As Stéphane mentions in the comments, this needs to be at least twice as big as the table in question as VACUUM FULL does a full copy. As far as I can say, I required vacuum full and my db size came down from 48 GB to 24 GB. You may also increase autovacuum_vacuum_cost_limit, which by default equals to vacuum_cost_limit, which is set to 200. Much of the content applies only to PostgreSQL 8.4 and below. ALTER TABLE your_table SET (autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor = 0.05); If you configure scale_factor and thresholds you should be fine. The trouble is … 4. Vacuum. Set the maintenance_work_mem really high. You also need to rebuild them now and then because VACUUM FULL isn't good enough (especially on such an old PosgreSQL as 8.1). VACUUM, VACUUM FULL and ANALYZE: These are the maintenance related commands of PostgreSQL which requires frequent execution because PostgreSQL based on MVCC architecture where every UPDATE and DELETE generates dead rows … If you are lucky and can dynamically add a disk to the machine, do that. Selects "full" vacuum, which can reclaim more space, but takes much longer and exclusively locks the table.This method also requires extra disk space, since it writes a new copy of the table and doesn't release the old copy until the operation is complete. VACUUM vs VACUUM FULL (PostgreSQL 8.4 and older) This document is obsolete for PostgreSQL 9.0 and above. INTO command to copy data from a bloated table into a new table, then re-create the indexes and finally rename the tables to replace the old one with the new one. The a=4 row is still there but we got a new one (Item 11) which is our update. An alternative to VACUUM is to dump and restore. I am using Postgres 9.4. A go-to trick for copying large amounts of data. The autovacuum_vacuum_scale_factor command tells PostgreSQL that a table is worth vacuuming if 20% of data has been changed. One way to speed things up is to explicitly perform multiple inserts or copy's within a transaction (say 1000). In PostgreSQL, updated key-value tuples are not removed from the tables when rows are changed, so the VACUUM command should be run occasionally to do this. Btw, 8.4 will have an huge improvement in vacuuming. This PostgreSQL tutorial explains how to use the PostgreSQL VACUUM command with syntax and examples. Postgres's default behavior is to commit after each statement, so by batching the commits, you can avoid some overhead. ... PostgreSQL - VACUUM FULL does not free space back to the OS. As the guide in Daniel's answer says, you may have to … I just ran vacuum full. VACUUM can be run on its own, or with ANALYZE. If you have such a table and you need to reclaim the excess disk space it occupies, you will need to use VACUUM FULL, or alternatively CLUSTER or one of the table-rewriting variants of ALTER TABLE. The VACUUM statement is used to reclaim storage by removing obsolete data or tuples from the PostgreSQL database. The VACUUM command will reclaim space still used by data that had been updated. FULL. It's faster to rebuild them than vacuum them. Remember that it is the job of vacuum to recycle the dead/old rows: postgres=# vacuum t1; VACUUM postgres=# checkpoint ; CHECKPOINT Again (just displaying the data here): These commands rewrite an entire new copy of the table and build new … To return space to the OS, use VACUUM FULL.While being at it, I suppose you run VACUUM FULL ANALYZE.I quote the manual:. Every time I invest a little effort into learning more about Postgres, I’m amazed at its flexibility and utility. 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