Tips N’ Tricks – getting sizes of relations without locks

If you have production DB servers, chances are you're running variant of these queries:

SELECT SUM(pg_relation_size(oid)) FROM pg_class WHERE relkind = 'i'
SELECT SUM(pg_relation_size(oid)) FROM pg_class WHERE relkind = 'r'

To get summarized size of tables and/or indexes in your database (for example for graphing purposes).

This (getting pg_relation_size for rows in pg_class) has one problem – it can lock, or it can fail.

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