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PG::AWS_RDS_IAM is a plugin for the pg gem that adds support for IAM authentication when connecting to PostgreSQL databases hosted in Amazon RDS.


>= 0.18, < 2.0
 Project Readme



PG::AWS_RDS_IAM is a plugin for the pg gem that adds support for IAM authentication when connecting to PostgreSQL databases hosted in Amazon RDS.

IAM authentication allows your application to connect to the database using secure, short-lived authentication tokens instead of a fixed password. This gives you greater security and eliminates the operational overhead of rotating passwords.


Install manually:

$ gem install pg-aws_rds_iam

or with Bundler:

$ bundle add pg-aws_rds_iam


To use IAM authentication for your database connections, you need to

  1. enable IAM authentication for your database,
  2. provide your application with IAM credentials, and
  3. configure your application to generate authentication tokens.

1. Enable IAM authentication for your database

Start by configuring your database to allow IAM authentication using either the AWS console or the aws CLI. This doesn't require downtime so is safe to apply immediately, unless you already have pending modifications that require a database reboot.

Next, grant your database user the rds_iam role.

2. Provide your application with IAM credentials

The most secure way to grant your application permission to connect to your database is to use an IAM role.

Start by creating a service role if your application doesn't already have one. Then, create an IAM policy granting the rds-db:connect permission and attach it to the role.

If you've created a new service role, you'll need to associate it with your application. The way to do this depends on where you are running your application:

If you can't use a service role, then you can grant the permissions to an IAM user instead and supply the application with their access key through a configuration profile or via the AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID and AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY environment variables. However, you won't get the full security and operational benefits of RDS IAM authentication, because the access key is a long-lived secret that you need to supply to the application securely and rotate periodically.

3. Configure your application to generate authentication tokens

You can use PG::AWS_RDS_IAM's default authentication token generator if you are using a service role as described above, or if you configure your application using the standard AWS ways to provide credentials and region.

To use the default authentication token generator, set the aws_rds_iam_auth_token_generator connection parameter to default. You can set this parameter in

  • the query string of a connection URI:

  • a key=value pair in a connection string:

    user=andrew host=postgresql.example.com port=5432 dbname=blog aws_rds_iam_auth_token_generator=default
  • a key: value pair in a connection hash:

      user: "andrew",
      host: "postgresql.example.com",
      port: 5432,
      dbname: "blog",
      aws_rds_iam_auth_token_generator: "default"
  • database.yml, if you're using Rails:

      adapter: postgresql
      username: andrew
      host: postgresql.example.com
      port: 5432
      database: blog
      aws_rds_iam_auth_token_generator: default

If the default authentication token generator doesn't meet your needs, you can register an alternative with

PG::AWS_RDS_IAM.auth_token_generators.add :custom do
  PG::AWS_RDS_IAM::AuthTokenGenerator.new(credentials: "...", region: "...")

To use this alternative authentication token generator, set the aws_rds_iam_auth_token_generator connection parameter to the name you registered it with (custom, in this example).

The block you give to add must construct and return the authentication token generator, which can either be an instance of PG::AWS_RDS_IAM::AuthTokenGenerator or another object that returns a string token in response to call(host:, port:, user:). The block will be called once, when the first token is generated, and the returned authentication token generator will be re-used to generate all future tokens.


After checking out the repo, run bin/setup to install dependencies. Then, run bin/rake to run the tests. You can also run bin/console for an interactive prompt that will allow you to experiment.

To install this gem onto your local machine, run bin/rake install. To release a new version, update the version number in version.rb, and then run bin/rake release, which will create a git tag for the version, push git commits and tags, and push the .gem file to rubygems.org.


Bug reports and pull requests are welcome on GitHub. This project is intended to be a safe, welcoming space for collaboration, and contributors are expected to adhere to the code of conduct.


The gem is available as open source under the terms of the MIT License.