I am trying to migrate a DB from sqlite to postgresql…so I typed:

sudo -u postgres psql
postgres=# ALTER USER postgres WITH PASSWORD 'newpassword';

and the output returns ALTER ROLE

but when I type python manage.py migrate I receive always the same error:

django.db.utils.OperationalError: FATAL: password authentication
failed for user “douglas”

This is the database sections of my settings.py.

# Old, using mysqlite
    #'default': {
    #    'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.sqlite3',
    #    'NAME': os.path.join(BASE_DIR, 'db.sqlite3'),
    'default': dj_database_url.config(default="postgres://localhost:5432/postgres_db_name"),

# New, using postgres
    'default': {
        'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql',
        'NAME': 'douglas_db',
        'USER': 'douglas',
        'PASSWORD': 'vamointer',
        'HOST': '',
        'PORT': '5432',

Note: When I run the ‘ALTER USER postgres WITH PASSWORD‘ I put in the same password defined in the settings.py.

The SQL you are running does not match the user you are attempting to use.

You will need to create the user if it does not exist:

CREATE USER douglas WITH PASSWORD 'vamointer';

or if it does exist, change that user’s password instead.

ALTER USER douglas WITH PASSWORD 'vamointer';

Once you have done that you should have more luck. You may need to assign permissions to that user as well.

If you are bone-headed like me and have used ‘USERNAME’ instead of ‘USER’ in your Django database configs in settings.py, make sure you change it to ‘USER’ else you will see this same error. Hope this helps someone like me down the road.

Special characters in postgresql are converted to different characters while execution. Make sure you do not have special characters (#,$,etc..) in your password.

If you do, change the postgresql password as follows:

sudo -u postgresql psql
postgresql=#ALTER USER yourusername WITH PASSWORD 

Make sure you do not forget the ; at the end of postgresql command.
Then run python manage.py and it should work!

You can try this:

'default': {
    'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql',
    'NAME': 'telusko',
    'USER': 'postgres', #in place we should always be write USER only if we write USENAME then it will give error.
    'PASSWORD': '1234',

It’s also possible that your PostgreSQL server is not running. Please run next command, to check if postgres is running:

sudo service postgresql status

If not please run it, using:

sudo service postgresql start

Also, you can have wrong port in your settings. To check where Postgres is running use:

sudo netstat -plunt |grep postgres

And after update PORT in DATABASE config in Django settings

In my case, I had to change

'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql_psycopg2',


'ENGINE': 'django.db.backends.postgresql',

Hope it helps someone!

Another reason why this happens is if you have a conflicting version of postgres running. I had one running in docker and another on my system.

systemctl stop postgresql to stop the system version and purge it if you’d rather use only the docker version.

Try this for creating the user for Postgres

postgres=# create user username with encrypted password 'password';

Add permissions

postgres=# grant all on database db_name to username;

other useful commands might help

sudo -u postgres psql
\du+ #list of user
\l+ # list of DB

Credits to this article

Note: the database name and the username are always in lowercase, even if you create them with capitals.

For me it was as simple as using capital letters in my db and user name.

It seems that postgres automatically ignores case:

postgres=# CREATE USER MyProjectUser WITH PASSWORD 'password';

is then stored as:

postgres=# \du+
                                          List of roles
 Role name |                         Attributes                         | Member of | Description
 myprojectuser |                                                        | {}        |
 postgres  | Superuser, Create role, Create DB, Replication, Bypass RLS | {}        |

So in my database, this:

    'default': {
        'USER': 'MyProjectUser',
        'PASSWORD': 'password',}}

wasn’t recognized & threw password auth failure error.