November 14, 2018

A couple of common questions I hear from customers (usually long-time users of a particular database from Redwood) via our guys in the field is “why do we install our software as root?” And “why do we run services as postgres?”. The simple, TLDR; answer is “for security”.

A basic principle when securing a software installation is “install with maximum privilege requirements and run with minimal”. In practice, this equates to having software being installed and binaries/executables etc. owned by the root user, whilst the services themselves are actually run under a minimally privileged (and ideally dedicated) service user account, typically postgres in a PostgreSQL installation. Data files and any other files that need to be modified by the software in normal operation are also owned by the service user account.

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Dave has been actively involved in the PostgreSQL Project since 1998, as the lead developer of pgAdmin, maintainer of the PostgreSQL installers and one of the projects resident Windows hackers. He also serves on the project's web and sysadmin teams and is a member of the PostgreSQL Core Team....