Re: amcheck (B-Tree integrity checking tool)

From: Peter Geoghegan <pg(at)bowt(dot)ie>
To: Andres Freund <andres(at)anarazel(dot)de>
Cc: Robert Haas <robertmhaas(at)gmail(dot)com>, Kevin Grittner <kgrittn(at)gmail(dot)com>, Michael Paquier <michael(dot)paquier(at)gmail(dot)com>, Tomas Vondra <tomas(dot)vondra(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, Jim Nasby <Jim(dot)Nasby(at)bluetreble(dot)com>, Pg Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>, Anastasia Lubennikova <a(dot)lubennikova(at)postgrespro(dot)ru>
Subject: Re: amcheck (B-Tree integrity checking tool)
Date: 2017-02-11 01:39:55
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On Thu, Feb 9, 2017 at 2:32 PM, Andres Freund <andres(at)anarazel(dot)de> wrote:
> Except that the proposed names aren't remotely like that... ;).

Revision attached -- V5. We now REVOKE ALL on both functions, as
Robert suggested, instead of the previous approach of having a
hard-coded superuser check with enforcement.

> And I proposed documenting named parameters, and
> check_btree(performing_check_requiring_exclusive_locks => true) is just
> about as expressive.

I have not done this, nor have I renamed the functions. I still think
that this is something that we can fix by adding a boolean argument to
each function in the future, or something along those lines. I
*really* hate the idea of having one function with non-obvious,
variable requirements on locking, with locking implications that are
not knowable when we PREPARE an SQL statement calling the function. It
also removes a useful way of have superusers discriminate against the
stronger locking variant bt_index_parent_check() by not granting
execute on it (as an anti-footgun measure). I don't think that it's
too much to ask for you to concede this one point to me (and to

I have acted on every other item you raised, without exception,
including retaining the locks for the duration of the transaction. I
also made the functions PARALLEL RESTRICTED, which seemed like a good

Other notes:

* A nice thing about the additional level check that you suggested is
that it's a cross-level check that is perfectly safe to perform with
only an AccessShareLock, unlike the extra bt_index_parent_check()
check, since the number of levels only ever increases, no matter what.
There is no possible reason why we should ever find that a child page
does not agree with its self-described parent about the level it's on.
I'm glad you thought of this.

* I kept ereport() DEBUG1 calls, but now use non-error errcode for
those. I thought that preserving the various ereport() fields was
worth it, since these traces are rather information dense in a way
that is harder to deal with when using raw elog()s. If you hate this,
you can still change it.

* I have not added code to check the relation permissions, which might
matter if and when the superuser grants execute privs on amcheck
functions. Anyone want to argue that I should have added
relation-level permissions checks? I tend to think it's pointless,
since the superuser almost certainly won't think to consider that
additional factor. I cannot imagine how either function could be used
to leak information, in any case. No error message dumps the contents
of pages (only item pointers).

* pgindent was run against this revision. You were right to want to
get that out of the way now, since it needed to be fixed up by hand to
look reasonable. typedef list also updated.

Peter Geoghegan

Attachment Content-Type Size
0001-Add-amcheck-extension-to-contrib.patch.gz application/x-gzip 18.7 KB

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