PostGIS offers a view called pg_stat_activity, where you can see all the active connections to the database. This view includes the interesting column application_name. When a connection comes from a QGIS instance, the text "QGIS" appears there.

An application can send this parameter to PostGIS in the connection string, and I suppose that QGIS do it so. The connection string looks than more or less like that:

host=... port=... dbname=... user=... password=... application_name=QGIS

I would like to change this value in QGIS to include the username (that I will get from the operating system). Instead of "QGIS", I would like to see something like "QGIS for user1". Is there a was to do that, may be by changing the connection string using a pyQGIS script or any other solution?


I just tried following thing: using the python console I made use of the function setEncodedUri which seems allow all possible connection parameters. But it doesn't work: The application_name appears in the layer properties in QGIS but in PostGIS I still just see "QGIS" and nothing more. This are the lines I was using for this test:

    uri = QgsDataSourceURI()
    uri.setEncodedUri("host=...&port=...&dbname=...&user=...&password=...&application_name=QGIS for user1")
    uri.setDataSource("MySchema", "MyTable", "wkb_geometry", "")
    vlayer = QgsVectorLayer(uri.uri(), "MyLayerName", "postgres")

Edit2: I had a look in the source code of QGIS 2.8: the trick with setEncodedUri can't work, because the code calls SET application_name='QGIS' just after opening the connection and that overwrites my setting!

I'm still looking for a working solution...


It possible to set the environment variable PGOPTIONS to something like "-c application_name=QGISuser1" or even easier the environment varaible PGAPPNAME (see fallback_application_name) before starting QGIS. It's used to change some postgres configuration variables for the current session. I tried it with over variables and it worked. But as QGIS overwrites the value of application_name after opening the connection, it doesn't work for this variable. And I'm now thinking, that there are probably no ways to do what I want with the current version of QGIS.

  • Can you use the environment variables from QGIS? In the settings menu - Options - System (at the bottom) I haven't tried it yet but it's just a thought... – Max Jun 11 '15 at 14:33
  • @Max: thanks for your suggestion. I just had a look, but no, there doesn't seems to be an environment variable for the application_name. – Name Jun 11 '15 at 14:55
  • @Name is this a PostGIS issue or a PostgreSQL issue? Just asking because dba.stackexchange might be a place to ask this... – DPSSpatial Jun 11 '15 at 15:00
  • @mapBaker: this is more a QGIS issue. – Name Jun 11 '15 at 15:18

A solution with following restrictions:

  • QGIS will be started through a batch file (I'm on Windows).
  • The user will be working with a predefined QGIS project (as the project will be opened through the batch file).
  • Username and password for the PostGIS connection are be stored in the QGIS project.
  • All PostGIS layers of the project must be in the same PostGIS database.
  • This isn't useful for cases where application_name is used in triggers, as it will only change in a parallel connection to the main QGIS connection.

The batch file set the environment variable PGAPPNAME, start QGIS for the predefined project and run a pyQGIS script that will open a second connection to PostGIS:

    qgis.bat --project MyPredefinedProject.qgs --code ScriptForSecondConnection.py

The pyQGIS script gets its connection parameters from the first PostGIS layer it can find and open a second connection to PostGIS. This connection remains opened until exit. This is only a partial solution: for the second connection the application_name is now something like "QGIS(user1)", but for the main connection from QGIS to PostGIS it's still "QGIS" and nothing more.

    from PyQt4.QtCore import *
    from PyQt4.QtGui import *
    from PyQt4.QtSql import *
    from qgis.core import *

    ###### functions ##########
    def get_first_postgres_layer():
        for layer in QgsMapLayerRegistry.instance().mapLayers().viewvalues():
            provider = layer.dataProvider()
            if provider.name() == 'postgres':
                return layer
        return None

    # get a PostGIS layer
    layer = get_first_postgres_layer()
    if layer is None:
        raise RuntimeError('No PostGIS layer found')

    # Reuse the layer parameters to open a new connection to PostGIS
    uri = QgsDataSourceURI(layer.dataProvider().dataSourceUri())
    db = QSqlDatabase.addDatabase('QPSQL')
    if not db.isValid():
        raise RuntimeError('Database problem')
    if not db.open():
        raise RuntimeError('Connection to PostGIS failed')
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