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Manage roles

In Neon, roles are Postgres roles. Each Neon project is created with a default Postgres role that takes its name from your Neon account (the email, GitHub, Google, or partner account that you registered with). This role owns the ready-to-use database (neondb) that is created in your Neon project's primary branch.

Your default Postgres role and roles created in the Neon console, API, and CLI are granted membership in the neon_superuser role. Roles created with SQL from clients like psql, pgAdmin, or the Neon SQL Editor are only granted the basic public schema privileges granted to newly created roles in a standalone Postgres installation. These users must be selectively granted permissions for each database object. For more information, see Manage database access.

note

Neon is a managed Postgres service, so you cannot access the host operating system, and you can't connect using the Postgres superuser account like you can in a standalone Postgres installation.

You can create roles in a project's primary branch or child branches. There is no limit to the number of roles you can create.

In Neon, roles belong to a branch, which could be your main branch or a child branch. When you create a child branch, roles in the parent branch are duplicated in the child branch. For example, if role alex exists in the parent branch, role alex is copied to the child branch when the child branch is created. The only time this does not occur is when you create a branch that only includes data up to a particular point in time. If the role was created in the parent branch after that point in time, it is not duplicated in the child branch.

Neon supports creating and managing roles from the following interfaces:

The neon_superuser role

Roles created in the Neon console, CLI, or API, including the default role created with a Neon project, are granted membership in the neon_superuser role. Users cannot login as neon_superuser, but they inherit the privileges assigned to this role. The privileges and predefined role memberships granted to neon_superuser include:

  • CREATEDB: Provides the ability to create databases.
  • CREATEROLE: Provides the ability to create new roles (which also means it can alter and drop roles).
  • BYPASSRLS: Provides the ability to bypass row-level security (RLS) policies. This attribute is only included in neon_superuser roles in projects created after the August 15, 2023 release.
  • REPLICATION: Provides the ability to connect to a Postgres server in replication mode and create or drop replication slots.
  • NOLOGIN: The role cannot be used to log in to the Postgres server. Neon is a managed Postgres service, so you cannot access the host operating system directly.
  • pg_read_all_data: A predefined Postgres role provides the ability to read all data (tables, views, sequences), as if having SELECT rights on those objects, and USAGE rights on all schemas.
  • pg_write_all_data: A predefined Postgres role that provides the ability to write all data (tables, views, sequences), as if having INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE rights on those objects, and USAGE rights on all schemas.
  • pg_create_subscription: A predefined Postgres role that lets users with CREATE permission on the database issue CREATE SUBSCRIPTION. The pg_create_subscription role is only available as of Postgres 16. The neon_superuser role in Postgres 14 and 15 can issue CREATE SUBSCRIPTION with only CREATE permission on the database.
  • pg_monitor: A predefined Postgres role that provides read/execute privileges on various Postgres monitoring views and functions. The neon_superuser role also has WITH ADMIN on the pg_monitor role, which enables granting the pg_monitor to other Postgres roles.
  • EXECUTE privilege on the pg_stat_statements_reset() function that is part of the pg_stat_statements extension. This privilege was introduced with the January 12, 2024 release. If you installed the pg_stat_statements extension prior to this release, drop and recreate the pg_stat_statements extension to enable this privilege. See Install an extension.

You can think of roles with neon_superuser privileges as administrator roles. If you require roles with limited privileges, such as a read-only role, you can create those roles from an SQL client. For more information, see Manage database access.

note

Creating a database with the neon_superuser role, altering a database to have owner neon_superuser, and altering the neon_superuser role itself are not permitted. This NOLOGIN role is not intended to be used directly or modified.

Manage roles in the Neon console

This section describes how to create, view, and delete roles in the Neon Console. All roles created in the Neon console are granted membership in the neon_superuser role.

Create a role

To create a role:

  1. Navigate to the Neon Console.
  2. Select a project.
  3. Select Roles.
  4. Select the branch where you want to create the role.
  5. Click New Role.
  6. In the role creation dialog, specify a role name. The length of the role name is limited to 63 bytes.
  7. Click Create. The role is created and you are provided with the password for the role.

note

Role names cannot exceed 63 characters, and some names are not permitted. See Protected role names.

Delete a role

Deleting a role is a permanent action that cannot be undone, and you cannot delete a role that owns a database. The database must be deleted before you can deleting the role that owns the database.

To delete a role:

  1. Navigate to the Neon Console.
  2. Select a project.
  3. Select Roles.
  4. Select a branch to view roles in the branch.
  5. Click the delete icon for the role you want to delete.
  6. On the delete role dialog, click Delete.

Reset a password

To reset a role's password:

  1. Navigate to the Neon Console.
  2. Select a project.
  3. Select Roles.
  4. Select a branch to view roles in the branch.
  5. Select Reset password.
  6. On the confirmation dialog, click Sure, reset. A reset password dialog is displayed with your new password.

note

Resetting a password in the Neon Console resets the password to a generated value. To set your own password value, you can reset the password using the Neon SQL Editor or an SQL client like psql with the following syntax:

ALTER USER user_name WITH PASSWORD 'new_password';

For password requirements, see Manage roles with SQL.

Manage roles with the Neon CLI

The Neon CLI supports creating and deleting roles. For instructions, see Neon CLI commands — roles. Roles created with the Neon CLI are granted membership in the neon_superuser role.

Manage roles with the Neon API

Role actions performed in the Neon Console can also be performed using Neon API role methods. The following examples demonstrate how to create, view, reset passwords for, and delete roles using the Neon API. For other role-related methods, refer to the Neon API reference.

Roles created with the Neon API are granted membership in the neon_superuser role.

In Neon, roles belong to branches, which means that when you create a role, it is created in a branch. Role-related requests are therefore performed using branch API methods.

note

The API examples that follow may not show all user-configurable request body attributes that are available to you. To view all attributes for a particular method, refer to method's request body schema in the Neon API reference.

The jq option specified in each example is an optional third-party tool that formats the JSON response, making it easier to read. For information about this utility, see jq.

Prerequisites

A Neon API request requires an API key. For information about obtaining an API key, see Create an API key. In the cURL examples shown below, $NEON_API_KEY is specified in place of an actual API key, which you must provide when making a Neon API request.

Create a role with the API

The following Neon API method creates a role. To view the API documentation for this method, refer to the Neon API reference.

POST /projects/{project_id}/branches/{branch_id}/roles

note

Role names cannot exceed 63 characters, and some role names are not permitted. See Protected role names.

The API method appears as follows when specified in a cURL command. The project_id and branch_id are required parameters, and the role name is a required attribute. The length of a role name is limited to 63 bytes.

curl 'https://console.neon.tech/api/v2/projects/hidden-cell-763301/branches/br-blue-tooth-671580/roles' \
  -H 'Accept: application/json' \
  -H "Authorization: Bearer $NEON_API_KEY" \
  -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
  -d '{
  "role": {
    "name": "alex"
  }
}' | jq
Response body
{
  "role": {
    "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
    "name": "alex",
    "password": "FLfASd8mbKO9",
    "protected": false,
    "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:35:48Z",
    "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:35:48Z"
  },
  "operations": [
    {
      "id": "b4fc0c92-8a4f-4a1a-9891-fd36155de853",
      "project_id": "hidden-cell-763301",
      "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
      "endpoint_id": "ep-aged-math-668285",
      "action": "apply_config",
      "status": "running",
      "failures_count": 0,
      "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:35:48Z",
      "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:35:48Z"
    },
    {
      "id": "74fef831-7537-4d78-bb87-222e0918df54",
      "project_id": "hidden-cell-763301",
      "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
      "endpoint_id": "ep-aged-math-668285",
      "action": "suspend_compute",
      "status": "scheduling",
      "failures_count": 0,
      "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:35:48Z",
      "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:35:48Z"
    }
  ]
}

List roles with the API

The following Neon API method lists roles for the specified branch. To view the API documentation for this method, refer to the Neon API reference.

GET /projects/{project_id}/branches/{branch_id}/roles

The API method appears as follows when specified in a cURL command. The project_id and branch_id are required parameters.

curl 'https://console.neon.tech/api/v2/projects/hidden-cell-763301/branches/br-blue-tooth-671580/roles' \
  -H 'Accept: application/json' \
  -H "Authorization: Bearer $NEON_API_KEY" | jq
Response body
{
  "roles": [
    {
      "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
      "name": "daniel",
      "protected": false,
      "created_at": "2023-07-09T17:01:34Z",
      "updated_at": "2023-07-09T17:01:34Z"
    },
    {
      "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
      "name": "alex",
      "protected": false,
      "created_at": "2023-07-13T06:42:55Z",
      "updated_at": "2023-07-13T14:48:29Z"
    }
  ]
}

Reset a password with the API

The following Neon API method resets the password for the specified role. To view the API documentation for this method, refer to the Neon API reference.

POST /projects/{project_id}/branches/{branch_id}/roles/{role_name}/reset_password

The API method appears as follows when specified in a cURL command. The project_id, branch_id, and role_name are required parameters.

curl -X 'POST' \
  'https://console.neon.tech/api/v2/projects/hidden-cell-763301/branches/br-blue-tooth-671580/roles/alex/reset_password' \
  -H 'Accept: application/json' \
  -H "Authorization: Bearer $NEON_API_KEY" | jq
Response body
{
  "role": {
    "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
    "name": "alex",
    "password": "sFA4k3pESzVA",
    "protected": false,
    "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:35:48Z",
    "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:38:49Z"
  },
  "operations": [
    {
      "id": "d319b791-96c7-48b4-8683-f127839dfb99",
      "project_id": "hidden-cell-763301",
      "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
      "endpoint_id": "ep-aged-math-668285",
      "action": "apply_config",
      "status": "running",
      "failures_count": 0,
      "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:38:49Z",
      "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:38:49Z"
    },
    {
      "id": "7bd5bb24-92e1-49d1-a3f4-c02e5b6d11e4",
      "project_id": "hidden-cell-763301",
      "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
      "endpoint_id": "ep-aged-math-668285",
      "action": "suspend_compute",
      "status": "scheduling",
      "failures_count": 0,
      "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:38:49Z",
      "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:38:49Z"
    }
  ]
}

Delete a role with the API

The following Neon API method deletes the specified role. To view the API documentation for this method, refer to the Neon API reference.

DELETE /projects/{project_id}/branches/{branch_id}/roles/{role_name}

The API method appears as follows when specified in a cURL command. The project_id, branch_id, and role_name are required parameters.

curl -X 'DELETE' \
  'https://console.neon.tech/api/v2/projects/hidden-cell-763301/branches/br-blue-tooth-671580/roles/alex' \
  -H 'Accept: application/json' \
  -H "Authorization: Bearer $NEON_API_KEY" | jq
Response body
{
  "role": {
    "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
    "name": "alex",
    "protected": false,
    "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:35:48Z",
    "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:38:49Z"
  },
  "operations": [
    {
      "id": "0789c601-9d97-4124-80df-cd7b332f11ef",
      "project_id": "hidden-cell-763301",
      "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
      "endpoint_id": "ep-aged-math-668285",
      "action": "apply_config",
      "status": "running",
      "failures_count": 0,
      "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:40:27Z",
      "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:40:27Z"
    },
    {
      "id": "d3b79f02-f369-4ad0-8bf5-ff0daf27dd9a",
      "project_id": "hidden-cell-763301",
      "branch_id": "br-blue-tooth-671580",
      "endpoint_id": "ep-aged-math-668285",
      "action": "suspend_compute",
      "status": "scheduling",
      "failures_count": 0,
      "created_at": "2023-01-04T20:40:27Z",
      "updated_at": "2023-01-04T20:40:27Z"
    }
  ]
}

Manage roles with SQL

Roles created with SQL have the same basic public schema privileges as newly created roles in a standalone Postgres installation. These roles are not granted membership in the neon_superuser role like roles created with the Neon Console, CLI, or API. You must grant these roles the privileges you want them to have.

To create a role with SQL, issue a CREATE ROLE statement from a client such as psql, pgAdmin, or the Neon SQL Editor.

CREATE ROLE <name> WITH LOGIN PASSWORD 'password';
  • WITH LOGIN means that the role will have a login privilege, required for the role to log in to your Neon Postgres instance. If the role is used only for privilege management, the WITH LOGIN privilege is unnecessary.

  • A password is required and must have a minimum entropy of 60 bits.

    info

    To create a password with 60 bits of entropy, you can follow these password composition guidelines:

    • Length: The password should consist of at least 12 characters.
    • Character diversity: To enhance complexity, passwords should include a variety of character types, specifically:
      • Lowercase letters (a-z)
      • Uppercase letters (A-Z)
      • Numbers (0-9)
      • Special symbols (e.g., !@#$%^&*)
    • Avoid predictability: To maintain a high level of unpredictability, do not use:
      • Sequential patterns (such as '1234', 'abcd', 'qwerty')
      • Common words or phrases
      • Any words found in a dictionary
      • Avoid character repetition: To maximize randomness, do not use the same character more than twice consecutively.

    Example password: T3sting!23Ab (DO NOT USE THIS EXAMPLE PASSWORD)

    Passwords must be supplied in plain text but are encrypted when stored. Hashed passwords are not supported.

    The guidelines should help you create a password with approximately 60 bits of entropy. However, depending on the exact characters used, the actual entropy might vary slightly. Always aim for a longer and more complex password if you're uncertain. It's also recommended to use a trusted password manager to create and store your complex passwords safely.

For role creation and access management examples, refer to the Manage database access guide.

Protected role names

The following names are protected and cannot be given to a role:

  • Any name starting with pg_
  • neon_superuser
  • cloud_admin
  • zenith_admin
  • public
  • none

Need help?

Join our Discord Server to ask questions or see what others are doing with Neon. Users on paid plans can open a support ticket from the console. For more detail, see Getting Support.

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