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Storage space lost during an UPDATE

From: Vitaly Belman <vitalyb(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: pgsql-novice(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Storage space lost during an UPDATE
Date: 2004-07-03 13:37:56
Message-ID: fa96e3c6040703063768b2bc2e@mail.gmail.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-novice
I ran the following query on my database:

---------------
update bv_descriptions set description = REPLACE(description, '\\n', '\n');
commit;
---------------

It finished fine but to my surprise when I ran "df" on the server the
drive usage jumped from 44% to 60% which is additional  650MB.

I tried to restart the server but it didn't do any good, eventually I
tried to do a FULL VACUUM on that table and it did the trick and
cleaned the lost space.

I am still confused about what happened... What took these additional 650MB?

I could understand this phenomenon if it happened before I did
COMMIT... But why did it stay after COMMIT too?

Thanks

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