The Postgres system columns are documented in Chapter 5. Data Definition > 5.4. System Columns.

That page mentions that oid values “are 32-bit quantities”. And that page says the same about transaction identifiers. So I will assume that means oid, tableoid, xmin, cmin, xmax, and cmax are all 32-bit integers.

But that leaves the ctid system column.

The physical location of the row version within its table. Note that although the ctid can be used to locate the row version very quickly, a row's ctid will change if it is updated or moved by VACUUM FULL. Therefore ctid is useless as a long-term row identifier. The OID, or even better a user-defined serial number, should be used to identify logical rows.

➡ What is the data type of the ctid column?

Specifically I am interested in version Postgres 10.3, but if it has changed over past versions, that would be good to know.



See the manual page, Chapter 8. Data Types > 8.18. Object Identifier Types. It explains that the data type is Postgres-specific, and known as tid.

A final identifier type used by the system is tid, or tuple identifier (row identifier). This is the data type of the system column ctid. A tuple ID is a pair (block number, tuple index within block) that identifies the physical location of the row within its table.

You might find this similar Question interesting: How do I decompose ctid into page and row numbers?

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.