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51.12. pg_collation #

The catalog pg_collation describes the available collations, which are essentially mappings from an SQL name to operating system locale categories. See Section 23.2 for more information.

Table 51.12. pg_collation Columns

Column Type


oid oid

Row identifier

collname name

Collation name (unique per namespace and encoding)

collnamespace oid (references pg_namespace.oid)

The OID of the namespace that contains this collation

collowner oid (references pg_authid.oid)

Owner of the collation

collprovider char

Provider of the collation: d = database default, c = libc, i = icu

collisdeterministic bool

Is the collation deterministic?

collencoding int4

Encoding in which the collation is applicable, or -1 if it works for any encoding

collcollate text

LC_COLLATE for this collation object. If the provider is not libc, collcollate is NULL and colllocale is used instead.

collctype text

LC_CTYPE for this collation object. If the provider is not libc, collctype is NULL and colllocale is used instead.

colllocale text

Collation provider locale name for this collation object. If the provider is libc, colllocale is NULL; collcollate and collctype are used instead.

collicurules text

ICU collation rules for this collation object

collversion text

Provider-specific version of the collation. This is recorded when the collation is created and then checked when it is used, to detect changes in the collation definition that could lead to data corruption.

Note that the unique key on this catalog is (collname, collencoding, collnamespace) not just (collname, collnamespace). PostgreSQL generally ignores all collations that do not have collencoding equal to either the current database's encoding or -1, and creation of new entries with the same name as an entry with collencoding = -1 is forbidden. Therefore it is sufficient to use a qualified SQL name ( to identify a collation, even though this is not unique according to the catalog definition. The reason for defining the catalog this way is that initdb fills it in at cluster initialization time with entries for all locales available on the system, so it must be able to hold entries for all encodings that might ever be used in the cluster.

In the template0 database, it could be useful to create collations whose encoding does not match the database encoding, since they could match the encodings of databases later cloned from template0. This would currently have to be done manually.