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PostgreSQL pg_settings

The view pg_settings provides access to run-time parameters of the server. It is essentially an alternative interface to the SHOW and SET commands. It also provides access to some facts about each parameter that are not directly available from SHOW, such as minimum and maximum values.


pg_settings Columns


Name
Type
Description
name
text
Run-time configuration parameter name
setting
text
Current value of the parameter
unit
text
Implicit unit of the parameter
category
text
Logical group of the parameter
short_desc
text
A brief description of the parameter
extra_desc
text
Additional, more detailed, description of the parameter
context
text
Context required to set the parameter's value (see below)
vartype
text
Parameter type (bool, enum, integer, real, or string)
source
text
Source of the current parameter value
min_val
text
Minimum allowed value of the parameter (null for non-numeric values)
max_val
text
Maximum allowed value of the parameter (null for non-numeric values)
enumvals
text[]
Allowed values of an enum parameter (null for non-enum values)
boot_val
text
Parameter value assumed at server startup if the parameter is not otherwise set
reset_val
text
Value that RESET would reset the parameter to in the current session
sourcefile
text
Configuration file the current value was set in (null for values set from sources other than configuration files, or when examined by a non-superuser); helpful when using include directives in configuration files
sourceline
integer
Line number within the configuration file the current value was set at (null for values set from sources other than configuration files, or when examined by a non-superuser)

 
There are several possible values of context. In order of decreasing difficulty of changing the setting, they are:
internal
These settings cannot be changed directly; they reflect internally determined values. Some of them may be adjustable by rebuilding the server with different configuration options, or by changing options supplied to initdb.
postmaster
These settings can only be applied when the server starts, so any change requires restarting the server. Values for these settings are typically stored in the postgresql.conf file, or passed on the command line when starting the server. Of course, settings with any of the lower context types can also be set at server start time.
sighup
Changes to these settings can be made in postgresql.conf without restarting the server. Send a SIGHUP signal to the postmaster to cause it to re-read postgresql.conf and apply the changes. The postmaster will also forward the SIGHUP signal to its child processes so that they all pick up the new value.
superuser-backend
Changes to these settings can be made in postgresql.conf without restarting the server. They can also be set for a particular session in the connection request packet (for example, via libpq's PGOPTIONS environment variable), but only if the connecting user is a superuser. However, these settings never change in a session after it is started. If you change them in postgresql.conf, send a SIGHUP signal to the postmaster to cause it to re-read postgresql.conf. The new values will only affect subsequently-launched sessions.
backend
Changes to these settings can be made in postgresql.conf without restarting the server. They can also be set for a particular session in the connection request packet (for example, via libpq's PGOPTIONS environment variable); any user can make such a change for their session. However, these settings never change in a session after it is started. If you change them in postgresql.conf, send a SIGHUP signal to the postmaster to cause it to re-read postgresql.conf. The new values will only affect subsequently-launched sessions.
superuser
These settings can be set from postgresql.conf, or within a session via the SET command; but only superusers can change them via SET. Changes in postgresql.conf will affect existing sessions only if no session-local value has been established with SET.
user
These settings can be set from postgresql.conf, or within a session via the SET command. Any user is allowed to change their session-local value. Changes in postgresql.conf will affect existing sessions only if no session-local value has been established with SET.

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