Resilient Postgres listen client

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import pgEars from '';


pg-ears NPM version js-standard-style Dependency Status

Resilient Postgres listen client

Recommend using pg-listen

This project is not in any production use by the author. There has also been very little community engagement on the module that would motivate the extensive time investment to make this module as good as pg-listen. Given that module has more usage and is actively maintained I would strongly recommend using that instead.

Known Issues

  • LISTEN leaks: Upon disconnect and reconnect LISTEN statements accumulate


$ npm install --save pg-ears


pg-ears exports a single function takes the same options as a new node-postgres new Client(opts) with a couple additions and returns an object containing the methods listen and notify

  • options (Object - required) Options for node-postgres connection plus the following:
    • checkInterval (Number (ms) - optional - default: 30000 [30 sec.])
    • maxAttempts (Number - optional - default: 60) Multiplier of checkInterval - number of attempts before giving up on reconnect

listen(channel, callback)

  • channel (String - required)
  • callback (Function - required) will be called every time a message is received with (error, data) as arguments OR with an error when the PG client encounters an error

notify(channel, payload, callback)

  • channel (Object - required)
  • payload (Object | Array | String - required)
  • callback (Object - optional) will be called with error if unable to send OR when an error occurs on the PG client


const options = {
  user: 'foo', //env var: PGUSER
  database: 'my_db', //env var: PGDATABASE
  password: 'secret', //env var: PGPASSWORD
  host: 'localhost', // Server hosting the postgres database
  port: 5432 //env var: PGPORT
const pgEars = require('pg-ears')(options)
pgEars.listen('mychannel', (err, data) => {
  if (err) return console.error(err)
pgEars.notify('mychannel', {key: 'value'}, (err) => {
  if (err) console.error(err)

Use safe identifiers as channel names

:warning: Channel names in postgresql are identifiers, just like the name of a table or a column. Please refer to the offical postgresql documentation about valid identifiers.

node-postgres does not currently allows channel names to be parameterized to avoid sql-injection attacks.

See node-postgres issue #1258 for details.

pg-ears performs no validation or sanitation on the channel names and they are inserted into the sql queries as-is.

On the other hand, payloads of your notifications are json encoded and decoded automatically by pg-ears and passed using safe parameterized queries.


MIT © Andrew Carpenter