14th September 2023: PostgreSQL 16 Released!
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createuser — Create a new Postgres user
createuser [ options ] [ username ]


-h, --host host

Specifies the hostname of the machine on which the postmaster is running.

-p, --port port

Specifies the Internet TCP/IP port or local Unix domain socket file extension on which the postmaster is listening for connections.

-e, --echo

Echo the queries that createdb generates and sends to the backend.

-q, --quiet

Do not display a response.

-d, --createdb

Allows the new user to create databases.

-D, --no-createdb

Forbids the new user to create databases.

-a, --adduser

Allows the new user to create other users.

-A, --no-adduser

Forbids the new user to create other users.

-P, --pwprompt

If given, createuser will issue a prompt for the password of the new user. This is not necessary if you do not plan on using password authentication.

-i, --sysid uid

Allows you to pick a non-default user id for the new user. This is not necessary, but some people like it.


Specifies the name of the Postgres user to be created. This name must be unique among all Postgres users.

You will be prompted for a name and other missing information if it is not specified on the command line.

The options -h, -p, and -e, are passed on literally to psql. The psql options -U and -W are available as well, but their use can be confusing in this context.



All is well.

createuser: creation of user "username" failed

Something went wrong. The user was not created.

If there is an error condition, the backend error message will be displayed. See CREATE USER and psql for possibilities.


createuser creates a new Postgres user. Only users with usesuper set in the pg_shadow class can create new Postgres users.

createuser is a shell script wrapper around the SQL command CREATE USER via the Postgres interactive terminal psql. Thus, there is nothing special about creating users via this or other methods. This means that the psql must be found by the script and that a database server is running at the targeted host. Also, any default settings and environment variables available to psql and the libpq front-end library do apply.


To create a user joe on the default database server:

$ createuser joe
Is the new user allowed to create databases? (y/n) n
Shall the new user be allowed to create more new users? (y/n) n

To create the same user joe using the postmaster on host eden, port 5000, avoiding the prompts and taking a look at the underlying query:

$ createuser -p 5000 -h eden -D -A -e joe