I have a PostgreSQL cluster with few databases. In one of the DBs, if I try to create a new table, the command never ends until I kill the the linux proccess. I checked pg_lock and found that pg_class and the indexes on pg_class are locked, lock type is relation and mode is RowExclusiveLock. I can add a column to a table but cannot create an index on a table.

If I create a table in another database, there are no locks on pg_class.

Every hint can help.

Here there is description of locks:

relname                             locktype    mode    
pg_class_tblspc_relfilenode_index   relation    RowExclusiveLock
pg_class_relname_nsp_index          relation    RowExclusiveLock
pg_class_oid_index                  relation    RowExclusiveLock
pg_class                            relation    RowExclusiveLock
  • 1
    Could you please show the relevant content of pg_class and pg_lock, and what exactly you are doing? Also, there should be something in the logs, too, if the statement is waiting for longer. Also, do you see the process in pg_stat_activity that holds the lock?
    – dezso
    Jul 17, 2019 at 12:15
  • I ran create table dba.arie2 (i int); The locks are: relname pid locktype database relation page tuple virtualxid transactionid classid objid objsubid virtualtransaction pid mode granted fastpath pg_class_tblspc_relfilenode_index 24757 relation 16384 3455 5/14 24757 RowExclusiveLock TRUE TRUE pg_class_relname_nsp_index 24757 relation 16384 2663 5/14 24757 RowExclusiveLock TRUE TRUE pg_class_oid_index 24757 relation 16384 2662 5/14 24757 RowExclusiveLock TRUE TRUE pg_class 24757 relation 16384 1259 5/14 24757 RowExclusiveLock TRUE TRUE
    – user115223
    Jul 17, 2019 at 12:55
  • 1
    Please edit your post with these details, it is hard to parse this from the comment.
    – dezso
    Jul 17, 2019 at 14:47
  • Thanks. I'll do it in the original question.
    – user115223
    Jul 18, 2019 at 10:21

1 Answer 1


Normal operations don't place a persistent lock on pg_class.

There must be a DDL command (CREATE TABLE, DROP TABLE or similar) that is blocked because of a lock, so that it cannot complete the operation.

Check for active sessions in pg_stat_activity, their query and if they are hanging.

Your CREATE TABLE is not blocked by a table lock, but by a row lock in pg_class.

  • I tried to find the locking DDL, but I didn't see ant process/
    – user115223
    Jul 18, 2019 at 11:56
  • You see nothing in pg_locks? You could add the results to the question, maybe that tells us something. Does the problem persist, i.e., does CREATE TABLE still hang? Jul 18, 2019 at 14:35
  • I see only the locks on pg_class. What do you mean by "the result". I am stuck, I don't get any results. Thanks !
    – user115223
    Jul 21, 2019 at 5:46
  • Could you look at the pg_stat_activity row for the hanging session and see what the wait event is? Aug 5, 2019 at 5:47
  • wait_event is null. Thanks !
    – user115223
    Aug 6, 2019 at 6:06

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