A local proxy to connect private Observable notebooks to private databases
Last updated 2 years ago by jashkenas .
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$ cnpm install @observablehq/database-proxy 
SYNC missed versions from official npm registry.


The database proxy is a simple Node.js webserver that accepts secure requests from your Observable notebooks, and proxies queries to a PostgreSQL or MySQL database — one that is not necessarily exposed to the web. You can use the database proxy to securely connect to databases on your local computer, on an intranet or within a VPN.


Install the database proxy locally or globally with npm or yarn:

  npm install -g @observablehq/database-proxy
  yarn global add @observablehq/database-proxy

Running the database proxy

Usage: observable-database-proxy <command> <name> [options]


  • start <name> [ssl options] Start a database proxy server
  • add <name> Add a new database proxy configuration
  • remove <name> Remove an existing database proxy configuration
  • reset <name> Reset the shared secret for an existing database proxy configuration
  • list List all configured database proxies

When adding a database proxy configuration, a window will be opened to ObservableHQ.com to configure the connection in your Database Settings and set the shared secret. Subsequent starts of the database proxy do not require re-configuration.


  $ observable-database-proxy start localdb

  $ observable-database-proxy add localssl
  $ observable-database-proxy start localssl --sslcert ~/.ssl/localhost.crt --sslkey ~/.ssl/localhost.key

Configuration storage

All proxy configuration is stored in ~/.observablehq. You can delete the file to remove all of your database proxy configuration at once.

SSL Certificates

If you’re using Chrome or Edge, and running the database proxy on your local computer (at, you can connect to it directly with HTTP — there’s no need to set up a self-signed SSL certificate for the proxy.

If you’re using Firefox or Safari, or if you wish to run the database proxy on a different computer on your intranet, you can create a self-signed SSL certificate and configure the database proxy to use it in order to proxy over HTTPS. Be sure to “Require SSL/TLS” in the Observable configuration, and specify the --sslcert and --sslkey options when running the database proxy.

Using from notebooks

After the proxy is running, in one of your private notebooks, use DatabaseClient("name") to create a database client pointed at your local proxy. When querying, your data and database credentials never leave your local computer.

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