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How to Deploy and Run FerretDB on Leafcloud

· 11 min read
Alexander Fashakin

How to Deploy and Run FerretDB on leafcloud

In this how-to guide, we'll be showing you how to configure, deploy, and run FerretDB on Leafcloud, using the power of Kubernetes and the PostgreSQL Operator.

Building resilient, scalable, and performant applications today can be quite a complex process. As such, FerretDB, an open-source database alternative to MongoDB that leverages PostgreSQL as the backend, can be a strategic choice for users looking to avoid vendor lock-in and build a totally flexible and reliable backend for many applications.

On the other hand, Leafcloud is an eco-friendly cloud infrastructure that provides a distributed architecture for you to run your FerretDB application.

This guide will offer you a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to navigating the intricacies of setting up a Kubernetes containerization environment, persistent storage provisioning, and FerretDB deployment on Leafcloud.

Let's get started!

Setting up FerretDB on top of Leafcloud

We're going to set up FerretDB on a Kubernetes cluster and deploy it to Leafcloud.


  • Kubectl
  • Leafcloud account (ensure you have enough volume to run the cluster)

Creating a Kubernetes Cluster in Leafcloud

We will start by creating a Kubernetes cluster, using the OpenStack CLI. Leafcloud manages and deploys container clusters using the OpenStack Magnum project.

Start by installing the OpenStack CLI; we'll be following the Leafcloud guide to help us set this up. You can also follow the OpenStack CLI installation guide to set up the CLI for your OS.

sudo apt update -y
sudo apt install -y python3-pip python3-dev -y
sudo apt install virtualenv -y
virtualenv -p python3 openstack_venv
source openstack_venv/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade pip
pip install python-openstackclient
pip install python-magnumclient

Once it's installed, you need to log in to your Leafcloud account to download the OpenStack RC file that contains the environment variables for your command-line client.

After downloading the file, copy and paste the file's contents into a new document as:


To set up the configuration for your Leafcloud account, run the following command:

source ~/

It will prompt you to enter your account password. When you do, you will have access to the OpenStack CLI for your Leafcloud account.

To check, run the command below to see if you can access the server list using the OpenStack CLI:

openstack server list

If you get an authentication error, try to run source ~/ again and enter the right password for your account.

Leafcloud provides a set of cluster templates that you can take advantage of right away. See the templates by running:

openstack coe cluster template list

Select the best template for your project.

We'll be using the K8s-ha-v1.21.2-template-v2.0-rc3 template for the guide since it comes with Kubernetes OpenStack autoscaling, encrypted cinder volumes for containers and hosts (persistent volume claims), and high-availability load balancers.

Using the selected template, we can now create a new cluster. The keypair, which we associate using the --keypair parameter, will be integrated into the hosts, granting us root SSH access (with 'core' as the default user). The keypairs are essential for encrypting SSH traffic for your instances and enabling secure communications.

To create your cluster, use this command:

openstack coe cluster create my-k8s-cluster --cluster-template k8s-ha-v1.21.2-template-v2.0-rc3 --keypair <keypair>

You may need to wait a few minutes for this process to be complete. To check up on the installation enter the following:

openstack coe cluster list

The installation is complete once the status of the cluster changes from CREATE_IN_PROGRESS to CREATE_COMPLETE.

Now we need to fetch the configuration file for the cluster. Do this by running the following:

openstack coe cluster config my-k8s-cluster

A file named 'config' will be downloaded to your home directory. kubectl uses the config file to determine which configuration file to read so as to connect to the Kubernetes cluster. Besides, all subsequent kubectl commands in a terminal session will use this configuration until it is unset or changed.

export KUBECONFIG=/home/<username>/config

Your cluster should now be reachable using kubectl.

Enter the command to confirm:

kubectl get nodes -o wide

Lastly, we need to set up the storage class to use persistent volume claims (PVCs). Do this by creating the storageclass.yaml file:

kind: StorageClass
name: cinder-csi
annotations: 'true'

You can apply it by running:

kubectl apply -f storageclass.yaml

Creating the Postgres Cluster

Use kustomize postgres-operator 5.4.0 to install the postgres operator.

Installing the Postgres Operator

In this section, we'll be creating the PostgreSQL cluster. We'll start by installing the latest version of the PostgreSQL operator, which is essential when setting up extremely reliable PostgreSQL clusters on Kubernetes.

Here we will use kustomize to install the operator, but first, we need to fork the GitHub PostgreSQL Operator website.

YOUR_GITHUB_UN="<your GitHub username>"
git clone --depth 1 "${YOUR_GITHUB_UN}/postgres-operator-examples.git"
cd postgres-operator-examples

Using the same CLI, we can install the PostgreSQL Operator from Crunchy Data. Note that we are using the default setup for this tutorial so you can still go ahead to modify it as you please.

kubectl apply -k kustomize/install/namespace
kubectl apply --server-side -k kustomize/install/default

This process generates a namespace known as postgres-operator, establishing all necessary objects for PGO deployment.

To monitor the progress of your installation, execute the command below:

kubectl -n postgres-operator get pods \ \

When the PGO Pod is healthy, you will see output that looks like this:

NAME                   READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
pgo-6f664c9f44-mmptx 1/1 Running 0 10s

Before creating the PostgreSQL cluster, we need to modify the ~/kustomize/postgres/postgres.yaml file from the cloned folder, and enable the cluster to use a data volume claim that specifies the 'cinder-csi' storage class and a capacity request of 1Gi. It should look like this:

kind: PostgresCluster
name: hippo
postgresVersion: 15
- name: instance1
- 'ReadWriteOnce'
storage: 1Gi
storageClassName: cinder-csi
- name: repo1
- 'ReadWriteOnce'
storage: 1Gi
storageClassName: cinder-csi

Now let's create the PostgreSQL cluster by running the following command:

kubectl apply -k kustomize/postgres

That command will create the Postgres cluster with the name hippo in the postgres-operator namespace. The following command can help you track the cluster's progress:

kubectl -n postgres-operator describe hippo

In a new terminal, run the following command to create a port-forward (if you're getting a connection error, try running export KUBECONFIG=/home/<username>/config to configure the environment):

PG_CLUSTER_PRIMARY_POD=$(kubectl get pod -n postgres-operator -o name \
kubectl -n postgres-operator port-forward "${PG_CLUSTER_PRIMARY_POD}" 5432:5432

Now we need to configure postgres according to FerretDB requirements. To do that, we're going to create a new user and password credential, and then create a database assigned with all privileges to the created user.

Let's create a Secretfor a generated random password that will serve as the user credential for the postgres user and store it in a file called


PASSWORD=$(openssl rand -base64 8)

kubectl -n postgres-operator create secret generic ferretdb-secret \
--from-literal=password=$PASSWORD \

Run the following command to execute the script:

chmod +x

To create the user and database, we need to execute the psql command inside the pod since we have it running in Kubernetes. Here's how to do it:

PASSWORD=$(kubectl -n postgres-operator get secret ferretdb-secret -o=jsonpath='{.data.password}' | base64 -d)
kubectl -n postgres-operator exec -it hippo-instance1-mrpt-0 -- psql -U postgres -c "CREATE USER ferretuser WITH PASSWORD '$PASSWORD';"

Here, we are getting the password stored in Secret and then connect to our postgres instance before creating the user and assiging the password to the user using SQL command. Note that the hippo-instance1-mrpt-0 is the name of the pod that is running the postgres instance. You should update this with your own postgres instance name which you can get by running kubectl -n postgres-operator get pods.

Next, we'll create a database named ferretdb and assign all privileges to the user (ferretuser) we created:

kubectl -n postgres-operator exec -it hippo-instance1-mrpt-0 -- psql -U postgres -c "CREATE DATABASE ferretdb OWNER ferretuser;"

Check if the user and database were created successfully:

kubectl -n postgres-operator exec -it hippo-instance1-mrpt-0 -- psql -U postgres -l

Great! Now we have a postgres instance running in Kubernetes with a user and database that we can use for FerretDB.

Deploying FerretDB

Now that we have verified that PostgreSQL is working properly, it's time to set up and install FerretDB to communicate with our PostgreSQL cluster. To do this, we'll need to create and apply a deployment and service manifest. This YAML file will define the container specifications for FerretDB, any associated MongoDB components, and the necessary service configuration to establish a connection to PostgreSQL. We've also included a Secret for the ferretuser password we created earlier.

The deployment YAML used for this project looks like this:

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: Deployment
name: ferretdb
namespace: postgres-operator
app: ferretdb
replicas: 1
app: ferretdb
app: ferretdb
- name: ferretdb
- containerPort: 27017
value: ferretuser
name: ferretdb-secret
key: password
value: postgres://$(POSTGRES_USERNAME):$(POSTGRES_PASSWORD)@hippo-ha:5432/ferretdb
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
name: ferretdb-service
namespace: postgres-operator
app: ferretdb
- name: mongo
protocol: TCP
port: 27017
targetPort: 27017

Apply the deployment YAML:

kubectl apply -f deployment.yaml

Ensure that you're on the right path where the deployment YAML file resides.

To check if the pods are running correctly without any errors, run the following command:

kubectl get pods -n postgres-operator
ferretdb-86c45849d-bd6tq 1/1 Running 0 6h
hippo-backup-6shl-qf9mf 0/1 Completed 0 6h
hippo-instance1-mrpt-0 4/4 Running 0 7h
hippo-repo-host-0 2/2 Running 0 7h
pgo-6f664c9f44-mmptx 1/1 Running 0 7h

Next you need to connect using your FerretDB URI, where username and password should correspond with the PosgreSQL credentials set earlier, and you can get the FERRETDB SVC ( by running kubectl get svc -n postgres-operator.

kubectl get svc -n postgres-operator
ferretdb-service ClusterIP <none> 27017/TCP 4d8h
hippo-ha ClusterIP <none> 5432/TCP 4d8h
hippo-ha-config ClusterIP None <none> <none> 4d8h
hippo-pods ClusterIP None <none> <none> 4d8h
hippo-primary ClusterIP None <none> 5432/TCP 4d8h
hippo-replicas ClusterIP <none> 5432/TCP 4d8h

Great! Let's use the following command to open up a mongosh shell:

kubectl -n postgres-operator run mongosh --image=rtsp/mongosh --rm -it -- bash

Once the mongosh is open, connect to your FerretDB instance using the command:

mongosh "mongodb://ferretuser:<password>@{FERRETDB SVC}/ferretdb?authMechanism=PLAIN"

Note that you can get the ferretuser password by running:

kubectl get secret ferretdb-secret -n postgres-operator -o jsonpath='{.data.password}' | base64 --decode

And that's it!. You've connected to FerretDB.

Basic examples on FerretDB

Let's run a few basic examples using FerretDB:

Insert documents into the database:

{ a: 23, b: 'b', c: [1, 5], d: { a: 1 } },
{ a: 1, b: 34, c: '1', d: [3, 5] }

Now let's read all these documents and see what we get.

_id: ObjectId('64ca02e119e6b74d10806107'),
a: 23,
b: 'b',
c: [1, 5],
d: { a: 1 }
_id: ObjectId('64ca02e119e6b74d10806108'),
a: 1,
b: 34,
c: '1',
d: [3, 5]

How FerretDB stores data in PostgreSQL

We can take a look our data in PostgreSQL to see how the FerretDB conversion works out.

In another terminal, let's establish a connection to your PostgreSQL cluster.

kubectl exec -it hippo-instance1-mrpt-0 -n postgres-operator -- psql -U postgres

Let's switch to the new ferretdb database context:

postgres=# \c ferretdb
You are now connected to database "ferretdb" as user "postgres".

Finally we're going to set the search_path to ferretdb:

set search_path to ferretdb;
ferretdb=# \dt
List of relations
Schema | Name | Type | Owner
ferretdb | _ferretdb_database_metadata | table | ferretdb
ferretdb | testing_eb5f499b | table | ferretdb
(2 rows)

ferretdb=# table testing_eb5f499b;
{"a": 23, "b": "b", "c": [1, 5], "d": {"a": 1}, "$s": {"p": {"a": {"t": "int"}, "b": {"t": "string"}, "c": {"i": [{"t": "int"}, {"t": "int"}], "t": "array"}, "d": {"t": "object", "$s": {"p": {"a": {"t": "int"}}, "$k": ["a"]}}, "_id": {"t": "objectId"}}, "$k": ["_id", "a", "b", "c", "d"]}, "_id": "64ca02e119e6b74d10806107"}
{"a": 1, "b": 34, "c": "1", "d": [3, 5], "$s": {"p": {"a": {"t": "int"}, "b": {"t": "int"}, "c": {"t": "string"}, "d": {"i": [{"t": "int"}, {"t": "int"}], "t": "array"}, "_id": {"t": "objectId"}}, "$k": ["_id", "a", "b", "c", "d"]}, "_id": "64ca02e119e6b74d10806108"}
(2 rows)


FerretDB offers a truly open source replacement for MongoDB. It is compatible with MongoDB, which means you can keep using your existing tools and frameworks. And with Leafcloud, you can deploy and run your FerretDB applications using Postgres clusters suitable for production, including persistent storage volumes, automated backups, autoscaling, connection pooling, monitoring, and more.

To learn more about FerretDB, please visit our GitHub page.