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Re: the docs, and newbies.

From: Newsbird <newsbird(at)SPAMPLUGsunbird(dot)iwarp(dot)com>
To: pgsql-docs(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Re: the docs, and newbies.
Date: 2001-01-23 01:27:53
Message-ID: t65b6.297678$ (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-docs
Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us> wrote:
> "Ross J. Reedstrom" <reedstrm(at)rice(dot)edu> writes:
>> Actually, out biggest documentation headache is using 'account' for
>> both 'operating system user account' and 'database user account', and
>> making it clear which one is meant. This happens not only for the 
>> superuser account, but the regular user acccounts as well.

> Yes, that is another source of confusion.  One could even claim it's
> the source of the superuser issue --- a Unix superuser and
> a Postgres superuser aren't the same kind of user account, so there
> would be no confusion if it were always perfectly clear which sort
> of user you were talking about.

As a newbie, it would have been more perfectly clear to me if the 
manner of becoming superuser had been spelled out.  Reason is, there are two
ways to do it.  In the beginning my user newsbird couldn't do 
su - postgres.  Only root could.  While I read what I could about how to
initdb, create user, etc, there seemed to be several ways to do it.  
Of course, I did it wrong.  There is one other more experienced 
person helping me, but we were both surprised when newsbird dropped 
the other users database created for testing.  

It wasn't supposed to happen of course.  That test was meant to
show me it couldn't happen.  Well, then I had to go back and find out why
it did and I ended up here, reading this.  I already knew there
were two superusers, one unix root, one postgres superuser.  But in the
beginning of setup it isn't clear whether root should do su - postgres or
not.  When newsbird couldn't do su - postgres, newsbird tried getting there
through root.  I note that different distributions of linux use different
path/permissions/ownerships for postgres.  His system is debian, mine suse. 
Perhaps that led to confusion.  

Certainly it would be useful to quickly view user privileges 
instead of having to test it the hard way.  We don't want either newsbird or
user2 to have privilege to destroy/drop databases, nor do we want either
user to be able to create users.  

Appreciate your comments.

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