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Postgres: Getting The Owner Of Tables

August 20, 2019

I was trying to modify a table today when I hit an error: SQL Error [42501]: ERROR: must be owner of table XXX.

To figure out who the owner was so that I could ask them to modify the table on my behalf, I started searching and found a blog post addressing exactly my use case written by KCully six years ago. 1

SELECT t.table_name, t.table_type, c.relname, c.relowner, u.usename
FROM information_schema.tables t
JOIN pg_catalog.pg_class c ON (t.table_name = c.relname)
JOIN pg_catalog.pg_user u ON (c.relowner = u.usesysid)
WHERE t.table_schema=public;

The internet’s a beautiful place.

The results, however, were a little bit peculiar and while the table I was interested was displayed, many of the others in our database were not present.

The issue was that joins.

Interestingly, the solution was quite simple:

select tablename, tableowner from pg_catalog.pg_tables where schemaname =public;

All of the schemas in our db are the default public, so to eliminate some of the tables Postgres provides, I included that filter. Other than that - the details I needed were present in the table owner column.

Note, if I wanted to look up the owner for a single table, I could add that condition to the query or by using psql in the terminal, I could use: \dt <table name>

postgres=> \dt metadata_rules
             List of relations
 Schema |      Name      | Type  |  Owner
--------+----------------+-------+---------
 public | metadata_rules | table | fmalone
(1 row)

Footnotes


Stephen Weiss

Thanks for reading! My name's Stephen Weiss. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn.
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