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Databases - Practical PostgreSQL
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Viewing Users

All user information is stored in a PostgreSQL system table called pg_shadow, shown in Table 10-1. This table is only selectable by superusers, though a limited view of this table called pg_user is accessible to normal users.

Table 10-1. The pg_shadow table

Column

Type

usename

name

usesysid

integer

usecreatedb

boolean

usetrace

boolean

usesuper

boolean

usecatupd

boolean

passwd

text

valuntil

abstime

The primary difference between the selectable data in pg_user and pg_shadow is that the actual value of the passwd column is not shown (it is replaced with a string of asterisks). This is a security measure to ensure that normal users are not able to determine one another's passwords.

The usename column stores the name of the system user, which is a unique character string (no two users may have the same name, as users are global database objects). Similarly, the usesysid column stores a unique integer value associated with the user. The usecreatedb and usesuper each correspond to the pair of privileges which can be set upon creation of a user, as documented in the Section called Creating Users ."

Databases - Practical PostgreSQL
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