PostgreSQL Lock Analysis: Identifying and Resolving Resource Conflicts

PostgreSQL Lock Analysis: Resolving Resource Conflicts for Improved Database Performance


In PostgreSQL, managing concurrent access to resources is crucial for maintaining data integrity and application performance. When multiple transactions contend for the same resources, conflicts can occur, leading to blocked processes and potential performance degradation. In this technical blog, we will explore a powerful SQL query that helps identify and resolve resource conflicts by analyzing PostgreSQL locks and associated activities.

SQL Query:

Explanation and Analysis:

The SQL query presented above provides valuable insights into resource conflicts by retrieving information about blocked processes and their blocking counterparts. Here’s a breakdown of the query’s components and their significance:

  1. Tables and Joins:
    • pg_locks and pg_stat_activity: These system catalog tables store information about locks and associated activities.
    • blocked_locks and blocked_activity: Represent the locks and activities of blocked processes.
    • blocking_locks and blocking_activity: Represent the locks and activities of blocking processes.
    • Joins are performed based on matching criteria to identify the relationships between blocked and blocking processes.
  2. Filter Conditions:
    • blocked_locks.granted AND NOT blocking_locks.granted: Filters the results to include only granted locks for blocked processes and exclude granted locks for blocking processes.
  3. Result Columns:
    • blocked_pid and blocking_pid: Process IDs of the blocked and blocking processes, respectively.
    • blocked_user and blocking_user: Usernames associated with the blocked and blocking processes, respectively.
    • blocked_query and blocking_query: Queries executed by the blocked and blocking processes, respectively.
  4. Analysis and Resolution:
    • Identify the processes involved in resource conflicts, including their process IDs, usernames, and executed queries.
    • Investigate the specific resource or lock causing the blockage and the corresponding transactions.
    • Take appropriate actions to resolve the conflicts, such as terminating blocking processes, adjusting transaction isolation levels, or optimizing query performance.


Resource conflicts can significantly impact the performance and responsiveness of PostgreSQL databases. By utilizing the provided SQL query to analyze locks and associated activities, administrators can quickly identify blocking processes, determine the causes of conflicts, and take appropriate measures to alleviate the issues. Regular monitoring and proactive resolution of resource conflicts contribute to a more efficient and reliable PostgreSQL environment.

For further assistance or PostgreSQL consulting services, please contact MinervaDB at or call us at (844) 588-7287.

Note: The SQL query presented is a powerful diagnostic tool, but exercise caution when taking actions based on the results. Make sure to thoroughly understand the context and potential impacts of resolving resource conflicts.

About Shiv Iyer 455 Articles
Open Source Database Systems Engineer with a deep understanding of Optimizer Internals, Performance Engineering, Scalability and Data SRE. Shiv currently is the Founder, Investor, Board Member and CEO of multiple Database Systems Infrastructure Operations companies in the Transaction Processing Computing and ColumnStores ecosystem. He is also a frequent speaker in open source software conferences globally.