Managing Your Open Source Databases from Your iPad

Krzysztof Ksiazek


With the current COVID-19 situation ongoing, plenty of people have started to work from home. Among those are people whose job is to manage database systems. The lockdowns which have been announced all over the world mean that kids are also staying at home too. Homeschooling is now a thing, in many cases it comes with some sort of online learning activities. This creates pressure on the resources available at home. Who should be using laptops? Moms and Dads working from home or their kids, for their online classes. People often experience an “every laptop and tablet counts” situation. How can you do your job while having only an iPad available? Can you manage your database system with its help? Let’s take a look at this problem.


The main issue to solve would most likely be connectivity.

If you can use one of the supported VPN methods, good for you. If not, you can search the App Store for additional VPN clients like . Hopefully you’ll be able to find something suitable for you like, for example, OpenVPN Connect.

One way or the other, as soon as you can connect to your VPN, you can start working. There are a couple of ways to approach it. One might be a traditional way involving SSH access. Technically speaking, a 13’’ iPad with a Smart Keyboard can be quite a nice replacement for a laptop. Still, for those smaller, 10’’ screens, you have to accept some compromises.

For connecting over SSH we used Terminus. Here’s how it looks.

With on-screen keyboard work space is quite limited. On the other hand, you can achieve everything you could have achieved using your laptop. It’s just more time consuming and more annoying.

In full screen mode it’s slightly better but the font is really small. Sure, you can increase its size:

But then you end up scrolling through the kilometers of text. Doable but far from comfortable. You can clearly see that managing databases in such a way is quite hard, especially if we are talking about emergency situations where you have to act quickly.

Luckily, there’s another approach where you can rely on the database management platform to help you in your tasks. ClusterControl is an example of such a solution.

We are not going to lie, as every UI, ClusterControl will work better on larger screens, but it still works quite well:

It can help you to deal with the regular tasks like monitoring the replication status.

You can scroll through the metrics and see if there are any problems with your database environment.

With just a couple of clicks you can perform management tasks that otherwise would require executing numerous CLI commands.

You can manage your backups, edit the backup schedule, create new backups, restore, verify. All with just a couple of clicks.

As you can see, an iPad might be quite a powerful tool in dealing with database management tasks. Even with the low screen estate, through using proper tools like ClusterControl, you can achieve almost the same outcome.

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