Change a Password for PostgreSQL on Linux via Command Line

Reading Time: < 1 minutePostgreSQL supports many client authentication methods, but in this case we’re only going to concern ourselves with two: password and md5.
Note: The default authentication method for PostgreSQL is ident. If you’d like to change the PostgreSQL authentication method from ident to md5, then visit the linked tutorial!

Preflight Check

  • These instructions are intended specifically for changing a password in PostgreSQL.
  • I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Core Managed CentOS 7 server, and I’ll be logged in as root.
  • PostgreSQL is installed per our tutorial on: How to Install and Connect to PostgreSQL on CentOS 7.

Step #1: Switch to the PostgreSQL User: postgres

If you’re working from a default PostgreSQL installation, then PostgreSQL will be configured with the user postgres. Since we’re logged in as root, and we’re assuming that root doesn’t have a user for PostgreSQL, switch to the default PostgreSQL user: postgres: su - postgres … then attempt a connection to PostgreSQL: psql … enter your password at the prompt: Password: … the correct, valid response will be similar to: psql (9.3.9) Type "help" for help.
postgres=#

Step #2: Add/Change the Password for the PostgreSQL User: postgres

Use the following command to change the password for your current user, which is now postgres: \password Enter your new password, and then enter it again to confirm it: Enter new password: Enter it again: Now quit the PostgreSQL interface: \q

Bonus Information!

You can do all the step one in exactly one command: su -c "psql" - postgres
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