> Hi everyone:
> Thanks for the helpful responses. Are you folks getting sick of me yet?
> I'm hoping somebody could help me understand a bit better the way locking
> protocols are used in PostGreSQL 6.4, including how a query is parsed,
> executed, etc.
> I understand that there are two locks available: one for reads and one for
> writes. They are called by RelationSetLockForRead() and
> RelationSetLockForWrite(), respectively, which are both implemented in
> These functions are called by the query parser, trigger handler, and
> indexing subsystem. The query parser is responsible for parsing a given
> expression in backend/parser/parse_expr.c and actually grabbing tuples in
> backend/parser/parse_func.c which are passed as a heap array to the
> backend which in turn passes the information to the client. Am I still
> I'm interested in the locking protocols as used for query processing
> so I guess I can ignore the trigger and indexing for now.
> Locking is not accomplished with calls to the operating system but instead
> is managed by the locking manager through a lock hash table which lives in
> shared memory. The table contains information on locks such as the type of
> lock (read/write), number of locks currently held, an array of bitmasks
> showing lock conflicts, and lock priority level (used to prevent
> starvation). In addition, each relation has its own data structure which
> includes some locking information.
> Here's where things get fuzzy -- there's a lot of code here so please be
> patient with me if I really screwed up in my interpretation. :-)
> When the RelationSetLockFor...() function is called, it ensures that the
> relation and lock information for the relation are both valid. It then
> calls MultiLockReln() with a pointer to the relation's lock information
> and the appropriate lock type. MultiLockReln() initializes a lock tag
> which is passed to MultiAcquire().
> I'm a little vague on MultiAcquire(). It seems to search through the
> lock hash table to see if a lock should be allowed? And if so it calls
> LockAcquire(). But LockAcquire() itself checks for conflicts, sleeps if
> one exists, or sets the appropriate lock, adding it to the lock table. So
> I'm a bit confused here...
> Unlocks are accomplished in much the same fashion.
> RelationUnsetLockFor...() is called which in turn calls MultiRelease()
> which searches the lock table using the same algorithm as in
> MultiAcquire(). MultiRelease() calls LockRelease() which performs two
> functions. First, it removes the lock information from the lock table.
> Second, this function will awaken any transaction which had blocked
> waiting for the same lock. This is done here because if it was not, a new
> process could come along and request the lock causing a race condition.
Sounds pretty close. I assume you have studied the backend flowcart on
the web support page and in src/tools/backend?
Bruce Momjian | http://www.op.net/~candle
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+ If your life is a hard drive, | 830 Blythe Avenue
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