Using passwordless PostgreSQL login with ownCloud

CryptoKeyI like PostgreSQL and ownCloud, but I do not like passwords, especially if they have to stored in plain text in a widely readable configuration file. So, I wanted to use PostgreSQL peer authentication with ownCloud as well.

As root, do the following:

# su postgres -c psql
psql (9.1.9)
Type "help" for help.

(If you do not have peer authentication enabled for all users, you need to enter a password.)

Create the user www-data, [1]If your Web server runs under a different user name, replace all occurrences of “www-data” in this document with that name. (note that it needs quoting, as it contains a hyphen).

postgres=# create role "www-data";

Create the new database, granting ownership (and thus all rights) to www-data:

postgres=# create database "owncloud" owner "www-data";

As the database server is now ready, we install ownCloud and visit its start page in your favorite web browser (typically, along the lines of ).

ownCloud with PostgreSQL peer authentication

  1. Fill in the desired admin account name and password.
  2. Expand the “Advanced” view and select PostgreSQL.
  3. Set the database user to www-data.
  4. Leave the database password empty (there is none, and it will not be needed).
  5. Set the database name to owncloud.
  6. Set the host name to /var/run/postgresql .

Peer authentication would work automagically, if the host name could be left empty: PostgreSQL clients would connect using the local Unix domain socket. Unfortunately, ownCloud insist on a non-empty host name. However, a path to the Unix domain socket (or, as in this case, it’s container directory) causes PostgreSQL to use the Unix domain socket. On Ubuntu, this is /var/run/postgresql; on other Linux distributions, this may vary, look for “unix_socket_directory” in /etc/postgresql/<version>/main/postgresql.conf .

Image credit: The key logo on this page was adapted from Wikimedia user MesserWoland‘s Crypto Key, which is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0, among others.


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