3rd October 2019: PostgreSQL 12 Released!
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Development Versions: devel
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GRANT

GRANT — define access privileges

Synopsis

GRANT { { SELECT | INSERT | UPDATE | DELETE | TRUNCATE | REFERENCES | TRIGGER }
    [, ...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON { [ TABLE ] table_name [, ...]
         | ALL TABLES IN SCHEMA schema_name [, ...] }
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { { SELECT | INSERT | UPDATE | REFERENCES } ( column_name [, ...] )
    [, ...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] ( column_name [, ...] ) }
    ON [ TABLE ] table_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { { USAGE | SELECT | UPDATE }
    [, ...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON { SEQUENCE sequence_name [, ...]
         | ALL SEQUENCES IN SCHEMA schema_name [, ...] }
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { { CREATE | CONNECT | TEMPORARY | TEMP } [, ...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON DATABASE database_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { USAGE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON DOMAIN domain_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { USAGE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON FOREIGN DATA WRAPPER fdw_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { USAGE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON FOREIGN SERVER server_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { EXECUTE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON { { FUNCTION | PROCEDURE | ROUTINE } routine_name [ ( [ [ argmode ] [ arg_name ] arg_type [, ...] ] ) ] [, ...]
         | ALL { FUNCTIONS | PROCEDURES | ROUTINES } IN SCHEMA schema_name [, ...] }
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { USAGE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON LANGUAGE lang_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { { SELECT | UPDATE } [, ...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON LARGE OBJECT loid [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { { CREATE | USAGE } [, ...] | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON SCHEMA schema_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { CREATE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON TABLESPACE tablespace_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

GRANT { USAGE | ALL [ PRIVILEGES ] }
    ON TYPE type_name [, ...]
    TO role_specification [, ...] [ WITH GRANT OPTION ]

where role_specification can be:

    [ GROUP ] role_name
  | PUBLIC
  | CURRENT_USER
  | SESSION_USER

GRANT role_name [, ...] TO role_name [, ...] [ WITH ADMIN OPTION ]

Description

The GRANT command has two basic variants: one that grants privileges on a database object (table, column, view, foreign table, sequence, database, foreign-data wrapper, foreign server, function, procedure, procedural language, schema, or tablespace), and one that grants membership in a role. These variants are similar in many ways, but they are different enough to be described separately.

GRANT on Database Objects

This variant of the GRANT command gives specific privileges on a database object to one or more roles. These privileges are added to those already granted, if any.

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

If WITH GRANT OPTION is specified, the recipient of the privilege can in turn grant it to others. Without a grant option, the recipient cannot do that. Grant options cannot be granted to 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 their own privileges for safety.)

The right to drop an object, or to alter its definition in any way, is not treated as a grantable privilege; it is inherent in the owner, and cannot be granted or revoked. (However, a similar effect can be obtained by granting or revoking membership in the role that owns the object; see below.) The owner implicitly has all grant options for the object, too.

The possible privileges are:

SELECT
INSERT
UPDATE
DELETE
TRUNCATE
REFERENCES
TRIGGER
CREATE
CONNECT
TEMPORARY
EXECUTE
USAGE

Specific types of privileges, as defined in Section 5.7.

TEMP

Alternative spelling for TEMPORARY.

ALL PRIVILEGES

Grant all of the privileges available for the object's type. The PRIVILEGES key word is optional in PostgreSQL, though it is required by strict SQL.

The FUNCTION syntax works for plain functions, aggregate functions, and window functions, but not for procedures; use PROCEDURE for those. Alternatively, use ROUTINE to refer to a function, aggregate function, window function, or procedure regardless of its precise type.

There is also an option to grant privileges on all objects of the same type within one or more schemas. This functionality is currently supported only for tables, sequences, functions, and procedures. ALL TABLES also affects views and foreign tables, just like the specific-object GRANT command. ALL FUNCTIONS also affects aggregate and window functions, but not procedures, again just like the specific-object GRANT command. Use ALL ROUTINES to include procedures.

GRANT on Roles

This variant of the GRANT command grants membership in a role to one or more other roles. Membership in a role is significant because it conveys the privileges granted to a role to each of its members.

If WITH ADMIN OPTION is specified, the member can in turn grant membership in the role to others, and revoke membership in the role as well. Without the admin option, ordinary users cannot do that. A role is not considered to hold WITH ADMIN OPTION on itself, but it may grant or revoke membership in itself from a database session where the session user matches the role. Database superusers can grant or revoke membership in any role to anyone. Roles having CREATEROLE privilege can grant or revoke membership in any role that is not a superuser.

Unlike the case with privileges, membership in a role cannot be granted to PUBLIC. Note also that this form of the command does not allow the noise word GROUP.

Notes

The REVOKE command is used to revoke access privileges.

Since PostgreSQL 8.1, the concepts of users and groups have been unified into a single kind of entity called a role. It is therefore no longer necessary to use the keyword GROUP to identify whether a grantee is a user or a group. GROUP is still allowed in the command, but it is a noise word.

A user may perform SELECT, INSERT, etc. on a column if they hold that privilege for either the specific column or its whole table. Granting the privilege at the table level and then revoking it for one column will not do what one might wish: the table-level grant is unaffected by a column-level operation.

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. (For role membership, the membership appears to have been granted by the containing role itself.)

GRANT and REVOKE can also be done by a role that is not the owner of the affected object, but is a member of the role that owns the object, or is a member of a role that holds privileges WITH GRANT OPTION on the object. In this case the privileges will be recorded as having been granted by the role that actually owns the object or holds the privileges WITH GRANT OPTION. For example, if table t1 is owned by role g1, of which role u1 is a member, then u1 can grant privileges on t1 to u2, but those privileges will appear to have been granted directly by g1. Any other member of role g1 could revoke them later.

If the role executing GRANT holds the required privileges indirectly via more than one role membership path, it is unspecified which containing role will be recorded as having done the grant. In such cases it is best practice to use SET ROLE to become the specific role you want to do the GRANT as.

Granting permission on a table does not automatically extend permissions to any sequences used by the table, including sequences tied to SERIAL columns. Permissions on sequences must be set separately.

See Section 5.7 for more information about specific privilege types, as well as how to inspect objects' privileges.

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.

Grant membership in role admins to user joe:

GRANT admins TO joe;

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 their own ordinary privileges: for example, a table owner can make the table read-only to themselves by revoking their own INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE, and TRUNCATE 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 themselves; therefore they 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.

According to the SQL standard, grant options can be granted to PUBLIC; PostgreSQL only supports granting grant options to roles.

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

In the SQL standard, sequences only have a USAGE privilege, which controls the use of the NEXT VALUE FOR expression, which is equivalent to the function nextval in PostgreSQL. The sequence privileges SELECT and UPDATE are PostgreSQL extensions. The application of the sequence USAGE privilege to the currval function is also a PostgreSQL extension (as is the function itself).

Privileges on databases, tablespaces, schemas, and languages are PostgreSQL extensions.

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