Running postgreSQL 13.2 with ssl on.

I need to connect to a database from a third party application that requires a connection URI, but it is not working. So I tested connecting with psql using two different formats with the same credentials. One worked and one didn't.

The following command logs me into mydb as user myuser:

# psql -U myuser -d mydb -h -p 5432 -W
psql (13.2 (Debian 13.2-1.pgdg100+1))
SSL connection (protocol: TLSv1.3, cipher: TLS_AES_256_GCM_SHA384, bits: 256, compression: off)
Type "help" for help.


However this command fails:

# psql postgresql://myuser:[email protected]:5432/mydb?sslmode=require
psql: error: FATAL: password authentication failed for user "myuser"

I am using exactly the same credentials. I've verified it more than 10 times. Removing "sslmode=require" does not fix the problem.

My pg_hba.conf file contains:

host   mydb   myuser   password

I made it the first line in my pg_hba.conf file, so it can't be getting hung up on any other line.

What am I doing wrong?

1 Answer 1


The password I was using happened to contain %d0. That works fine when logging in using the parameters. But if you use a connection URI, it is interpreted as a percent-encoded value. Just by coincidence, my password contained the percent sign followed by a valid hex number.

Changing the password, or properly percent-encoding the connection URI, is the solution to this problem. There are several characters that have to be percent-encoded in a connection URI.

  • based on your question it would have been quite impossible to deduct this. consider adding enough information to the question for someone to be able to reproduce the issue.
    – eis
    May 3, 2021 at 17:09

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