On Fri, 4 Apr 2008, Tom Lane wrote:

The actual advice I'd give to a DBA faced with such a case is to
kill -ABRT the bgwriter and send the stack trace to -hackers.


And that's a perfect example of where they're trying to get to. They didn't notice the problem until after the crash. The server didn't come back up (busy processing WALs) and that downtime was caught by a monitoring system. At that point it was too late to collect debugging information on what was wrong inside the server processes that might have given a clue what happened.

If they'd have noticed it while the server was up, perhaps because the "last checkpoint" value hadn't changed in a long time (which seems like it might be available via stats even if, as you say, the background writer is out of its mind at that point), they could have done such a kill and collected some actual useful information here. That's the theory at least.

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* Greg Smith [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://www.gregsmith.com Baltimore, MD

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