Citus Tables and Views

Coordinator Metadata

Citus divides each distributed table into multiple logical shards based on the distribution column. The coordinator then maintains metadata tables to track statistics and information about the health and location of these shards. In this section, we describe each of these metadata tables and their schema. You can view and query these tables using SQL after logging into the coordinator node.

Partition table

The pg_dist_partition table stores metadata about which tables in the database are distributed. For each distributed table, it also stores information about the distribution method and detailed information about the distribution column.

Name Type Description
logicalrelid regclass
Distributed table to which this row corresponds. This value references
the relfilenode column in the pg_class system catalog table.
partmethod char
The method used for partitioning / distribution. The values of this
column corresponding to different distribution methods are :-
append: ‘a’
hash: ‘h’
reference table: ‘n’
partkey text
Detailed information about the distribution column including column
number, type and other relevant information.
colocationid integer
Co-location group to which this table belongs. Tables in the same group
allow co-located joins and distributed rollups among other
optimizations. This value references the colocationid column in the
pg_dist_colocation table.
repmodel char
The method used for data replication. The values of this column
corresponding to different replication methods are :-
* citus statement-based replication: ‘c’
* postgresql streaming replication: ‘s’
* two-phase commit (for reference tables): ‘t’
SELECT * from pg_dist_partition;
 logicalrelid  | partmethod |                                                        partkey                                                         | colocationid | repmodel
---------------+------------+------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+--------------+----------
 github_events | h          | {VAR :varno 1 :varattno 4 :vartype 20 :vartypmod -1 :varcollid 0 :varlevelsup 0 :varnoold 1 :varoattno 4 :location -1} |            2 | c
 (1 row)

Shard table

The pg_dist_shard table stores metadata about individual shards of a table. This includes information about which distributed table the shard belongs to and statistics about the distribution column for that shard. For append distributed tables, these statistics correspond to min / max values of the distribution column. In case of hash distributed tables, they are hash token ranges assigned to that shard. These statistics are used for pruning away unrelated shards during SELECT queries.

Name Type Description
logicalrelid regclass
Distributed table to which this shard belongs. This value references the
relfilenode column in the pg_class system catalog table.
shardid bigint
Globally unique identifier assigned to this shard.
shardstorage char
Type of storage used for this shard. Different storage types are
discussed in the table below.
shardminvalue text
For append distributed tables, minimum value of the distribution column
in this shard (inclusive).
For hash distributed tables, minimum hash token value assigned to that
shard (inclusive).
shardmaxvalue text
For append distributed tables, maximum value of the distribution column
in this shard (inclusive).
For hash distributed tables, maximum hash token value assigned to that
shard (inclusive).
SELECT * from pg_dist_shard;
 logicalrelid  | shardid | shardstorage | shardminvalue | shardmaxvalue
---------------+---------+--------------+---------------+---------------
 github_events |  102026 | t            | 268435456     | 402653183
 github_events |  102027 | t            | 402653184     | 536870911
 github_events |  102028 | t            | 536870912     | 671088639
 github_events |  102029 | t            | 671088640     | 805306367
 (4 rows)

Shard Storage Types

The shardstorage column in pg_dist_shard indicates the type of storage used for the shard. A brief overview of different shard storage types and their representation is below.

Storage Type Shardstorage value Description
TABLE ‘t’
Indicates that shard stores data belonging to a regular
distributed table.
COLUMNAR ‘c’
Indicates that shard stores columnar data. (Used by
distributed cstore_fdw tables)
FOREIGN ‘f’
Indicates that shard stores foreign data. (Used by
distributed file_fdw tables)

Shard placement table

The pg_dist_placement table tracks the location of shard replicas on worker nodes. Each replica of a shard assigned to a specific node is called a shard placement. This table stores information about the health and location of each shard placement.

Name Type Description
shardid bigint
Shard identifier associated with this placement. This value references
the shardid column in the pg_dist_shard catalog table.
shardstate int
Describes the state of this placement. Different shard states are
discussed in the section below.
shardlength bigint
For append distributed tables, the size of the shard placement on the
worker node in bytes.
For hash distributed tables, zero.
placementid bigint
Unique auto-generated identifier for each individual placement.
groupid int
Identifier used to denote a group of one primary server and zero or more
secondary servers, when the streaming replication model is used.
SELECT * from pg_dist_placement;
  shardid | shardstate | shardlength | placementid | groupid
 ---------+------------+-------------+-------------+---------
   102008 |          1 |           0 |           1 |       1
   102008 |          1 |           0 |           2 |       2
   102009 |          1 |           0 |           3 |       2
   102009 |          1 |           0 |           4 |       3
   102010 |          1 |           0 |           5 |       3
   102010 |          1 |           0 |           6 |       4
   102011 |          1 |           0 |           7 |       4

Note

As of Citus 7.0 the analogous table pg_dist_shard_placement has been deprecated. It included the node name and port for each placement:

SELECT * from pg_dist_shard_placement;
  shardid | shardstate | shardlength | nodename  | nodeport | placementid
 ---------+------------+-------------+-----------+----------+-------------
   102008 |          1 |           0 | localhost |    12345 |           1
   102008 |          1 |           0 | localhost |    12346 |           2
   102009 |          1 |           0 | localhost |    12346 |           3
   102009 |          1 |           0 | localhost |    12347 |           4
   102010 |          1 |           0 | localhost |    12347 |           5
   102010 |          1 |           0 | localhost |    12345 |           6
   102011 |          1 |           0 | localhost |    12345 |           7

That information is now available by joining pg_dist_placement with pg_dist_node on the groupid. For compatibility Citus still provides pg_dist_shard_placement as a view. However we recommend using the new, more normalized, tables when possible.

Shard Placement States

Citus manages shard health on a per-placement basis and automatically marks a placement as unavailable if leaving the placement in service would put the cluster in an inconsistent state. The shardstate column in the pg_dist_placement table is used to store the state of shard placements. A brief overview of different shard placement states and their representation is below.

State name Shardstate value Description
FINALIZED 1
This is the state new shards are created in. Shard placements
in this state are considered up-to-date and are used in query
planning and execution.
INACTIVE 3
Shard placements in this state are considered inactive due to
being out-of-sync with other replicas of the same shard. This
can occur when an append, modification (INSERT, UPDATE or
DELETE ) or a DDL operation fails for this placement. The query
planner will ignore placements in this state during planning and
execution. Users can synchronize the data in these shards with
a finalized replica as a background activity.
TO_DELETE 4
If Citus attempts to drop a shard placement in response to a
master_apply_delete_command call and fails, the placement is
moved to this state. Users can then delete these shards as a
subsequent background activity.

Worker node table

The pg_dist_node table contains information about the worker nodes in the cluster.

Name Type Description
nodeid int
Auto-generated identifier for an individual node.
groupid int
Identifier used to denote a group of one primary server and zero or more
secondary servers, when the streaming replication model is used. By
default it is the same as the nodeid.
nodename text
Host Name or IP Address of the PostgreSQL worker node.
nodeport int
Port number on which the PostgreSQL worker node is listening.
noderack text
(Optional) Rack placement information for the worker node.
hasmetadata boolean
Reserved for internal use.
isactive boolean
Whether the node is active accepting shard placements.
noderole text
Whether the node is a primary or secondary
nodecluster text
The name of the cluster containing this node
shouldhaveshards boolean
If false, shards will be moved off node (drained) when rebalancing,
nor will shards from new distributed tables be placed on the node,
unless they are colocated with shards already there
SELECT * from pg_dist_node;
 nodeid | groupid | nodename  | nodeport | noderack | hasmetadata | isactive | noderole | nodecluster | shouldhaveshards
--------+---------+-----------+----------+----------+-------------+----------+----------+-------------+------------------
      1 |       1 | localhost |    12345 | default  | f           | t        | primary  | default     | t
      2 |       2 | localhost |    12346 | default  | f           | t        | primary  | default     | t
      3 |       3 | localhost |    12347 | default  | f           | t        | primary  | default     | t
(3 rows)

Distributed object table

The citus.pg_dist_object table contains a list of objects such as types and functions that have been created on the coordinator node and propagated to worker nodes. When an administrator adds new worker nodes to the cluster, Citus automatically creates copies of the distributed objects on the new nodes (in the correct order to satisfy object dependencies).

Name Type Description
classid oid Class of the distributed object
objid oid Object id of the distributed object
objsubid integer Object sub id of the distributed object, e.g. attnum
type text Part of the stable address used during pg upgrades
object_names text[] Part of the stable address used during pg upgrades
object_args text[] Part of the stable address used during pg upgrades
distribution_argument_index integer Only valid for distributed functions/procedures
colocationid integer Only valid for distributed functions/procedures

“Stable addresses” uniquely identify objects independently of a specific server. Citus tracks objects during a PostgreSQL upgrade using stable addresses created with the pg_identify_object_as_address() function.

Here’s an example of how create_distributed_function() adds entries to the citus.pg_dist_object table:

CREATE TYPE stoplight AS enum ('green', 'yellow', 'red');

CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION intersection()
RETURNS stoplight AS $$
DECLARE
        color stoplight;
BEGIN
        SELECT *
          FROM unnest(enum_range(NULL::stoplight)) INTO color
         ORDER BY random() LIMIT 1;
        RETURN color;
END;
$$ LANGUAGE plpgsql VOLATILE;

SELECT create_distributed_function('intersection()');

-- will have two rows, one for the TYPE and one for the FUNCTION
TABLE citus.pg_dist_object;
-[ RECORD 1 ]---------------+------
classid                     | 1247
objid                       | 16780
objsubid                    | 0
type                        |
object_names                |
object_args                 |
distribution_argument_index |
colocationid                |
-[ RECORD 2 ]---------------+------
classid                     | 1255
objid                       | 16788
objsubid                    | 0
type                        |
object_names                |
object_args                 |
distribution_argument_index |
colocationid                |

Co-location group table

The pg_dist_colocation table contains information about which tables’ shards should be placed together, or co-located. When two tables are in the same co-location group, Citus ensures shards with the same partition values will be placed on the same worker nodes. This enables join optimizations, certain distributed rollups, and foreign key support. Shard co-location is inferred when the shard counts, replication factors, and partition column types all match between two tables; however, a custom co-location group may be specified when creating a distributed table, if so desired.

Name Type Description
colocationid int
Unique identifier for the co-location group this row corresponds to.
shardcount int
Shard count for all tables in this co-location group
replicationfactor int
Replication factor for all tables in this co-location group.
distributioncolumntype oid
The type of the distribution column for all tables in this
co-location group.
SELECT * from pg_dist_colocation;
  colocationid | shardcount | replicationfactor | distributioncolumntype
 --------------+------------+-------------------+------------------------
             2 |         32 |                 2 |                     20
  (1 row)

Rebalancer strategy table

Note

The pg_dist_rebalance_strategy table is a part of Citus Enterprise. Please contact us to obtain this functionality.

This table defines strategies that rebalance_table_shards can use to determine where to move shards.

Name Type Description
name name
Unique name for the strategy
default_strategy boolean
Whether rebalance_table_shards should choose this strategy by
this column
shard_cost_function regproc
Identifier for a cost function, which must take a shardid as bigint,
and return its notion of a cost, as type real
node_capacity_function regproc
Identifier for a capacity function, which must take a nodeid as int,
and return its notion of node capacity as type real
shard_allowed_on_node_function regproc
Identifier for a function that given shardid bigint, and nodeidarg int,
returns boolean for whether the shard is allowed to be stored on the
node
default_threshold float4
Threshold for deeming a node too full or too empty, which determines
when the rebalance_table_shards should try to move shards
minimum_threshold float4
A safeguard to prevent the threshold argument of
rebalance_table_shards() from being set too low

A Citus installation ships with these strategies in the table:

SELECT * FROM pg_dist_rebalance_strategy;
-[ RECORD 1 ]-------------------+-----------------------------------
Name                            | by_shard_count
default_strategy                | true
shard_cost_function             | citus_shard_cost_1
node_capacity_function          | citus_node_capacity_1
shard_allowed_on_node_function  | citus_shard_allowed_on_node_true
default_threshold               | 0
minimum_threshold               | 0
-[ RECORD 2 ]-------------------+-----------------------------------
Name                            | by_disk_size
default_strategy                | false
shard_cost_function             | citus_shard_cost_by_disk_size
node_capacity_function          | citus_node_capacity_1
shard_allowed_on_node_function  | citus_shard_allowed_on_node_true
default_threshold               | 0.1
minimum_threshold               | 0.01

The default strategy, by_shard_count, assigns every shard the same cost. Its effect is to equalize the shard count across nodes. The other predefined strategy, by_disk_size, assigns a cost to each shard matching its disk size in bytes plus that of the shards that are colocated with it. The disk size is calculated using pg_total_relation_size, so it includes indices. This strategy attempts to achieve the same disk space on every node. Note the threshold of 0.1 – it prevents unnecessary shard movement caused by insigificant differences in disk space.

Creating custom rebalancer strategies

Here are examples of functions that can be used within new shard rebalancer strategies, and registered in the Rebalancer strategy table with the citus_add_rebalance_strategy function.

  • Setting a node capacity exception by hostname pattern:

    -- example of node_capacity_function
    
    CREATE FUNCTION v2_node_double_capacity(nodeidarg int)
        RETURNS boolean AS $$
        SELECT
            (CASE WHEN nodename LIKE '%.v2.worker.citusdata.com' THEN 2 ELSE 1 END)
        FROM pg_dist_node where nodeid = nodeidarg
        $$ LANGUAGE sql;
    
  • Rebalancing by number of queries that go to a shard, as measured by the Query statistics table:

    -- example of shard_cost_function
    
    CREATE FUNCTION cost_of_shard_by_number_of_queries(shardid bigint)
        RETURNS real AS $$
        SELECT coalesce(sum(calls)::real, 0.001) as shard_total_queries
        FROM citus_stat_statements
        WHERE partition_key is not null
            AND get_shard_id_for_distribution_column('tab', partition_key) = shardid;
    $$ LANGUAGE sql;
    
  • Isolating a specific shard (10000) on a node (address ‘10.0.0.1’):

    -- example of shard_allowed_on_node_function
    
    CREATE FUNCTION isolate_shard_10000_on_10_0_0_1(shardid bigint, nodeidarg int)
        RETURNS boolean AS $$
        SELECT
            (CASE WHEN nodename = '10.0.0.1' THEN shardid = 10000 ELSE shardid != 10000 END)
        FROM pg_dist_node where nodeid = nodeidarg
        $$ LANGUAGE sql;
    
    -- The next two definitions are recommended in combination with the above function.
    -- This way the average utilization of nodes is not impacted by the isolated shard.
    CREATE FUNCTION no_capacity_for_10_0_0_1(nodeidarg int)
        RETURNS real AS $$
        SELECT
            (CASE WHEN nodename = '10.0.0.1' THEN 0 ELSE 1 END)::real
        FROM pg_dist_node where nodeid = nodeidarg
        $$ LANGUAGE sql;
    CREATE FUNCTION no_cost_for_10000(shardid bigint)
        RETURNS real AS $$
        SELECT
            (CASE WHEN shardid = 10000 THEN 0 ELSE 1 END)::real
        $$ LANGUAGE sql;
    

Query statistics table

Note

The citus_stat_statements view is a part of Citus Enterprise. Please contact us to obtain this functionality.

Citus provides citus_stat_statements for stats about how queries are being executed, and for whom. It’s analogous to (and can be joined with) the pg_stat_statements view in PostgreSQL which tracks statistics about query speed.

This view can trace queries to originating tenants in a multi-tenant application, which helps for deciding when to do Tenant Isolation.

Name Type Description
queryid bigint identifier (good for pg_stat_statements joins)
userid oid user who ran the query
dbid oid database instance of coordinator
query text anonymized query string
executor text Citus executor used: adaptive, real-time, task-tracker, router, or insert-select
partition_key text value of distribution column in router-executed queries, else NULL
calls bigint number of times the query was run
-- create and populate distributed table
create table foo ( id int );
select create_distributed_table('foo', 'id');
insert into foo select generate_series(1,100);

-- enable stats
-- pg_stat_statements must be in shared_preload libraries
create extension pg_stat_statements;

select count(*) from foo;
select * from foo where id = 42;

select * from citus_stat_statements;

Results:

-[ RECORD 1 ]-+----------------------------------------------
queryid       | -909556869173432820
userid        | 10
dbid          | 13340
query         | insert into foo select generate_series($1,$2)
executor      | insert-select
partition_key |
calls         | 1
-[ RECORD 2 ]-+----------------------------------------------
queryid       | 3919808845681956665
userid        | 10
dbid          | 13340
query         | select count(*) from foo;
executor      | adaptive
partition_key |
calls         | 1
-[ RECORD 3 ]-+----------------------------------------------
queryid       | 5351346905785208738
userid        | 10
dbid          | 13340
query         | select * from foo where id = $1
executor      | adaptive
partition_key | 42
calls         | 1

Caveats:

  • The stats data is not replicated, and won’t survive database crashes or failover
  • Tracks a limited number of queries, set by the pg_stat_statements.max GUC (default 5000)
  • To truncate the table, use the citus_stat_statements_reset() function

Distributed Query Activity

In some situations, queries might get blocked on row-level locks on one of the shards on a worker node. If that happens then those queries would not show up in pg_locks on the Citus coordinator node.

Citus provides special views to watch queries and locks throughout the cluster, including shard-specific queries used internally to build results for distributed queries.

  • citus_dist_stat_activity: shows the distributed queries that are executing on all nodes. A superset of pg_stat_activity, usable wherever the latter is.
  • citus_worker_stat_activity: shows queries on workers, including fragment queries against individual shards.
  • citus_lock_waits: Blocked queries throughout the cluster.

The first two views include all columns of pg_stat_activity plus the host host/port of the worker that initiated the query and the host/port of the coordinator node of the cluster.

For example, consider counting the rows in a distributed table:

-- run from worker on localhost:9701

SELECT count(*) FROM users_table;

We can see the query appear in citus_dist_stat_activity:

SELECT * FROM citus_dist_stat_activity;

-[ RECORD 1 ]----------+----------------------------------
query_hostname         | localhost
query_hostport         | 9701
master_query_host_name | localhost
master_query_host_port | 9701
transaction_number     | 1
transaction_stamp      | 2018-10-05 13:27:20.691907+03
datid                  | 12630
datname                | postgres
pid                    | 23723
usesysid               | 10
usename                | citus
application_name       | psql
client_addr            |
client_hostname        |
client_port            | -1
backend_start          | 2018-10-05 13:27:14.419905+03
xact_start             | 2018-10-05 13:27:16.362887+03
query_start            | 2018-10-05 13:27:20.682452+03
state_change           | 2018-10-05 13:27:20.896546+03
wait_event_type        | Client
wait_event             | ClientRead
state                  | idle in transaction
backend_xid            |
backend_xmin           |
query                  | SELECT count(*) FROM users_table;
backend_type           | client backend

This query requires information from all shards. Some of the information is in shard users_table_102038 which happens to be stored in localhost:9700. We can see a query accessing the shard by looking at the citus_worker_stat_activity view:

SELECT * FROM citus_worker_stat_activity;

-[ RECORD 1 ]----------+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
query_hostname         | localhost
query_hostport         | 9700
master_query_host_name | localhost
master_query_host_port | 9701
transaction_number     | 1
transaction_stamp      | 2018-10-05 13:27:20.691907+03
datid                  | 12630
datname                | postgres
pid                    | 23781
usesysid               | 10
usename                | citus
application_name       | citus
client_addr            | ::1
client_hostname        |
client_port            | 51773
backend_start          | 2018-10-05 13:27:20.75839+03
xact_start             | 2018-10-05 13:27:20.84112+03
query_start            | 2018-10-05 13:27:20.867446+03
state_change           | 2018-10-05 13:27:20.869889+03
wait_event_type        | Client
wait_event             | ClientRead
state                  | idle in transaction
backend_xid            |
backend_xmin           |
query                  | COPY (SELECT count(*) AS count FROM users_table_102038 users_table WHERE true) TO STDOUT
backend_type           | client backend

The query field shows data being copied out of the shard to be counted.

Note

If a router query (e.g. single-tenant in a multi-tenant application, SELECT * FROM table WHERE tenant_id = X) is executed without a transaction block, then master_query_host_name and master_query_host_port columns will be NULL in citus_worker_stat_activity.

To see how citus_lock_waits works, we can generate a locking situation manually. First we’ll set up a test table from the coordinator:

CREATE TABLE numbers AS
  SELECT i, 0 AS j FROM generate_series(1,10) AS i;
SELECT create_distributed_table('numbers', 'i');

Then, using two sessions on the coordinator, we can run this sequence of statements:

-- session 1                           -- session 2
-------------------------------------  -------------------------------------
BEGIN;
UPDATE numbers SET j = 2 WHERE i = 1;
                                       BEGIN;
                                       UPDATE numbers SET j = 3 WHERE i = 1;
                                       -- (this blocks)

The citus_lock_waits view shows the situation.

SELECT * FROM citus_lock_waits;

-[ RECORD 1 ]-------------------------+----------------------------------------
waiting_pid                           | 88624
blocking_pid                          | 88615
blocked_statement                     | UPDATE numbers SET j = 3 WHERE i = 1;
current_statement_in_blocking_process | UPDATE numbers SET j = 2 WHERE i = 1;
waiting_node_id                       | 0
blocking_node_id                      | 0
waiting_node_name                     | coordinator_host
blocking_node_name                    | coordinator_host
waiting_node_port                     | 5432
blocking_node_port                    | 5432

In this example the queries originated on the coordinator, but the view can also list locks between queries originating on workers.

Tables on all Nodes

Citus has other informational tables and views which are accessible on all nodes, not just the coordinator.

Connection Credentials Table

Note

This table is a part of Citus Enterprise Edition. Please contact us to obtain this functionality.

The pg_dist_authinfo table holds authentication parameters used by Citus nodes to connect to one another.

Name Type Description
nodeid integer Node id from Worker node table, or 0, or -1
rolename name Postgres role
authinfo text Space-separated libpq connection parameters

Upon beginning a connection, a node consults the table to see whether a row with the destination nodeid and desired rolename exists. If so, the node includes the corresponding authinfo string in its libpq connection. A common example is to store a password, like 'password=abc123', but you can review the full list of possibilities.

The parameters in authinfo are space-separated, in the form key=val. To write an empty value, or a value containing spaces, surround it with single quotes, e.g., keyword='a value'. Single quotes and backslashes within the value must be escaped with a backslash, i.e., \' and \\.

The nodeid column can also take the special values 0 and -1, which mean all nodes or loopback connections, respectively. If, for a given node, both specific and all-node rules exist, the specific rule has precedence.

SELECT * FROM pg_dist_authinfo;

 nodeid | rolename | authinfo
--------+----------+-----------------
    123 | jdoe     | password=abc123
(1 row)

Connection Pooling Credentials

Note

This table is a part of Citus Enterprise Edition. Please contact us to obtain this functionality.

If you want to use a connection pooler to connect to a node, you can specify the pooler options using pg_dist_poolinfo. This metadata table holds the host, port and database name for Citus to use when connecting to a node through a pooler.

If pool information is present, Citus will try to use these values instead of setting up a direct connection. The pg_dist_poolinfo information in this case supersedes pg_dist_node.

Name Type Description
nodeid integer Node id from Worker node table
poolinfo text Space-separated parameters: host, port, or dbname

Note

In some situations Citus ignores the settings in pg_dist_poolinfo. For instance Shard rebalancing is not compatible with connection poolers such as pgbouncer. In these scenarios Citus will use a direct connection.

-- how to connect to node 1 (as identified in pg_dist_node)

INSERT INTO pg_dist_poolinfo (nodeid, poolinfo)
     VALUES (1, 'host=127.0.0.1 port=5433');