported connection strings take the format:

  • postgresql://user:pass@hostname/database?options=...
  • postgres://user:pass@hostname/database?options=...

If you need to disable SSL/TLS on the database connection, you may need to append ?sslmode=disable to the end of the connection string.

Role creation

Create a role which Dendrite can use to connect to the database, choosing a new password when prompted. On macOS, you may need to omit the sudo -u postgres from the below instructions.

sudo -u postgres createuser -P dendrite

Single database creation

Create the database itself, using the dendrite role from above:

sudo -u postgres createdb -O dendrite -E UTF-8 dendrite

Multiple database creation

The following eight components require a database. In this example they will be named:

Appservice API dendrite_appservice
Federation API dendrite_federationapi
Media API dendrite_mediaapi
MSCs dendrite_mscs
Roomserver dendrite_roomserver
Sync API dendrite_syncapi
Key server dendrite_keyserver
User API dendrite_userapi

… therefore you will need to create eight different databases:

for i in appservice federationapi mediaapi mscs roomserver syncapi keyserver userapi; do
    sudo -u postgres createdb -O dendrite -E UTF-8 dendrite_$i


WARNING: The Dendrite SQLite backend is slower, less reliable and not recommended for production usage. You should use PostgreSQL instead. We may not be able to provide support if you run into issues with your deployment while using the SQLite backend.

SQLite deployments do not require manual database creation. Simply configure the database filenames in the Dendrite configuration file and start Dendrite. The databases will be created and populated automatically.

Note that Dendrite cannot share a single SQLite database across multiple components. Each component must be configured with its own SQLite database filename. You will have to remove the global.database section from your Dendrite config and add it to each individual section instead in order to use SQLite.

Connection strings

Connection strings for SQLite databases take the following forms:

  • Current working directory path: file:dendrite_component.db
  • Full specified path: file:///path/to/dendrite_component.db