How much RAM is PostgreSQL using?

(disclaimer: all the data and examples in here are on Linux – the same data can be probably obtained on other systems too, it's just that I work on Linux and don't know other systems well).

This question pops occasionally in various places – PostgreSQL is using too much memory, why is that, and how can it be mitigated?

Before we can go to “optimizing", we should understand the problem. But do we? Both standard tools – ps and top – lie. How/why? Let's see.

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Tips N’ Tricks – using GNU Screen as shell

I'm quite often doing stuff on remote machines, and quite frequently I start some long-running job, when I remember that I didn't ran it via screen – so it will break, if my network connection will die.

Is there any sane way to start screen automatically? YES.

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Set operations in shell

I had this interesting case at work. We have imports of objects. Each object in import file has its “ID" (which can be any string). Same “ID" is in database.

So the idea is pretty simple – we can/should check how many of IDs from import were in database. Unfortunately – we'd rather not really do the comparison in DB, as it is pretty loaded.

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How to find newest file with given name?

This post will probably be boring for you, but this is mostly just a reminder to myself, written in form of a blog post.

So, I have a directory structure: /some/path/imported/DATE/TIME/file, where DATE is date of importing, in format YYYY-MM-DD, and TIME is time of importing, in format HHMMSS.

So, example paths look like this:


As you can see some of the files were imported many times.

Now, I need to find the latest import of given file.

So, I need a way to convert above list into:


Of course – with 10 imports, it's simple. But what if I had 10000 of them?

Luckily, it is rather simple:

find . -mindepth 3 -maxdepth 3 -exec basename {} \; | \
    sort -u | \
    while read DIR; \
    do \
        find . -name "$DIR" | \
        sort | \
        tail -n 1; \

Of course I typed it originally as one-liner 🙂

While writing the post I realized I could do better:

find . -mindepth 3 -maxdepth 3 | \
    sort -r -t/ -k4,4 -k2,2 | \
    awk -F/ 'BEGIN{prev="/"} ($4!=prev) {print $0; prev=$4}'

Well. I understand the code, and what it does, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm not really fan of shell programming.