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Wednesday, January 16, 2019


VACUUM -- can be interpreted as garbage-collect and optionally analyze a database

Why we need to use VACCUM:
VACUUM reclaims storage occupied by dead tuples. In normal PostgreSQL operation, tuples that are deleted or obsoleted by an update are not physically removed from their table; they remain present until a VACUUM is done. Therefore it's necessary to do VACUUM periodically, especially on frequently-updated tables.


In the examples below, [tablename] is optional. Without a table specified, VACUUM will be run on available tables in the current schema that the user has access to.
  1. Plain VACUUM: Frees up space for re-use
    VACUUM [tablename]
  2. Full VACUUM: Locks the database table, and reclaims more space than a plain VACUUM
    /* Before Postgres 9.0: */
    /* Postgres 9.0+: */
    VACUUM(FULL) [tablename]
  3. Full VACUUM and ANALYZE: Performs a Full VACUUM and gathers new statistics on query executions paths using ANALYZE
    /* Before Postgres 9.0: */
    VACUUM FULL ANALYZE [tablename]
    /* Postgres 9.0+: */
    VACUUM(FULL, ANALYZE) [tablename]
  4. Verbose Full VACUUM and ANALYZE: Same as #3, but with verbose progress output
    /* Before Postgres 9.0: */
    /* Postgres 9.0+: */


ANALYZE gathers statistics for the query planner to create the most efficient query execution paths. Per PostgreSQL documentation, accurate statistics will help the planner to choose the most appropriate query plan, and thereby improve the speed of query processing. 


In the example below, [tablename] is optional. Without a table specified, ANALYZE will be run on available tables in the current schema that the user has access to.


The REINDEX command rebuilds one or more indices, replacing the previous version of the index. REINDEX can be used in many scenarios, including the following (from Postgres documentation):
  • An index has become corrupted, and no longer contains valid data. Although in theory this should never happen, in practice indexes can become corrupted due to software bugs or hardware failures. REINDEX provides a recovery method.
  • An index has become "bloated", that is it contains many empty or nearly-empty pages. This can occur with B-tree indexes in PostgreSQL under certain uncommon access patterns. REINDEX provides a way to reduce the space consumption of the index by writing a new version of the index without the dead pages.
  • You have altered a storage parameter (such as fillfactor) for an index, and wish to ensure that the change has taken full effect.
  • An index build with the CONCURRENTLY option failed, leaving an "invalid" index. Such indexes are useless but it can be convenient to use REINDEX to rebuild them. Note that REINDEX will not perform a concurrent build. To build the index without interfering with production you should drop the index and reissue the CREATE INDEX CONCURRENTLY command.


Any of these can be forced by adding the keyword FORCE after the command
  1. Recreate a single index, myindex:
    REINDEX INDEX myindex
  2. Recreate all indices in a table, mytable:
    REINDEX TABLE mytable
  3. Recreate all indices in schema public:
  4. Recreate all indices in database postgres:
  5. Recreate all indices on system catalogs in database postgres:
    REINDEX SYSTEM postgres
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