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I used sudo su postgres and set up my database while logged in as the linux user postgres. After exiting to my normal shell, logged in as my non-root user, I can simply use psql -U postgres and then do whatever I want with any database, Postgres user, etc. Is this normal, and does it pose a security risk?

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What does your pg_hba.conf say? – Michael Hampton Dec 15 '12 at 3:41
@MichaelHampton - Aha, thanks :) Do you think it's a good practice to modify the all in the local to read postgres instead? – orokusaki Dec 15 '12 at 3:48
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sounds like your pg_hba.conf is set to trust for local connections. If you trust your local users, that's not too bad, though I don't think it's ever a great idea for production.

Make really sure that trust isn't set for host (network) connections - it's sort-of OK to allow trust for but it's something I'd only actually consider doing for a test setup, never for production. You should be using md5 password auth or a strong security mechanism like certificate auth, Kerberos, etc for network clients.

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Excellent! Thanks, Craig - I'll use md5, since the server is only accessible in a private network. What would you say to my question posed above in the OP comments? – orokusaki Dec 15 '12 at 3:49
@orokusaki It depends on whether or not you trust your local users (and the security of the host system to prevent an illicit login) -- Generally as Craig said I would not do this in production. – voretaq7 Dec 15 '12 at 3:54
@voretaq7 - thanks! – orokusaki Dec 15 '12 at 3:54
I just remembered, I'll have 1 postgres server set up on a VMWare VM on the same physical server as my app server :/ asking another question now – orokusaki Dec 15 '12 at 4:12

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