On 20th of July 2020, Fujii Masao committed patch:
Rename wal_keep_segments to wal_keep_size. max_slot_wal_keep_size that was added in v13 and wal_keep_segments are the GUC parameters to specify how much WAL files to retain for the standby servers. While max_slot_wal_keep_size accepts the number of bytes of WAL files, wal_keep_segments accepts the number of WAL files. This difference of setting units between those similar parameters could be confusing to users. To alleviate this situation, this commit renames wal_keep_segments to wal_keep_size, and make users specify the WAL size in it instead of the number of WAL files. There was also the idea to rename max_slot_wal_keep_size to max_slot_wal_keep_segments, in the discussion. But we have been moving away from measuring in segments, for example, checkpoint_segments was replaced by max_wal_size. So we concluded to rename wal_keep_segments to wal_keep_size. Back-patch to v13 where max_slot_wal_keep_size was added. Author: Fujii Masao Reviewed-by: Álvaro Herrera, Kyotaro Horiguchi, David Steele Discussion: https://email@example.com
Commit message makes it abundantly clear what has changed, and why, but just let me quickly show example.
In previous versions, we had wal_keep_segments GUC that made sure that certain number of WAL files will be kept on primary server even if they were already archived. This was to make it easier to setup and sustain streaming replication.
One could have, for example:
$ SHOW wal_keep_segments; wal_keep_segments ═══════════════════ 1000 (1 ROW)
Now, if you'd have “wal_keep_segments" in your config, PostgreSQL will not start:
=$ pg_ctl START waiting FOR server TO START....2020-07-27 10:29:10.244 GMT  LOG: unrecognized configuration parameter "wal_keep_segments" IN file "/home/pgdba/data/conf.d/depesz.conf" line 21 2020-07-27 10:29:10.244 GMT  FATAL: configuration file "/home/pgdba/data/conf.d/depesz.conf" contains errors stopped waiting pg_ctl: could NOT START server Examine the log output.
And instead you have to provide it as:
wal_keep_size = 16000
In psql, we can see that unit for the value is MB:
$ SELECT * FROM pg_settings WHERE name = 'wal_keep_size'; ─[ RECORD 1 ]───┬───────────────────────────────────────────────────── name │ wal_keep_size setting │ 16000 unit │ MB category │ Replication / Sending Servers short_desc │ Sets the SIZE OF WAL files held FOR standby servers. extra_desc │ [NULL] context │ sighup vartype │ INTEGER SOURCE │ configuration file min_val │ 0 max_val │ 2147483647 enumvals │ [NULL] boot_val │ 0 reset_val │ 16000 sourcefile │ /home/pgdba/DATA/conf.d/depesz.conf sourceline │ 16 pending_restart │ f
So, if your previous value in wal_keep_segments was “N", then, to achieve the same effect, you should set wal_keep_size to 16 * N.
Simple change, yet something that one has to be aware about when upgrading while keeping the same config source.
But – it will be more consistent and more readable, which I think is good. Thanks to all involved.