I have installed postgresql version 9.3.14 on High Sierra via HomeBrew. Upon trying to access the server via psql, I was being prompted for a password for the user postgres. Using postgres as the password got me into the database, but I was confused, as I have never been prompted for a password for the default user before. I looked around online on how to circumvent this, and I tried the solution suggested by lalligood on remove password requirement for user postgres which was to run alter user postgres password null; and now I cannot access psql. Trying postgres, null or omitting a password does not get me in, and I do not know what to do.

  • On the question you linked, the accepted solution is your answer. Commented Jan 23, 2018 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


Check your PostgreSQL pg_hba.conf. It should have lines like this copied directly from the docs.

# Allow any user on the local system to connect to any database with
# any database user name using Unix-domain sockets (the default for local
# connections).
# TYPE  DATABASE        USER            ADDRESS                 METHOD
local   all             all                                     trust

# The same using local loopback TCP/IP connections.
# TYPE  DATABASE        USER            ADDRESS                 METHOD
host    all             all               trust

You don't have to keep these. But it's normal to have these so you can connect locally without having to worry about passwords using your local system authentication methods. You also don't need both of these. If you only ever connect over sockets, feel free to nuke the one with tcp. This will allow you to log in with any locally authenticated user.

So you can log in as PostgreSQL with,

sudo -u postgresql psql -d myDatabase

or using tcp

sudo -u postgresql psql -d myDatabase -h
  • I see the following in my pg_hba.conf file: # TYPE DATABASE USER ADDRESS METHOD # "local" is for Unix domain socket connections only local all all trust
    – K Pekosh
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 19:07
  • @KPekosh that's fine so you can log in if the user your authenticating with in the database is also the user you're logged in with locally. If you want to log in with the postgres user, simply become the postgres user with sudo that user exists in your system (or should on *nix anyway) Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 19:08
  • I tried the sudo -u postgresql psql -d myDatabase suggested and I get a Permission denied message. If I try sudo su - postgres, I'm logged in as postgres, but I'm not sure what to do from there.
    – K Pekosh
    Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 19:11
  • @KPekosh just try running psql -d myDatabase if you have trust it shouldn't ask you for a password. If it does did you just add that line or uncomment it? If so you need to restart the server. If not, are you connecting to the right instance. Do you have two on your machine? Is the connection not working or the login? Commented Jan 22, 2018 at 19:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.