Using Liquibase with CockroachDB

CockroachDB is a distributed database with standard SQL for cloud applications. You can run CockroachDB on your local machine or use a cloud cluster.

Supported Versions

  • 20.1
  • 20.2
  • 21.1

Note: The supported versions are the versions that were tested with Liquibase Test Harness.


Before using Liquibase with your database, ensure you have:

Driver Information

To use Liquibase and CockroachDB, you need to have the JDBC jar file:

  1. Ensure you have downloaded the PostgreSQL JDBC jar driver file to connect to CockroachDB.
  2. Place your postgresql-version.jar file in the liquibase/lib directory.

Note: If you place the postgresql-version.jar file in a different directory, specify the path in the Liquibase properties file, as follows: classpath:../path_to_drivers/postgresql-version.jar. For more information, see Specifying Properties in a Connection Profile.

If you use Maven, download the PostgreSQL JDBC driver and place the driver in a location that your Maven build can access. Configure the Maven pom.xml file to use the local copy of the driver JAR file. For example:


Testing Your Connection

For Liquibase and CockroachDB to work, you need to:

  1. Ensure your CockroachDB is configured. You can check its status depending on your cluster setup. For example, you can check basic network connectivity (ping), port connectivity (telnet), and certificate validity. See the Troubleshoot Cluster Setup for more details.
  2. Generate or check TLS certificates for the user that you created during a secure CockroachDB cluster setup. Use the cockroach cert command to generate the certificates:
  3. cockroach cert create-client user --certs-dir=certs --ca-key=my-safe-directory/ca.key --also-generate-pkcs8-key
  1. Specify the database URL in the Liquibase properties file, as follows:
  2. CockroachDB on-premises


    When using the CockroachDB on-premises and specifying the URL, enter your IP address or host name, and then the port followed by the database name. The example of the format is: jdbc:postgresql://<IP OR HOSTNAME>:<PORT>/<DATABASE>.

    The SSL connection parameters to the full paths of the certificates that you generated are optional. A key in PKCS#8 format is the standard key encoding format in Java. As an alternative, you can use the URL without SSL connection parameters by specifying the username and password attributes:

    url: jdbc:postgresql://localhost:26257/dev
    username: root
    password: password

    CockroachDB cloud

    url: jdbc:postgresql://

    When using the CockroachCloud instance and specifying URL, enter a global host name and the port 26257 by referring to the CockroachCloud website. Also, add the database name with the SSL mode and the path to the CA certificate to your URL.

    Tip: To apply a Liquibase Pro key to your project, add the following property to the Liquibase properties file: liquibaseProLicenseKey: <paste code here>

  3. Create a text file called changelog (.xml, .sql, .json, or .yaml) in your project directory and add a changeset.

Note: CockroachDB has limited support for online schema changes in transactions. To avoid issues with incomplete transactions, you can set the runInTransaction attribute to false. However, take into account that if this attribute is set to false and an error occurs part way through running a changeset that contains multiple statements, the Liquibase DATABASECHANGELOG table will be left in an invalid state.

  1. Navigate to your project folder in the CLI and run the Liquibase status command to see whether the connection is successful. You can pass arguments in the CLI or keep them in the Liquibase properties file.
  2. liquibase --username=test --password=test --changelog-file=<changelog.xml> status
  3. Run your first update with the update command, which makes changes to your database. You can also run the update-sql command to inspect the SQL before running the update command.
  4. liquibase --changelog-file=<changelog.xml> update-sql
    liquibase --changelog-file=<changelog.xml> update

From a database UI tool, ensure that your database contains the table you added along with the DATABASECHANGELOG table and DATABASECHANGELOGLOCK table.

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