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. > > 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. > """ > > The above comment appears out-of-date if this post describes what > presently happens.
I think you're misinterpreting Andres, or the docs, or both. What Andres says is that the control file (pg_control) stores two checkpoint locations: the latest one, and the one before that. When recovery occurs, it starts by looking up the latest checkpoint record; if it cannot find that for whatever reason, it falls back to reading the previous one. (He further claims that falling back to the previous one is a bad idea.) What the 2nd para in the documentation is saying is something different: it is talking about reading all the pg_xlog files (in reverse order), which is not pg_control, and see what checkpoint records are there, then figure out which one to use. -- Álvaro Herrera http://www.2ndQuadrant.com/ PostgreSQL Development, 24x7 Support, Remote DBA, Training & Services -- Sent via pgsql-hackers mailing list (email@example.com) To make changes to your subscription: http://www.postgresql.org/mailpref/pgsql-hackers