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Admin Settings - Connections

The Connections page lists all the database connections that you have configured for Looker use. To access the Connections page, open the Admin menu and, under Database, choose Connections.

Viewing Connections

Database Tab

The Database tab shows basic information about database connections you’ve defined and, if the ability to create a new database has been enabled for your instance, any Looker-managed connections you’ve created. From the Database tab, you can also test the status of and edit the configuration of those connections.

Column Description
Name The name of the connection, chosen by you, that is used in the connection LookML parameter. When you test the connection, Looker displays the list of status checks under the connection name.
Database The name of the database that Looker will query when using this connection.
SSH Server The name of the SSH server configuration used to create an SSH tunnel to your database. This column shows only if the SSH Servers tab is enabled on your Looker instance.
SSL Whether or not you are using SSL encryption to protect the data traveling between Looker and your database (note that there are other secure options besides SSL).
Type The SQL dialect of the database connection.
Actions Actions you can take for a connection: test a connection, edit a connection, view other information about a connection, jump to a list of links to the connection’s Explores, or delete a connection. If the ability to create a new database has been enabled for your instance, you can also add data from an additional data source to any Looker-managed connections.

SSH Servers Tab

The SSH Server option is available if the instance is deployed on Kubernetes infrastructure, and only if the ability to add SSH server configuration information to your Looker instance has been enabled. If this option is not enabled on your Looker instance and you would like to enable it, contact your Looker account manager or open a support request in Looker’s Help Center.

The SSH Servers tab lists SSH server configurations you have added, indicates the status of connections to the SSH servers, and lists the database connections using each SSH server. From the SSH Servers tab, you can also test a connection to an SSH server, and add or edit SSH server configurations.

Column Description
Server Name The name of the SSH server configuration, chosen by you, that is used to connect to your database.
Connections A list of the database connections that connect to the SSH server. Clicking a database connection opens the Edit Connection page for that database connection.
Options menu Hover over the three-dot Options menu to view the actions you can take for an SSH server configuration: test connections to an SSH server, add a database connection to an SSH server, edit an SSH server configuration, or delete an SSH server configuration.

Adding or Editing an SSH Server Configuration

To add a new SSH server configuration, in the SSH Server tab, click Add Server. To edit an existing SSH server configuration, click the three-dot Options menu in the row of the SSH server you want to edit, and choose Server Details. Looker displays either the Add SSH Server or the Edit SSH Server page:

  1. Enter a name for the SSH server configuration.
  2. Click Download Key to download the public key to a text file. Be sure to save this file, as you will need to add the public key to your SSH server’s authorized key file later.
  3. Enter the username Looker will use to connect to the SSH server.
  4. Enter the SSH server IP address or hostname.
  5. Enter the port number used to connect to the SSH server.

Add the downloaded public key to the authorized key file on your SSH server. See the Using an SSH Server documentation page for an example of how to add the public key to your SSH server’s authorized key file.

In addition, ensure that the appropriate Looker IP addresses are added to the allowlist on your SSH server so that Looker can connect to the SSH server.

When you are done adding or editing the SSH server configuration, click Test & Request Fingerprint to verify your connection to the SSH server. Looker will show a screen with the new SSH configuration and options to download or view the public key, and to view the unique fingerprint of the SSH server configuration.

Testing the Connections to an SSH Server

To test all the database connections to an SSH server, click the three-dot menu in the row of the SSH server you want to test, and choose Test Connections. Looker will test all the database connections using the SSH server and display a green checkmark next to the server name and all connections where the connection test passes. A red exclamation point icon indicates that the connection failed the test.

Adding a Database Connection to an SSH Server

To add a new database connection using an SSH server, click the three-dot menu in the row of the SSH server to which you want to add a database connection, and choose Add Connection. Looker displays the Connection Settings page, with the SSH server listed in the SSH Server field.

Deleting an SSH Server Configuration

To delete an SSH server configuration, click the three-dot menu in the row of the SSH server you want to delete, and choose Delete Server.

Testing Connections

Looker lets you test your existing connections to make sure they are functioning properly. You can also test connections as you add them, as described on the Connecting Looker to Your Database documentation page.

Each connection test includes a list of status checks to tell you whether or not Looker can successfully use the database connection. For example:

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Potential issues are shown in yellow, while errors are shown in red. If a connection “passes” it will appear in green.

Database connections that use OAuth, such as Snowflake and Google BigQuery, require a user login. If you are not logged in to your OAuth user account when you test one of these connections, Looker will show a warning with a Log In link. Click the link to enter your OAuth credentials or to allow Looker access to your OAuth account information.

You can check the status of:

Two checks are common cause for confusion:

These checks do not need to pass in order for Looker to function. However, you will need them to pass in order to use persistent derived tables, which are a very valuable modeling feature.

Adding Connections

To add a new database connection, follow the steps described on the Connecting Looker to Your Database documentation page.

Editing Connections

To edit an existing connection, click the Edit button to the far right of each connection. You’ll be brought to same page that you use to create a connection (described on the Connecting Looker to Your Database documentation page), but with the relevant information already filled out. Make any changes you need to, then click Update Connection.

Other Connection Actions

The following options are available from the gear drop-down menu to the far right of each connection.

Actions Available for All Connections

All connections offer these options:

SQL Runner

This option brings you to Looker’s SQL Runner, with the proper connection and schema already selected.

Explore

This option brings you to a list of basic, automatically-generated Explore options for your connection. These are not based on your customized data models, but they enable some quick reporting on the raw data in your connection’s tables. This is typically only useful for getting an idea of table contents before modeling, rather than for the purposes of actual data analysis.

Delete

To delete an existing connection, click the gear drop-down menu to the far right of a connection and select Delete. You’ll be given the opportunity to confirm the deletion but, once you do so, it cannot be undone. Accidentally deleting a connection will disable any queries that use it. However, as long you re-create a new connection with the same name, functionality will be restored.

Actions Available for Some Connections

Depending on the connection dialect, the gear drop-down menu to the right of the connection may offer the following additional options:

Show Tables

This option brings you to a Looker Explore page that lets you create Looker reports based on the metadata of your connection. Although this option begins with the schema name, table name, and column count selected, you can manipulate it just like any other Looker report.

Show Databases

This option brings you to a Looker Explore page that lets you create Looker reports based on the metadata of your connection. Although this option begins with the schema name, catalog name, table count, and column count selected, you can manipulate it just like any other Looker report.

Show Processes

This option brings you to a Looker Explore page that lets you create Looker reports based on the processes running on this connection, the state they are in, how long they have been running, and other info. This can be useful in helping determine the cause if Looker is running slow, or if a query is not running at all.

Show PDT Event Log

This option brings you to a Looker Explore page that lets you create Looker reports based on the derived table activity for this connection. The available fields are described in more detail on our Persistent Derived Tables documentation page.

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