Changing Your Rails Project Database

December 20, 2013

I usually prefer PostgreSQL to SQLite, so I keep a -d postgres in my ~/.railsrc file. (Actually, it’s an alias to another file, but that’s a story for another day.)

But last week, I was in a training session at DockYard (thanks, Brian!), and we were creating a new Rails app as a small part of a larger demo. We created the app, made a bunch of tweaks, and then tried to run it.

Wait - role "Foo" does not exist? What the…? Oh, Hell, right, Postgres. Gotta go in to the DB, create the role, reassign the password, oh, man, wait, this is a one-off demo. How do I switch this app to just use SQLite instead…?

Turns out that you only have to tweak two files to move from Postgres to SQLite or vice versa. Here, I describe the PostgreSQL to SQLite conversion. Reverse as needed.



# Use postgresql as the database for Active Record
gem 'pg'


# Use sqlite3 as the database for Active Record
gem 'sqlite3'

and run bundle.


Ignore the comments relating to the drivers.

Then, in each of the sections (development, test, production)…

  • Change the adapter from postgresql to sqlite3
  • Change the database from ProjectName_development (or test or production…) to db/development.sqlite3 (ditto)
  • Remove the encoding: unicode from each section
  • Remove the username: ProjectName from each section
  • Remove the password: line (that contains no password) from each section
  • Add a timeout: 5000 line to each section

Then rerun the appropriate rake:db commands to re-initialize the new database, and you’re done! Enjoy.

Tags: rails
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