On Sat, 2012-01-28 at 13:18 -0500, Tom Lane wrote:
> Andrew Dunstan <and...@dunslane.net> writes:
> > I'm curious what problem we're actually solving here, though. I've run 
> > the buildfarm countless thousands of times on different VMs, and five of 
> > my seven current animals run in VMs, and I don't think I've ever seen a 
> > failure ascribable to inadequately synced files from initdb.
> Yeah.  Personally I would be sad if initdb got noticeably slower, and
> I've never seen or heard of a failure that this would fix.
> I wonder whether it wouldn't be sufficient to call sync(2) at the end,
> anyway, rather than cluttering the entire initdb codebase with fsync
> calls.

I can always add a "sync" call to the test, also (rather than modifying
initdb). Or, it could be an initdb option, which might be a good
compromise. I don't have a strong opinion here.

As machines get more memory and filesystems get more lazy, I wonder if
it will be a more frequent occurrence, however. On the other hand, if
filesystems are more lazy, that also increases the cost associated with
extra "sync" calls. I think there would be a surprise factor if
sometimes initdb had a long pause at the end and caused 10GB of data to
be written out.

        Jeff Davis

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