On 08/25/2014 10:45 PM, Tom Lane wrote:
Heikki Linnakangas <hlinnakan...@vmware.com> writes:
It would not need to have the capability to set the
system ID to a particular value, only a randomly assigned one (setting
it to a particular value could be added to pg_resetxlog, where other
dangerous options are).

I'm less convinced about that.  While you can shoot yourself in the foot
by assigning the same system ID to two installations that share WAL
archive or something like that, this feels a bit different than the ways
you can shoot yourself in the foot with pg_resetxlog.  If we do what you
say here then I think we'll be right back to the discussion of how to
separate the assign-a-sysID option from pg_resetxlog's other, more
dangerous options.

I don't see the use case for setting system id to a particular value. Andres listed four use cases upthread:

a) Mark a database as not being the same. Currently if you promote two
   databases, e.g. to shard out, they'll continue to have same system
   identifier. Which really sucks, especially because timeline ids will
   often increase synchronously.

Yes, this is the legitimate use case a DBA would use this feature for. Resetting the system ID to a random value suffices.

b) For data recovery it's sometimes useful to create a new database
   (with the same catalog state) and replay all WAL. For that you need to
   reset the system identifier. I've done so hacking up resetxlog

This falls squarely in the "dangerous" category, and you'll have to reset other things than the system ID to make it work. Having the option in pg_resetxlog is fine for this.

c) We already allow to set pretty much all aspects of the control file
   via resetxlog - there seems little point of not having the ability to
   change the system identifier.

Ok, but it's not something a regular admin would ever use.

d) In a logical replication scenario one way to identify individual
   nodes is via the system identifier. If you want to convert a
   basebackup into logical standby one sensible way to do so is to
   create a logical replication slots *before* promoting a physical
   backup to guarantee that slot is able to stream out all changes. If
   the slot names contain the consumer's system identifier you need to
   know the new system identifier beforehand.

I didn't understand this one. But it seems like the obvious solution is to not use the consumer's system identifier as the slot name. Or rename it afterwards.

- Heikki

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