Troubleshooting PostgreSQL Performance: Analyzing Active Queries for Optimization

Troubleshooting PostgreSQL Performance: Analyzing Active Queries for Enhanced Optimization


When it comes to optimizing PostgreSQL performance, analyzing and troubleshooting active queries is a crucial step. In this technical blog, we will explore a powerful SQL query that provides valuable insights into active queries. By monitoring key metrics such as query duration, user, client address, application name, state, and wait events, PostgreSQL administrators and developers can effectively troubleshoot performance issues and enhance database performance. Join us as we delve into the query copied above and uncover its troubleshooting capabilities. 

Query Explanation:

The provided PostgreSQL query above allows for analysing active queries to identify potential performance bottlenecks. Let’s break down the different components: 

    • pid:Process ID of the active query.
    • now() – pg_stat_activity.query_start AS duration:Calculates the duration of the query by subtracting the query start time from the current timestamp.
    • query:The actual SQL query being executed.
    • usename:User name associated with the active query.
    • client_addr:IP address of the client machine running the query.
    • application_name:Name of the application executing the query.
    • state:Current state of the query.
    • wait_event_type:Type of event the query is waiting for, if any.
    • wait_event:Specific event the query is waiting for, if applicable.
    • pg_stat_get_backend_pid(pid) AS client_pid:Retrieves the client process ID associated with the active query.
  • FROM:Specifies the table or view from which the data is retrieved.
    • pg_stat_activity:A system view in PostgreSQL that provides information about current database activity, including active queries.
  • WHERE:Filters the rows based on the specified condition.
    • state = ‘active’:Filters only the active queries.
  • ORDER BY:Sorts the result set based on the specified column.
    • query_start DESC:Sorts the active queries based on their start time in descending order, showing the most recent ones first.

Troubleshooting PostgreSQL Performance:

By executing this query and analyzing the results, administrators and developers can troubleshoot PostgreSQL performance issues in the following ways: 

  1. Identifying long-running queries:Check the “duration” column to identify queries that have been running for a significant amount of time. Long-running queries may indicate performance bottlenecks that need optimization. 
  2. Monitoring user activity:Examine the “usename” column to understand which users are executing active queries. This information can help identify any specific user-related performance issues. 
  3. Analyzing wait events:The “wait_event_type” and “wait_event” columns provide insights into the events or resources the queries are waiting for. Understanding these wait events can help pinpoint performance bottlenecks and optimize resource usage. 
  4. Tracking client addresses and application names:The “client_addr” and “application_name” columns help identify the sources of active queries. This information can be useful in troubleshooting performance issues related to specific clients or applications. 
  5. Observing query states:The “state” column indicates the current state of each query. By analyzing query states, you can identify queries that are blocked, waiting, or executing, which can help diagnose performance bottlenecks. 


Efficiently troubleshooting PostgreSQL performance is essential for maintaining a high-performing database system. By leveraging the provided SQL query and analyzing active queries based on key metrics, administrators and developers can identify performance bottlenecks, optimize resource usage, and enhance overall database performance. Stay proactive in monitoring and analyzing active queries to ensure a smooth and responsive PostgreSQL environment. 

Optimize your PostgreSQL performance by utilizing the power of active query analysis and troubleshooting. Uncover the potential for improved performance and reliability in your PostgreSQL database system with comprehensive query monitoring and analysis. 

Experience peace of mind with MinervaDB’s 24/7 Consultative Support and Managed Services for PostgreSQL, MySQL, InnoDB, RocksDB, and ClickHouse. Contact us at or call (844) 588-7287 for unparalleled expertise and trusted solutions.

About Shiv Iyer 456 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.