~/.psqlrc file for DBA’s

In our regular DBA monitoring, we will be using so many combination of pg_catalog queries to reteive information like <IDLE> in transaction , waiting queries,  No. of connections, etc. Most of the DBA’s, create views to cut short big combination queries and keep handy for later use per requirement.

PostgreSQL, provides a startup file(.psqlrc) which executes before connecting to the database when using with psql utility. Using .psqlrc file you can place all your important queries with one word alias by ‘set’ command and execute it in psql terminal instead of typing big queries. If you wont see .psqlrc file in ‘postgres’ user home directory, you can create it explicitly. I tried it and found very helpful.

Points on .psqlrc:
  • .psqlrc is a startup file, executes when connecting to the cluster.
  • .psqlrc file will reside in ‘postgres’ user home directory.
  •  psql options -X or -c, do not read the .psqlrc file.
  • .psqlrc file is for complete session-level not database level.

My terminal Screenshot:

Lets see how to implement this.


set <alias-variable-name>  'query'
Note: if your query has single or double quotes then use ‘ or ” in the query.
Sample Queries to put in .psqlrc file with alias:
vi ~/.psqlrc


set waits 'SELECT pg_stat_activity.procpid, pg_stat_activity.current_query, pg_stat_activity.waiting, now() - pg_stat_activity.query_start as "totaltime", pg_stat_activity.backend_start FROM pg_stat_activity WHERE pg_stat_activity.current_query !~ '%IDLE%'::text AND pg_stat_activity.waiting = true;;'

set locks 'select pid,mode,current_query from pg_locks,pg_stat_activity where granted=false and locktype='transactionid' and pid=procpid order by pid,granted;;'



postgres=# :waits
procpid | current_query | waiting | totaltime | backend_start
9223 | insert into locks VALUES (1); | t | 00:00:18.901773 | 2011-10-08 00:29:10.065186+05:30
(1 row)

postgres=# :locks
pid | mode | current_query
9223 | ShareLock | insert into locks VALUES (1);
(1 row)

Was it not helpful. Enjoy… :). Will be back with some more stuff.