Re: Enabling archive_mode without restart

From: "Kevin Grittner" <Kevin(dot)Grittner(at)wicourts(dot)gov>
To: "Simon Riggs" <simon(at)2ndQuadrant(dot)com>, "pgsql-hackers" <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Enabling archive_mode without restart
Date: 2008-10-31 15:13:37
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>>> Simon Riggs <simon(at)2ndQuadrant(dot)com> wrote:
> Currently we enable archive_mode only at server start. The reason
> this was to protect against people enabling archive_mode half way
> through somebody else running a bulk load without WAL and then having
> incomplete backup.
> All we need to do is this:
> * When we change archive_mode to "on" get the next xid and place it
> xlogctl. When we turn archive_mode "off" clear the value.
> * When we run pg_start_backup() check the xid and then wait for all
> transactions to end that can still see that xid before returning.
> This means there may be a delay after enabling archive_mode before
> can run a backup, but normal running will not be interrupted.
> It's a fairly small change, touching just guc.c and xlog.c, using
> code as DefineIndex() to wait.

This would be a welcome change. While we do continuous archiving for
most of our databases, there are some big ones where we just turn on
WAL archiving to capture a PITR "snapshot". Having to restart
PostgreSQL on both sides of the backup complicates things


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