pg_basebackup, manifests and backends older than ~12

From: Michael Paquier <michael(at)paquier(dot)xyz>
To: Postgres hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: pg_basebackup, manifests and backends older than ~12
Date: 2020-04-10 08:09:10
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I have noticed that attempting to use pg_basebackup from HEAD leads to
failures when using it with backend versions from 12 and older:
$ pg_basebackup -D hoge
pg_basebackup: error: backup manifests are not supported by server
version 12beta2
pg_basebackup: removing data directory "hoge"

This is a bit backwards with what we did in the past to maintain
compatibility silently when possible, for example look at the handling
of temporary replication slots. Instead of an error when means to
force users to have to specify --no-manifest in this case, shouldn't
we silently disable the generation of the backup manifest? We know
that this option won't work on older server versions anyway.



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