On 2016-02-01 17:29:39 -0700, David G. Johnston wrote:
> ​Learning by reading here...
> http://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/static/wal-internals.html
> """
> ​After a checkpoint has been made and the log flushed, the checkpoint's
> position is saved in the file pg_control. Therefore, at the start of
> recovery, the server first reads pg_control and then the checkpoint record;
> then it performs the REDO operation by scanning forward from the log
> position indicated in the checkpoint record. Because the entire content of
> data pages is saved in the log on the first page modification after a
> checkpoint (assuming full_page_writes is not disabled), all pages changed
> since the checkpoint will be restored to a consistent state.

> ​The above comment appears out-of-date if this post describes what
> presently happens.

Where do you see a conflict with what I wrote about? We store both the
last and the previous checkpoint's location in pg_control. Or are you
talking about:

> To deal with the case where pg_control is corrupt, we should support the
> possibility of scanning existing log segments in reverse order — newest to
> oldest — in order to find the latest checkpoint. This has not been
> implemented yet. pg_control is small enough (less than one disk page) that
> it is not subject to partial-write problems, and as of this writing there
> have been no reports of database failures due solely to the inability to
> read pg_control itself. So while it is theoretically a weak spot,
> pg_control does not seem to be a problem in practice.

if so, no, that's not a out-of-date, as we simply store two checkpoint
 $ pg_controldata /srv/dev/pgdev-dev/|grep 'checkpoint location'
Latest checkpoint location:           B3/2A730028
Prior checkpoint location:            B3/2A72FFA0

> Also, I was​ under the impression that tablespace commands resulted in
> checkpoints so that the state of the file system could be presumed
> current...

That actually doesn't really make it any better - it forces the *latest*
checkpoint, but if we can't read that, we'll start with the previous

> I don't know enough internals but its seems like we'd need to distinguish
> between an interrupted checkpoint (pull the plug during checkpoint) and one
> that supposedly completed without interruption but then was somehow
> corrupted (solar flares).  The former seem legitimate for auto-skip while
> the later do not.

I don't think such a distinction is really possible (or necessary). If
pg_control is corrupted we won't even start, and if WAL is corrupted
that badly we won't finish replay...


Andres Freund

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