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GRANT

Name

GRANT -- define access privileges

Synopsis

GRANT { { SELECT | INSERT | UPDATE | DELETE | RULE | REFERENCES | TRIGGER }
    [,...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON [ TABLE ] tablename [, ...]
    TO { username | GROUP groupname | PUBLIC } [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { { CREATE | TEMPORARY | TEMP } [,...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON DATABASE dbname [, ...]
    TO { username | GROUP groupname | PUBLIC } [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { EXECUTE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON FUNCTION funcname ([type, ...]) [, ...]
    TO { username | GROUP groupname | PUBLIC } [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { USAGE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON LANGUAGE langname [, ...]
    TO { username | GROUP groupname | PUBLIC } [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { { CREATE | USAGE } [,...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON SCHEMA schemaname [, ...]
    TO { username | GROUP groupname | PUBLIC } [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { CREATE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON TABLESPACE tablespacename [, ...]
    TO { username | GROUP groupname | PUBLIC } [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

Description

The GRANT command gives specific privileges on an object (table, view, sequence, database, function, procedural language, schema, or tablespace) to one or more users or groups of users. These privileges are added to those already granted, if any.

The key word PUBLIC indicates that the privileges are to be granted to all users, including those that may be created later. PUBLIC may be thought of as an implicitly defined group that always includes all users. Any particular user will have the sum of privileges granted directly to him, privileges granted to any group he is presently a member of, and privileges granted to PUBLIC.

If WITH GRANT OPTION is specified, the recipient of the privilege may in turn grant it to others. Without a grant option, the recipient cannot do that. At present, grant options can only be granted to individual users, not to groups or PUBLIC.

There is no need to grant privileges to the owner of an object (usually the user that created it), as the owner has all privileges by default. (The owner could, however, choose to revoke some of his own privileges for safety.) The right to drop an object, or to alter its definition in any way is not described by a grantable privilege; it is inherent in the owner, and cannot be granted or revoked. The owner implicitly has all grant options for the object, too.

Depending on the type of object, the initial default privileges may include granting some privileges to PUBLIC. The default is no public access for tables, schemas, and tablespaces; TEMP table creation privilege for databases; EXECUTE privilege for functions; and USAGE privilege for languages. The object owner may of course revoke these privileges. (For maximum security, issue the REVOKE in the same transaction that creates the object; then there is no window in which another user may use the object.)

The possible privileges are:

SELECT

Allows SELECT from any column of the specified table, view, or sequence. Also allows the use of COPY TO. This privilege is also needed to reference existing column values in UPDATE or DELETE. For sequences, this privilege also allows the use of the currval function.

INSERT

Allows INSERT of a new row into the specified table. Also allows COPY FROM.

UPDATE

Allows UPDATE of any column of the specified table. (In practice, any nontrivial UPDATE command will require SELECT privilege as well, since it must reference table columns to determine which rows to update, and/or to compute new values for columns.) SELECT ... FOR UPDATE also requires this privilege, in addition to the SELECT privilege. For sequences, this privilege allows the use of the nextval and setval functions.

DELETE

Allows DELETE of a row from the specified table. (In practice, any nontrivial DELETE command will require SELECT privilege as well, since it must reference table columns to determine which rows to delete.)

RULE

Allows the creation of a rule on the table/view. (See the CREATE RULE statement.)

REFERENCES

To create a foreign key constraint, it is necessary to have this privilege on both the referencing and referenced tables.

TRIGGER

Allows the creation of a trigger on the specified table. (See the CREATE TRIGGER statement.)

CREATE

For databases, allows new schemas to be created within the database.

For schemas, allows new objects to be created within the schema. To rename an existing object, you must own the object and have this privilege for the containing schema.

For tablespaces, allows tables and indexes to be created within the tablespace, and allows databases to be created that have the tablespace as their default tablespace. (Note that revoking this privilege will not alter the placement of existing objects.)

TEMPORARY
TEMP

Allows temporary tables to be created while using the specified database.

EXECUTE

Allows the use of the specified function and the use of any operators that are implemented on top of the function. This is the only type of privilege that is applicable to functions. (This syntax works for aggregate functions, as well.)

USAGE

For procedural languages, allows the use of the specified language for the creation of functions in that language. This is the only type of privilege that is applicable to procedural languages.

For schemas, allows access to objects contained in the specified schema (assuming that the objects' own privilege requirements are also met). Essentially this allows the grantee to "look up" objects within the schema.

ALL PRIVILEGES

Grant all of the available privileges at once. The PRIVILEGES key word is optional in PostgreSQL, though it is required by strict SQL.

The privileges required by other commands are listed on the reference page of the respective command.

Notes

The REVOKE command is used to revoke access privileges.

When a non-owner of an object attempts to GRANT privileges on the object, the command will fail outright if the user has no privileges whatsoever on the object. As long as some privilege is available, the command will proceed, but it will grant only those privileges for which the user has grant options. The GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES forms will issue a warning message if no grant options are held, while the other forms will issue a warning if grant options for any of the privileges specifically named in the command are not held. (In principle these statements apply to the object owner as well, but since the owner is always treated as holding all grant options, the cases can never occur.)

It should be noted that database superusers can access all objects regardless of object privilege settings. This is comparable to the rights of root in a Unix system. As with root, it's unwise to operate as a superuser except when absolutely necessary.

If a superuser chooses to issue a GRANT or REVOKE command, the command is performed as though it were issued by the owner of the affected object. In particular, privileges granted via such a command will appear to have been granted by the object owner.

Currently, PostgreSQL does not support granting or revoking privileges for individual columns of a table. One possible workaround is to create a view having just the desired columns and then grant privileges to that view.

Use psql's \z command to obtain information about existing privileges, for example:

=> \z mytable

                        Access privileges for database "lusitania"
 Schema |  Name   | Type  |                     Access privileges
--------+---------+-------+------------------------------------------------------------
 public | mytable | table | {miriam=arwdRxt/miriam,=r/miriam,"group todos=arw/miriam"}
(1 row)

The entries shown by \z are interpreted thus:

              =xxxx -- privileges granted to PUBLIC
         uname=xxxx -- privileges granted to a user
   group gname=xxxx -- privileges granted to a group

                  r -- SELECT ("read")
                  w -- UPDATE ("write")
                  a -- INSERT ("append")
                  d -- DELETE
                  R -- RULE
                  x -- REFERENCES
                  t -- TRIGGER
                  X -- EXECUTE
                  U -- USAGE
                  C -- CREATE
                  T -- TEMPORARY
            arwdRxt -- ALL PRIVILEGES (for tables)
                  * -- grant option for preceding privilege

              /yyyy -- user who granted this privilege

The above example display would be seen by user miriam after creating table mytable and doing

GRANT SELECT ON mytable TO PUBLIC;
GRANT SELECT, UPDATE, INSERT ON mytable TO GROUP todos;

If the "Access privileges" column is empty for a given object, it means the object has default privileges (that is, its privileges column is null). Default privileges always include all privileges for the owner, and may include some privileges for PUBLIC depending on the object type, as explained above. The first GRANT or REVOKE on an object will instantiate the default privileges (producing, for example, {miriam=arwdRxt/miriam}) and then modify them per the specified request.

Notice that the owner's implicit grant options are not marked in the access privileges display. A * will appear only when grant options have been explicitly granted to someone.

Examples

Grant insert privilege to all users on table films:

GRANT INSERT ON films TO PUBLIC;

Grant all available privileges to user manuel on view kinds:

GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON kinds TO manuel;

Note that while the above will indeed grant all privileges if executed by a superuser or the owner of kinds, when executed by someone else it will only grant those permissions for which the someone else has grant options.

Compatibility

According to the SQL standard, the PRIVILEGES key word in ALL PRIVILEGES is required. The SQL standard does not support setting the privileges on more than one object per command.

PostgreSQL allows an object owner to revoke his own ordinary privileges: for example, a table owner can make the table read-only to himself by revoking his own INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE privileges. This is not possible according to the SQL standard. The reason is that PostgreSQL treats the owner's privileges as having been granted by the owner to himself; therefore he can revoke them too. In the SQL standard, the owner's privileges are granted by an assumed entity "_SYSTEM". Not being "_SYSTEM", the owner cannot revoke these rights.

The SQL standard allows setting privileges for individual columns within a table:

GRANT privileges
    ON table [ ( column [, ...] ) ] [, ...]
    TO { PUBLIC | username [, ...] } [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

The SQL standard provides for a USAGE privilege on other kinds of objects: character sets, collations, translations, domains.

The RULE privilege, and privileges on databases, tablespaces, schemas, languages, and sequences are PostgreSQL extensions.

See Also

REVOKE

Comments


April 25, 2005, 6:02 p.m.

On my 8.0.1 installation, the select privilege on a sequence allowed the granted user to select from the sequence (i.e. the underlying table), but it did not allow nextval to be called. I had to also grant update to allow a user to user nextval. A problematic catch to this is that granting update also allows the granted user to use the setval function, which I consider a risk in this design.


June 1, 2005, 2:37 a.m.

Note that the SQL standard doesn't support groups, so SQL-compliant grants must be done on a user-by-user basis.


Oct. 23, 2005, 10:54 p.m.

To grant access to hostnames, as you would in MySQL using the GRANT statement, edit the pg_hba.conf file.

See:
http://www.postgresql.org/docs/8.0/interactive/client-authentication.html#AUTH-PG-HBA-CONF


Sept. 3, 2006, 11:46 a.m.

It would be nice to be able to use the currval() function when only INSERT is granted. It makes sense that you should be allowed access to the id of the last insterted row with INSERT. If you also allow DELETE you may way to remove the last inserted row (eg. if an error occurs at some later stage in multi-stage process). At the moment it seems that the only way to acheive this is to also grant SELECT. Which is a massive problem for the specific application I am building. Maybe being able to assign specific rights to these functions would create the most flexibility?

Anyway thanks for the great product.

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