I need to create various schema in a database and give ownership of these to specific users. I want to do this in a script, and I rather not be the postgres user or a superuser. My user pat has createdb and createrole privileges.

pat=> create role toto with login password 'pass';  
pat=> create schema toto;
pat=> alter schema toto owner to toto;
ERROR:  must be member of role "toto"

Is there a way to do this without being postgres or superuser ? or should I give pat superuser privileges while running the scripts and drop it after? What is the best procedure?

2 Answers 2


Per documentation,

You must own the schema to use ALTER SCHEMA. To rename a schema you must also have the CREATE privilege for the database. To alter the owner, you must also be a direct or indirect member of the new owning role, [...]

So in your case, you either need to be superuser or be a member of the role you are transferring the ownership to.

Ultimately, while I applaud your efforts, you're going to have a hard time managing this without some superuser use. So I'd focus on locking down the superuser use, maybe wrap the steps in a few security-definer functions.

  • Thank you, this is what I understood, I was hoping I had missed something in the docs. Yes I must secure the "pat" account so that even if hacked, the scripts are not run easily. already it has a postgres password , I must add something in the scripts also then.
    – Pat070
    Sep 23, 2015 at 13:49

should I give pat superuser privileges while running the scripts and drop it after? What is the best procedure?

The best practice, or the way I would do this is simply to create the schema and assign it to the user using AUTHORIZATION

I would probably do it like this..

sudo -u postgres psql <<EOF
  • not sure this is better than being the postgres superuser. in this case, i must have the sudo privileges, and if I want to run the cmd from a script, I have the same problem with the password .
    – Pat070
    Jun 23, 2017 at 14:06
  • @Pat070 that is doing it as the PostgreSQL superuser. I just keep my postgres superuser locked, as is best practices. And, sudo doesn't have to require a password, you can set that up in sudoers see NOPASSWD. Jun 23, 2017 at 14:18
  • sure but I feel less safe with sudo without password. you would say that once somebody got my password, sudoers or not ... I have to think a about that
    – Pat070
    Jun 25, 2017 at 11:44

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