I have been asked to provide administration of an existing RDS Postgres instance. The AWS admin has created a new user for me and has added the rds_superuser role to it.

But this user with the rds_superuser role does not seem to have the same set of privileges as the default rds_superuser. I cannot, for example, create new roles. Does anyone know the difference between the default rds_superuser that comes with a new RDS PG instance and those users that are subsequently granted the rds_superuser role?

1 Answer 1


rds_superuser, unlike a real superuser, doesn't inherently have permission to create roles.

You will have to have the other rds_superuser (or anyone else who already has createrole) do:

alter user new_user createrole;
  • I understand that rds_superuser is not a real superuser. I am wondering what the differences are between the default rds_superuser that comes with a new RDS instance and subsequently assigned rds_superusers are.
    – mikelus
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 19:25
  • The differences are that one has "createrole" and "createdb", and the other does not. Of course if you gave the new role "createrole" and "createdb", then those would no longer be differences.
    – jjanes
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 19:29
  • I observed those role differences using \du, but I was wondering if there was anything else "special" about the initial default rds_superuser. If these are the only differences then ok.
    – mikelus
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 21:05
  • I don't have "inside" knowledge of their customizations, just what they make visible. But the only other difference I am aware of is that the initial role is also the owner of postgres and template1 databases.
    – jjanes
    Commented Apr 1, 2020 at 21:58

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