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31.4. Conflicts

Logical replication behaves similarly to normal DML operations in that the data will be updated even if it was changed locally on the subscriber node. If incoming data violates any constraints the replication will stop. This is referred to as a conflict. When replicating UPDATE or DELETE operations, missing data will not produce a conflict and such operations will simply be skipped.

Logical replication operations are performed with the privileges of the role which owns the subscription. Permissions failures on target tables will cause replication conflicts, as will enabled row-level security on target tables that the subscription owner is subject to, without regard to whether any policy would ordinarily reject the INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE or TRUNCATE which is being replicated. This restriction on row-level security may be lifted in a future version of PostgreSQL.

A conflict will produce an error and will stop the replication; it must be resolved manually by the user. Details about the conflict can be found in the subscriber's server log.

The resolution can be done either by changing data or permissions on the subscriber so that it does not conflict with the incoming change or by skipping the transaction that conflicts with the existing data. When a conflict produces an error, the replication won't proceed, and the logical replication worker will emit the following kind of message to the subscriber's server log:

ERROR:  duplicate key value violates unique constraint "test_pkey"
DETAIL:  Key (c)=(1) already exists.
CONTEXT:  processing remote data for replication origin "pg_16395" during "INSERT" for replication target relation "public.test" in transaction 725 finished at 0/14C0378

The LSN of the transaction that contains the change violating the constraint and the replication origin name can be found from the server log (LSN 0/14C0378 and replication origin pg_16395 in the above case). The transaction that produced the conflict can be skipped by using ALTER SUBSCRIPTION ... SKIP with the finish LSN (i.e., LSN 0/14C0378). The finish LSN could be an LSN at which the transaction is committed or prepared on the publisher. Alternatively, the transaction can also be skipped by calling the pg_replication_origin_advance() function. Before using this function, the subscription needs to be disabled temporarily either by ALTER SUBSCRIPTION ... DISABLE or, the subscription can be used with the disable_on_error option. Then, you can use pg_replication_origin_advance() function with the node_name (i.e., pg_16395) and the next LSN of the finish LSN (i.e., 0/14C0379). The current position of origins can be seen in the pg_replication_origin_status system view. Please note that skipping the whole transaction includes skipping changes that might not violate any constraint. This can easily make the subscriber inconsistent.