I have an Amazon RDS Postgres instance running. I can see the data from my local machine (whitelist office IP) and our web app can connect (running on EC2 instance).

On that EC2 instance, these things happen:

[ec2-user@ip ~]$ nc -zv mydb.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com 5432
Connection to mydb.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com 5432 port [tcp/postgres] succeeded!

[ec2-user@ip ~]$ psql postgres -h mydb.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com -U userguy
Password for user userguy: 
psql (9.5.4, server 9.6.1)
WARNING: psql major version 9.5, server major version 9.6.
         Some psql features might not work.
SSL connection (protocol: TLSv1.2, cipher: ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384, bits: 256, compression: off)
Type "help" for help.

postgres=> \q

[ec2-user@ip myjars]$ java -jar MyJar.jar param1
Connecting to jdbc:postgresql://mydb.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com:5432/postgres
org.postgresql.util.PSQLException: Connection refused. Check that the hostname and port are correct and that the postmaster is accepting TCP/IP connections.

I know this EC2 instance can connect to the DB. The nc command works and the psql command works. We have a Glassfish application server that connects as well.

Same parameters are in this JAR file and it does not work! Any thoughts? Any ideas to diagnose? (as I type this, I feel it will be some file version or mistyped value in the JAR file, since everything else is working)

  • Does this remain the same when you use SSL in the JDBC connection, too?
    – dezso
    Nov 18, 2016 at 14:39
  • I got a few ssl related errors, but including ssl=true sslmode=verify-all sslrootcert=/path/to/rds-combined-ca-bundle.pem" gets back to the same "Connection Refused" error. Not specifying any SSL seems to be OK, especially for psql` (see output in question). Still tracing it down - I think its just my JAR.
    – clay
    Nov 18, 2016 at 14:53
  • As you see, using psql you are connected over SSL - supposedly, the PGSSLMODE env variable is set correctly. OTOH, have you tried to specify a user in the connstring?
    – dezso
    Nov 18, 2016 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


Ultimately the error was in the JAR. A connection was made the DB on two different occasions, and each one from a different config location. I changed one, but not the other - the joy of inheriting code : )

So now my DB connections works. Hopefully the original question has some useful ways to know if a connection can connect.

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