|PostgreSQL 8.1.23 Documentation|
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This is the amount of time, in milliseconds, to wait on a lock before checking to see if there is a deadlock condition. The check for deadlock is relatively slow, so the server doesn't run it every time it waits for a lock. We (optimistically?) assume that deadlocks are not common in production applications and just wait on the lock for a while before starting the check for a deadlock. Increasing this value reduces the amount of time wasted in needless deadlock checks, but slows down reporting of real deadlock errors. The default is 1000 (i.e., one second), which is probably about the smallest value you would want in practice. On a heavily loaded server you might want to raise it. Ideally the setting should exceed your typical transaction time, so as to improve the odds that a lock will be released before the waiter decides to check for deadlock.
The shared lock table is created with room to describe locks on max_locks_per_transaction * (max_connections + max_prepared_transactions) objects; hence, no more than this many distinct objects can be locked at any one time. (Thus, this parameter's name may be confusing: it is not a hard limit on the number of locks taken by any one transaction, but rather a maximum average value.) The default, 64, has historically proven sufficient, but you might need to raise this value if you have clients that touch many different tables in a single transaction. This option can only be set at server start.
Increasing this parameter may cause PostgreSQL to request more System V shared memory than your operating system's default configuration allows. See Section 16.4.1 for information on how to adjust those parameters, if necessary.