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Appendix K. PostgreSQL Limits

Table K.1 describes various hard limits of PostgreSQL. However, practical limits, such as performance limitations or available disk space may apply before absolute hard limits are reached.

Table K.1. PostgreSQL limitations

Item Upper Limit Comment
database size unlimited  
number of databases 4,294,950,911  
relations per database 1,431,650,303  
relation size 32 TB with the default BLCKSZ of 8192 bytes
rows per table limited by the number of tuples that can fit onto 4,294,967,295 pages  
columns per table 1600 further limited by tuple size fitting on a single page; see note below
field size 1 GB  
identifier length 63 bytes can be increased by recompiling PostgreSQL
indexes per table unlimited constrained by maximum relations per database
columns per index 32 can be increased by recompiling PostgreSQL
partition keys 32 can be increased by recompiling PostgreSQL

The maximum number of columns for a table is further reduced as the tuple being stored must fit in a single 8192-byte heap page. For example, excluding the tuple header, a tuple made up of 1600 int columns would consume 6400 bytes and could be stored in a heap page, but a tuple of 1600 bigint columns would consume 12800 bytes and would therefore not fit inside a heap page. Variable-length fields of types such as text, varchar, and char can have their values stored out of line in the table's TOAST table when the values are large enough to require it. Only an 18-byte pointer must remain inside the tuple in the table's heap. For shorter length variable-length fields, either a 4-byte or 1-byte field header is used and the value is stored inside the heap tuple.

Columns that have been dropped from the table also contribute to the maximum column limit. Moreover, although the dropped column values for newly created tuples are internally marked as null in the tuple's null bitmap, the null bitmap also occupies space.