On Sun, Sep 17, 2017 at 2:52 PM, Neto pr <neto...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I am using Postgresql extension pageinspect.
> Could someone tell me the meaning of these columns: magic, version, root,
> level, fastroot, fastlevel of the bt_metap function.
> This information is not presents in the documentation.

A magic number distinguishes the meta-page as a B-Tree meta-page. A
version number is used for each major incompatible revision of the
B-Tree code (these are very infrequent).

The fast root can differ from the true root following a deletion
pattern that leaves a "skinny index". The implementation can never
remove a level, essentially because it's optimized for concurrency,
though it can have a fast root, to just skip levels. This happens to
levels that no longer contain any distinguishing information in their
single internal page.

I imagine that in practice the large majority of B-Trees never have a
true root that differs from its fast root - you see this with repeated
large range deletions. Probably nothing to worry about.

> The height of the b-tree (position of node farthest from root to leaf), is
> the column Level?


If you want to learn more about the B-Tree code, I suggest that you
start by looking at the code for contrib/amcheck.

Peter Geoghegan

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