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The problem turned out to be a shp2pgsql process that was run in a loop in a shell script in screen that finished successfully several hours before I posted this question. It did not show up in pg_locks, nor pg_stat_activity, as it is a separate process, which was then being piped into psql. Killing this window inside screen, allowed the ALTER TABLE ...


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Per the notes given on the wiki for that query, it only shows row level locks. ALTER TABLE takes a table level ACCESS EXCLUSIVE lock. One or more transactions will be holding weaker locks on the table that prevent ALTER TABLE from acquiring its lock. You can identify the lock being waited on with something like: select * from pg_stat_activity sa inner ...


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It actually suffixes the password with the username and then MD5 hash is made out of that, and that hash is then prefixed with 'md5'


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Whether a password is required or not has nothing to do with pg_shadow and whether a password is actually defined for the user. Yes, I know, that's weird. pg_hba.conf controls the authentication method. If you want to request a password, use md5 authentication. If you want to allow login with no password to anyone, use trust. If you want to require the same ...


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For Question 1: using md5 auth for local connections is particularly helpful when you have a multi-user machine, or if you might add additional user accounts for friends/family/coworkers/whoever someday. If you are and will remain the only actual user on your system, there is less benefit, but it could still be useful: suppose some bad guy manages to break ...



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