destroyuser -- Destroy a Postgres user and associated databases


destroyuser [ username ]
destroyuser [ -h host ] [ -p port ]
    [ username ]


-h host

Specifies the hostname of the machine on which the postmaster is running. Defaults to using a local Unix domain socket rather than an IP connection..

-p port

Specifies the Internet TCP/IP port or local Unix domain socket file extension on which the postmaster is listening for connections. The port number defaults to 5432, or the value of the PGPORT environment variable (if set).


Specifies the name of the Postgres user to be removed. This name must exist in the Postgres installation. You will be prompted for a name if none is specified on the command line.


destroyuser will remove an entry in the pg_user or pg_shadow system table, and will remove all databases for which that user is the administrator (DBA).

Connection to database 'template1' failed. connectDB() failed: Is the postmaster running and accepting connections at 'UNIX Socket' on port 'port'? destroyuser: database access failed.

destroyuser could not attach to the postmaster process on the specified host and port. If you see this message, ensure that the postmaster is running on the proper host and that you have specified the proper port. If your site uses an authentication system, ensure that you have obtained the required authentication credentials.

Connection to database 'template1' failed. FATAL 1: SetUserId: user 'username' is not in 'pg_shadow' destroyuser: database access failed.

You do not have a valid entry in the relation pg_shadow and and will not be allowed to access Postgres. Contact your Postgres administrator.

destroyuser: username cannot delete users.

You do not have permission to delete users; contact your Postgres site administrator.

destroyuser: user "username" already exists

The user to be added already has an entry in the pg_shadow class.

database access failed

An internal error occurred in psql or in the backend server. Ensure that your site administrator has properly installed Postgresand initialized the site with initdb.

destroydb on dbname failed - exiting

An internal error occurred in psql or in the backend server. There was possibly a Unix permissions problem with the specified database.

delete of user username was UNSUCCESSFUL

An internal error occurred in psql or in the backend server.

Note: destroyuser internally runs DROP USER from psql while connected to the template1 database.


destroyuser removes an existing Postgres user and the databases for which that user is database administrator. Only users with usesuper set in the pg_shadow class can destroy Postgres users. As shipped, the user postgres can remove users.

destroyuser is a shell script that invokes psql. Hence, a postmaster process must be running on the database server host before destroyuser is executed. The PGOPTION and PGREALM environment variables will be passed on to psql and processed as described in psql.

Once invoked, destroyuser will warn you about the databases that will be destroyed in the process and permit you to abort the removal of the user if desired.