Friday, October 16, 2015

How to find what's causing that error

Tom Lane just posted a terrific piece of advice about how to find what's causing an error you don't know the source of, which is worth quoting:
What I would recommend is that you get the data onto a non-production
machine where you can play around a bit more. One thing you could do
then is run a build with debug symbols, attach to the backend process
with gdb, and set a breakpoint at "errfinish". Then provoke the error,
and capture a backtrace from the call to errfinish. That would greatly
narrow things down, though it might not be enough to isolate the bug
I normally like to have debuginfo packages installed even on production machines so I can do this sort of thing quickly.

Another thing you can try in a non-production environment is to run your test case against a build with assertions enabled and see if it trips an assertion failure. That's often a quick way of finding where problems are occurring.

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