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PostgreSQL 9.0 High Performance by Gregory Smith

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Dedicated server guidelines

Initial server tuning can be turned into a fairly mechanical process:

  1. Adjust the logging default to be more verbose.
  2. Determine how large to set shared_buffers to. Start at 25 percent of system memory. Considering adjusting upward if you're on a recent PostgreSQL version with spread checkpoints and know your workload benefits from giving memory directory to the buffer cache. If you're on a platform where this parameter is not so useful, limit its value or adjust downward accordingly.
  3. Estimate your maximum connections generously, as this is a hard limit; clients will be refused connection once it's reached.
  4. Start the server with these initial parameters. Note how much memory is still available for the OS filesystem cache. ...

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