> 1) In the 'WAL Parameters' section, paragraph 3 there is the following
> sentence: "After a checkpoint has been made, any log segments written
> before the redo record may be removed/archived..." What does the 'may'
> refer mean? Does the database administrator need to go into the
> directory and remove the no longer necessary log files? What does
> archiving have to do with this? If I archived all log files, could
> I roll forward a backup made previously? That is the only reason I can
> think of that you would archive log files (at least that is why you
> archive log files in Oracle).
Offline log segments are removed automatically at checkpoint time.
WAL based BAR is not implemented yet, so no archiving is made
> 2) The doc doesn't seem to explain how on database recovery
> the database knows which log file to start with. I think walking
> through an example of how after a database crash, the log file is
> used for recovery, would be useful. At least it would make me as
> a user of postgres feel better if I understood how crashes are
> recovered from.
After checkpoint is made (log flushed) its position is saved in
pg_control file. So, on recovery backend first read pg_control,
than checkpoint record, than redo record (its position is saved
in checkpoint) and begins REDO op. Because of entire content of
pages is saved in log on first-after-checkpoint page modification
pages will be first restored to consistent stage.
Using pg_control to get checkpoint position speed up things but
to handle possible pg_control corruption we obviously should
implement reading existent log segments (from the last one -
newest - to oldest) to get last checkpoint.
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