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Table of contents

Handy queries

List procedure/function

SELECT * FROM pg_proc WHERE proname='__procedurename__'

List view (including the definition)

SELECT * FROM pg_views WHERE viewname='__viewname__';

Show DB table space in use

SELECT pg_size_pretty(pg_total_relation_size('__table_name__'));

Show DB space in use

SELECT pg_size_pretty(pg_database_size('__database_name__'));

Show current user's statement timeout

show statement_timeout;

Show table indexes

SELECT * FROM pg_indexes WHERE tablename='__table_name__' AND schemaname='__schema_name__';

Get all indexes from all tables of a schema:

   t.relname AS table_name,
   i.relname AS index_name,
   a.attname AS column_name
   pg_class t,
   pg_class i,
   pg_index ix,
   pg_attribute a,
    pg_namespace n
   t.oid = ix.indrelid
   AND i.oid = ix.indexrelid
   AND a.attrelid = t.oid
   AND a.attnum = ANY(ix.indkey)
   AND t.relnamespace = n.oid
    AND n.nspname = 'kartones'

Execution data

SELECT datname, application_name, pid, backend_start, query_start, state_change, state, query 
  FROM pg_stat_activity 
  WHERE datname='__database_name__';

Get all queries from all dbs waiting for data (might be hung)

SELECT * FROM pg_stat_activity WHERE waiting='t'

Currently running queries with process pid:

SELECT pg_stat_get_backend_pid(s.backendid) AS procpid,
 pg_stat_get_backend_activity(s.backendid) AS current_query
FROM (SELECT pg_stat_get_backend_idset() AS backendid) AS s;


  • CAST (column AS type) or column::type
  • '__table_name__'::regclass::oid: Get oid having a table name

Query analysis

  • EXPLAIN __query__: see the query plan for the given query
  • EXPLAIN ANALYZE __query__: see and execute the query plan for the given query
  • ANALYZE [__table__]: collect statistics

 Generating random data

INSERT INTO some_table (a_float_value) SELECT random() * 100000 FROM generate_series(1, 1000000) i;

Create command

There are many CREATE choices, like CREATE DATABASE __database_name__, CREATE TABLE __table_name__ ... Parameters differ but can be checked at the official documentation.


Service management commands:

sudo service postgresql stop
sudo service postgresql start
sudo service postgresql restart

Changing verbosity & querying Postgres log:

First edit the config file, set a decent verbosity, save and restart postgres:

sudo vim /etc/postgresql/9.3/main/postgresql.conf

# Uncomment/Change inside:
log_min_messages = debug5
log_min_error_statement = debug5
log_min_duration_statement = -1

sudo service postgresql restart

Now you will get tons of details of every statement, error, and even background tasks like VACUUMs

tail -f /var/log/postgresql/postgresql-9.3-main.log

How to add user who executed a PG statement to log (editing postgresql.conf):

log_line_prefix = '%t %u %d %a '



psql -U postgres

Some interesting flags (to see all, use -h or --help depending on your psql version):

  • -E: will describe the underlaying queries of the \ commands (cool for learning!)
  • -l: psql will list all databases and then exit (useful if the user you connect with doesn't has a default database, like at AWS RDS)

Most \d commands support additional param of __schema__.name__ and accept wildcards like *.*

  • \q: Quit/Exit
  • \c __database__: Connect to a database
  • \d __table__: Show table definition (columns, etc.) including triggers
  • \d+ __table__: More detailed table definition including description and physical disk size
  • \l: List databases
  • \dy: List events
  • \df: List functions
  • \di: List indexes
  • \dn: List schemas
  • \dt *.*: List tables from all schemas (if *.* is omitted will only show SEARCH_PATH ones)
  • \dT+: List all data types
  • \dv: List views
  • \dx: List all extensions installed
  • \df+ __function__ : Show function SQL code.
  • \x: Pretty-format query results instead of the not-so-useful ASCII tables
  • \copy (SELECT * FROM __table_name__) TO 'file_path_and_name.csv' WITH CSV: Export a table as CSV
  • \des+: List all foreign servers
  • \dE[S+]: List all foreign tables

User Related:

  • \du: List users
  • \du __username__: List a username if present.
  • create role __test1__: Create a role with an existing username.
  • create role __test2__ noinherit login password __passsword__;: Create a role with username and password.
  • set role __test__;: Change role for current session to __test__.
  • grant __test2__ to __test1__;: Allow __test1__ to set its role as __test2__.
  • \deu+: List all user mapping on server


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