Change a Password for PostgreSQL on Linux via Command Line

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PostgreSQL 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:


… enter your password at the prompt:


… the correct, valid response will be similar to:

psql (9.3.9)
Type "help" for help.


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:


Enter your new password, and then enter it again to confirm it:

Enter new password:
Enter it again:

Now quit the PostgreSQL interface:


Bonus Information!

You can do all the step one in exactly one command:

su -c "psql" - postgres

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