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I just installed PostgreSQL on a Mac (Mountain Lion) today.

The installer created a mac user PostgreSQL on my machine. After installation, the user still exists.

My question is that why postgreSQL needs a new user? Can I remove this user? MySQL server does not require such a user being created.

Can someone help?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com May 13 '13 at 14:50

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What does MySQL do on OS X anyway, just by way of comparison for those of us without a Mac? Install and run as root? BTW, PostgreSQL 9.2 and above run as NETWORKSERVICE on Windows, the built-in limited rights account for services that require network access, specifically to avoid having to create a user. I nagged the EnterpriseDB folks until they changed the installer to use it instead of creating a postgres account. Mac OS X does not (AFAIK) have a comparable built-in account so PostgreSQL must create its own limited rights account. –  Craig Ringer May 12 '13 at 23:50

1 Answer 1

Usually, the Postgres server process is owned by the accompanying system user (not by root or the installing user), so it only has a limited set of rights, making possible attacks somewhat less dangerous.

Additionally, the Postgres system user is normally used to carry the default privileges to initialize db clusters and access newly created databases without password. But you can change all that, of course.

What MySQL does is hardly relevant to these considerations. It is in no way role model in security related affairs.

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