This page in other versions: 9.1 / 9.2 / 9.3 / 9.4 / current (9.5)  |  Development versions: devel  |  Unsupported versions: 8.4 / 9.0

63.4. Visibility Map

Each heap relation has a Visibility Map (VM) to keep track of which pages contain only tuples that are known to be visible to all active transactions. It's stored alongside the main relation data in a separate relation fork, named after the filenode number of the relation, plus a _vm suffix. For example, if the filenode of a relation is 12345, the VM is stored in a file called 12345_vm, in the same directory as the main relation file. Note that indexes do not have VMs.

The visibility map simply stores one bit per heap page. A set bit means that all tuples on the page are known to be visible to all transactions. This means that the page does not contain any tuples that need to be vacuumed. This information can also be used by index-only scans to answer queries using only the index tuple.

The map is conservative in the sense that we make sure that whenever a bit is set, we know the condition is true, but if a bit is not set, it might or might not be true. Visibility map bits are only set by vacuum, but are cleared by any data-modifying operations on a page.

Add Comment

Please use this form to add your own comments regarding your experience with particular features of PostgreSQL, clarifications of the documentation, or hints for other users. Please note, this is not a support forum, and your IP address will be logged. If you have a question or need help, please see the faq, try a mailing list, or join us on IRC. Note that submissions containing URLs or other keywords commonly found in 'spam' comments may be silently discarded. Please contact the webmaster if you think this is happening to you in error.

Proceed to the comment form.

Privacy Policy | About PostgreSQL
Copyright © 1996-2016 The PostgreSQL Global Development Group