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ALTER USER

Name

ALTER USER -- change a database user account

Synopsis

ALTER USER name [ [ WITH ] option [ ... ] ]

where option can be:

    CREATEDB | NOCREATEDB
    | CREATEUSER | NOCREATEUSER 
    | [ ENCRYPTED | UNENCRYPTED ] PASSWORD 'password' 
    | VALID UNTIL 'abstime'

ALTER USER name RENAME TO newname

ALTER USER name SET parameter { TO | = } { value | DEFAULT }
ALTER USER name RESET parameter

Description

ALTER USER changes the attributes of a PostgreSQL user account. Attributes not mentioned in the command retain their previous settings.

The first variant of this command listed in the synopsis changes certain per-user privileges and authentication settings. (See below for details.) Database superusers can change any of these settings for any user. Ordinary users can only change their own password.

The second variant changes the name of the user. Only a database superuser can rename user accounts. The current session user cannot be renamed. (Connect as a different user if you need to do that.) Because MD5-encrypted passwords use the user name as cryptographic salt, renaming a user clears their MD5 password.

The third and the fourth variant change a user's session default for a specified configuration variable. Whenever the user subsequently starts a new session, the specified value becomes the session default, overriding whatever setting is present in postgresql.conf or has been received from the postmaster command line. Ordinary users can change their own session defaults. Superusers can change anyone's session defaults. Certain variables cannot be set this way, or can only be set by a superuser.

Parameters

name

The name of the user whose attributes are to be altered.

CREATEDB
NOCREATEDB

These clauses define a user's ability to create databases. If CREATEDB is specified, the user will be allowed to create his own databases. Using NOCREATEDB will deny a user the ability to create databases. (If the user is also a superuser, then this setting has no real effect.)

CREATEUSER
NOCREATEUSER

These clauses determine whether a user will be permitted to create new users himself. CREATEUSER will also make the user a superuser, who can override all access restrictions.

password

The new password to be used for this account.

ENCRYPTED
UNENCRYPTED

These key words control whether the password is stored encrypted in pg_shadow. (See CREATE USER for more information about this choice.)

abstime

The date (and, optionally, the time) at which this user's password is to expire. To set the password never to expire, use 'infinity'.

newname

The new name of the user.

parameter
value

Set this user's session default for the specified configuration parameter to the given value. If value is DEFAULT or, equivalently, RESET is used, the user-specific variable setting is removed, so the user will inherit the system-wide default setting in new sessions. Use RESET ALL to clear all user-specific settings.

See SET and Section 16.4 for more information about allowed parameter names and values.

Notes

Use CREATE USER to add new users, and DROP USER to remove a user.

ALTER USER cannot change a user's group memberships. Use ALTER GROUP to do that.

The VALID UNTIL clause defines an expiration time for a password only, not for the user account per se. In particular, the expiration time is not enforced when logging in using a non-password-based authentication method.

It is also possible to tie a session default to a specific database rather than to a user; see ALTER DATABASE. User-specific settings override database-specific ones if there is a conflict.

Examples

Change a user's password:

ALTER USER davide WITH PASSWORD 'hu8jmn3';

Change the expiration date of the user's password:

ALTER USER manuel VALID UNTIL 'Jan 31 2030';

Change a password expiration date, specifying that the password should expire at midday on 4th May 2005 using the time zone which is one hour ahead of UTC:

ALTER USER chris VALID UNTIL 'May 4 12:00:00 2005 +1';

Make a password valid forever:

ALTER USER fred VALID UNTIL 'infinity';

Give a user the ability to create other users and new databases:

ALTER USER miriam CREATEUSER CREATEDB;

Compatibility

The ALTER USER statement is a PostgreSQL extension. The SQL standard leaves the definition of users to the implementation.

Comments


March 12, 2005, 1:17 a.m.

To alter a user to make them become a 'superuser' the following can be entered, which will give them the same permissions as a superuser as shown when entereding \du at the psql prompt.

ALTER USER login_name WITH CREATEUSER CREATEDB;


Oct. 6, 2005, 3:18 a.m.

Just in case you didn't get it, ENCRYPTED is MD5. See the CREATE USER syntax for more information. Also, check your password_encryption setting in postgresql.conf (another exercise left to the reader)

template1=# ALTER USER supaplex ENCRYPTED password 'plzdontguess';

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