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Connect with pgcli

Learn how to connect to Neon using the interactive pgcli client

The pgcli client is an interactive command-line interface for PostgreSQL that offers several advantages over the traditional psql client, including syntax highlighting, autocompletion, multi-line editing, and query history.


For installation instructions, please refer to the pgcli installation documentation.

Usage information

To view pgcli usage information, run the following command:

pgcli --help

Connect to Neon

The easiest way to connect to Neon using the pgcli client is with a connection string, which you can obtain from the Connection Details widget on the Neon Dashboard. Select a branch, a role, and the database you want to connect to. A connection string is constructed for you.

Connection details widget

From your terminal or command prompt, run the pgcli client with the connection string. Your command will look something like this:

pgcli postgres://<user>:<password><dbname>

Run queries

After establishing a connection, try the pgcli client by running the following queries. To test the pgcli autocompletion feature, type the SELECT query.

CREATE TABLE my_table AS SELECT now();
SELECT * FROM my_table;

The following result is returned:

| now                           |
| 2023-05-21 09:23:18.086163+00 |
Time: 0.116s

The pgcli query history feature allows you to use the Up and Down keys on your keyboard to navigate your query history.

The pgcli client also supports named queries. To save a query, type:

\ns simple SELECT * FROM my_table;

To run a named query, type:

# Run a named query.
\n simple
> SELECT * FROM my_table
| now                           |
| 2023-05-21 09:23:18.086163+00 |
Time: 0.051s

For more information about pgcli features and capabilities, refer to the pgcli documentation.

Need help?

Send a request to, or join the Neon community forum.

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