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Configuration: Postgres 9.6 with a 3 cluster node. db1 is the master, db2 and db3 are replicas. WAL files are archived in AWS S3 using custom pgrsync tool. Cluster managed by patroni. The archive_command and restore_command is properly configured on all the nodes.

To simulate: On db1, do heavy writes (like vacuum a large table) and then stop db1 by sudo systemctl stop patroni). db3 becomes the new leader. db2 requests more WAL files, which it gets via the proper restore command from AWS S3, becomes replica to db3.

Now, start db1 again by (sudo systemctl start patroni). But db1 (the old leader and the new to-be-replica) never comes up as a replica and gives the error message:

could not receive data from WAL stream: ERROR: requested WAL segment 0000002400053C55000000AE has already been removed.

This error message is reported by db3 (the leader), which db1 just logs it.

So, let's see the timeline. Initially db1 was in timeline 35 (0x23) and did write the following files to archive:

0000002300053C55000000AE   (TL is 23 and archive at 53C55/AE)
..
0000002300053C5600000043   (TL is 23 and archive at 53C56/43)

db1 is stopped at this point. db3's logs show this:

received promote request
redo done at 53C56/A3FFC8C0
selected new timeline ID: 36
database system is ready to accept connections

and db3 copies the following files to archives

00000024.history
0000002300053C56000000A3.partial
0000002400053C56000000A3
0000002200053C55000000AE

As db3 became leader, db2 starts the process to become replica to db3 (which it successfully becomes) and here is the summary of the logs:

restored log file "00000024.history" from archive
restored log file "0000002300053C55000000AE" from archive
restored log file "00000023.history" from archive
redo starts at 53C55/AE0001A8
restored log file "0000002300053C55000000AF" from archive
...
restored log file "0000002300053C5600000042" from archive
Retrieving 0000002300053C5600000043 to pg_xlog/RECOVERYXLOG FAILED  (log by pgrsync)
...
Retrieving 0000002300053C56000000A2 to pg_xlog/RECOVERYXLOG FAILED
restored log file "0000002400053C56000000A3" from archive
consistent recovery state reached at 53C56/A3FFE900

db1 is started now and here are the logs:

LOG: database system was interrupted while in recovery at log time 2021-01-28 04:08:01 UTC 
HINT: If this has occurred more than once some data might be corrupted and you might need to choose an earlier recovery target
LOG: invalid record length at 53C55/AE0001E0: wanted 24, got 0
LOG: started streaming WAL from primary at 53C55/AE000000 on timeline 36
FATAL:  could not receive data from WAL stream: ERROR:  requested WAL segment 0000002400053C55000000AE has already been removed
... and repeats this over and over

Points to note:

  1. 0000002400053C55000000AE was never written to archives by any Postgres node. The old leader (db1) copied the archive 0000002300053C55000000AE (note: 0023, not 0024) before it was stopped.
  2. The new leader (db3) copied 0000002200053C55000000AE (note: 0022, not 0024)
  3. max_wal_size is set to 1024 on all nodes.
  4. After db3 became the new leader, there was hardly any activity on the nodes. db3 only writes WAL files every 10 mins (archive_timeout=600s).

Questions:

  1. Is there any thing wrong in the configuration that makes the the old leader asking for a WAL segment, which the new leader does not have?
  2. How to restore the old leader (db1) at this state, without having to erase and start over?

Lots of disk space available. The problem can be simulated at will. Had tried pg_rewind on the old primary, pointing to new primary. It just said it is already on the same timeline (not exact words). Note: It was not an error message. But even after that, it was showing the same error, when starting Postgres.

We are on 9.6.19. Just a few days back 9.6.21 (and last 9.5.x release) was announced which exactly points out fix for this specific problem (Fix WAL-reading logic so that standbys can handle timeline switches correctly. This issue could have shown itself with errors like "requested WAL segment has already been removed".). However, even after upgrading to 9.6.21, the same problem exists for us.

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1 Answer 1

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We had a similar situation and ended up initializing from the current primary. There is a nasty bug here. So, to play safe my advice is to re instantiate the slave. (until the bug fix is in place) If you have a nice reproducible case, it would help to document it so it can be studied and with a little luck fixed in the code. Reporting bugs: https://www.postgresql.org/docs/current/bug-reporting.html

PostgreSQL 12.3, 11.8, 10.13, 9.6.18, and 9.5.22 Released! This bug was fixed in 9.5.22 and 9.6.18 and 10.13 and 11.8 and 12.3: Avoid premature recycling of WAL segments during crash recovery (Jehan-Guillaume de Rorthais)

WAL segments that become ready to be archived during crash recovery were potentially recycled without being archived.

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  • Unfortunately, my tests shows that the bug is not yet fixed. First, we were already on 9.6.19. Second, just few days back 9.6.21 (and last 9.5.x release) was announced which exactly points out fix for this specific problem (Fix WAL-reading logic so that standbys can handle timeline switches correctly. This issue could have shown itself with errors like "requested WAL segment has already been removed".). However, even after upgrading to 9.6.21, the same problem exists for us. I will file a bug report by this weekend.
    – rsmoorthy
    Feb 17, 2021 at 17:23
  • 1
    Nasty. Sorry to hear that.
    – ik_zelf
    Feb 17, 2021 at 17:25

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