Confluence is displaying pages slowly or showing 503 errors with PostgreSQL

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Platform notice: Server and Data Center only. This article only applies to Atlassian products on the server and data center platforms.


Confluence pages are displaying very slowly or users are seeing 503 errors in the browser.



  • PostgreSQL is used with c3p0 pooling. c3p0 is used in Confluence 7.13 and earlier.

Diagnostic Steps

  • Check <confluence-home>/confluence.cfg.xml for the value <property name="hibernate.c3p0.max_size">. The default is usually 30.

  • When the system is running slow, or showing 503 errors, run the following SQL command where USER is the username defined in <confluence-home>/confluence.cfg.xml for the database connection in <property name="hibernate.connection.username">

    from Linux shell
    while true; do sudo -u postgres psql -c "SELECT count(*) FROM pg_stat_activity where usename = 'USER';"; sleep 5; done
    in psql
     SELECT count(*) FROM pg_stat_activity where usename = 'USER';
  • If the count is equal to or close to hibernate.c3p0.max_size, this may indicate there are insufficient database connections.

  • Check the value of max_connections in postgresql.conf and ensure that it is greater than the  hibernate.c3p0.max_size. See also the PostgeSQL documentation on tuning. The default is usually 100.

     max_connections = 100


The c3p0 database connection pool is running out of connections and causing timeouts when accessing the database.


  • Increase the value of hibernate.c3p0.max_size in <confluence-home>/confluence.cfg.xml and restart Confluence.

    tip/resting Created with Sketch.

    Monitor the connections during peak time using the above script. The value cannot go higher than max_connections in postgresql.conf.

Last modified on Jan 14, 2022

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