I have found some questions about the same error, but didn't find any of them answering my problem.

The setup is that I have two Postgres11 clusters (A and B) and they are making use of publication and subscription features to copy data from A to B.

A (source DB- publication) --------------> B (target DB - subscription)

This works fine, but often (not always) when the data volume being inserted on a table in node A increases, it gives the following error.

"terminating walsender process due to replication timeout"

The data volume at the moment being entered is about 30K rows per second continuously for hours through COPY command.

Earlier the wal_sender_timeout was set to 5 sec and I would see this error much often. I then increased it to 1 min and the frequency of this error reduced. But I don't want to keep increasing it without understanding what is causing it. I looked at the code of walsender.c and found that it was coming from here.

if (wal_sender_timeout > 0 && last_processing >= timeout)
          * Since typically expiration of replication timeout means
          * communication problem, we don't send the error message to the
          * standby.
                 (errmsg("terminating walsender process due to replication timeout")));

But I am still not clear that which parameter is making the sender assume that the receiver node is inactive and therefore it should stop the wal_sender.


sourcedb=# show wal_sender_timeout;
(1 row)

sourcedb=# select * from pg_replication_slots;
             slot_name              |  plugin  | slot_type | datoid | database | temporary | active | active_pid | xmin | catalog_xmin |  restart_lsn   | confirmed_flush_lsn

 sub_target_DB                      | pgoutput | logical   |  16501 | sourcedb | f         | t      |      68229 |      |     98839088 | 116D0/C36886F8 | 116D0/C3E5D370


targetdb=# show wal_receiver_timeout;
(1 row)

targetdb=# show wal_retrieve_retry_interval ;
(1 row)

targetdb=# show wal_receiver_status_interval;
(1 row)

targetdb=# select * from pg_stat_subscription;
   subid    |              subname               |  pid  | relid |  received_lsn  |      last_msg_send_time       |     last_msg_receipt_time     | latest_end_lsn |        l
 2378695757 | sub_target_DB                      | 62371 |       | 116D1/2BA8F170 | 2021-08-20 09:05:15.398423+09 | 2021-08-20 09:05:15.398471+09 | 116D1/2BA8F170 | 2021-08-
20 09:05:15.398423+09

Edit 1: Are there any disadvantages to keeping the wal_sender_timeout or wal_receiver_timeout to much higher values? I know that in case of an actual failure, the WAL segments would keep piling up in the pg_wal folder of the sender. But is there a safe limit?

Edit 2: Increased the wal_sender_timeout to 5 mins and the error started appearing more frequently instead. Not only that, it even killed the active subscription and stopped replicating data. Had to restart it. So clearly, just increasing the wal_sender_timeout hasn't helped.

1 Answer 1


I know this is an older issue, but I was able to resolve this by increasing wal_sender_timeout.

If you're getting more errors, you might want to explicitly designate the time increment in the parameter (use m or s).

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