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rebellious postgres process

From: Laszlo Nagy <gandalf(at)shopzeus(dot)com>
To: pgsql-admin(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: rebellious postgres process
Date: 2008-11-04 07:42:44
Message-ID: 490FFCF4.2050500@shopzeus.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-admin
This is what I see in "top" since two days:

last pid: 95702;  load averages:  2.48,  2.69,  
2.75                                                                                 
up 3+02:08:49  10:27:58
257 processes: 3 running, 246 sleeping, 8 zombie
CPU states: 15.5% user,  0.0% nice, 22.1% system,  1.3% interrupt, 61.1% 
idle
Mem: 864M Active, 6028M Inact, 512M Wired, 254M Cache, 214M Buf, 211M Free
Swap: 10G Total, 500K Used, 10G Free

 PID USERNAME       THR PRI NICE   SIZE    RES STATE  C   TIME   WCPU 
COMMAND
 677 pgsql            1 107    0 22396K  5460K CPU3   6  52.4H 99.02% 
postgres

The processi is using 100% CPU for 52 hours! Here it is:

%ps axl | grep 677
  70   677   666 757 107  0 22396  5460 select Rs    ??  3144:50.88 
postgres: stats collector process    (postgres)


Is this normal? Fortunately, we have more processors in this system and 
it is not causing slow-down. But I really need to know what is happening 
here. I believe it is not the way it should work.

Yesterday the system was restarted suddenly, and this process might be 
the reason for this. After the restart, the process is doing the same 
thing again:

  PID USERNAME       THR PRI NICE   SIZE    RES STATE  C   TIME   WCPU 
COMMAND
  904 pgsql            1 105    0 22396K  5332K CPU3   3 386:05 99.22% 
postgres


Here is some more info:

Hardware: Two Quad Xeon 2.5GHz processors, 8GB RAM, RAID with 2GB cache 
and BBU, 10 SATA2 disks in RAID 1+0 OS: FreeBSD 7.0 amd64
Postgresql: 8.3
Databases: two bigger ones, total database size on disk is about 10GB, 
used mostly read-only, but some smaller tables updated frequently.

I don't think that it needs stat collection continuously.

Thanks,

  Laszlo


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