Configuring PG Failover Slots

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You must add the extension to shared_preload_libraries on both the primary instance as well as any standby that's used for high availability (failover or switchover) purposes.

Prerequisite settings

The following settings are required:

  • hot_standby_feedback must be on.
  • primary_slot_name must be non-empty.

These settings are necessary to connect to the primary so it can send the xmin and catalog_xmin separately over hot_standby_feedback.

Configuration options

You can configure the behavior of PG Failover Slots using the following configuration options in postgresql.conf. The configuration options have the prefix pg_failover_slots., for example, pg_failover_slots.synchronize_slot_names.


Option that allows you to set the logical slots to synchronize to this physical standby.

Select slots to synchronize by using a slot filter. These slot filters can match a specifically named slot, slots with names matching an SQL LIKE expression, or the name of a plugin that a slot is using. Define slot filters as a key:value pair, where the key can be one of:

  • name Match an exact slot name, for example, name:my_slot.
  • name_like Match any slot name that matches an SQL LIKE expressions, for example, name_like:change_%.
  • plugin Match any slot using a named plugin, for example, plugin:test_decoding.

Where you don't specify a key, the system defaults to interpreting it as a name. So my_slot is equivalent to name:my_slot.

You can combine slot filters in a comma-separated string value. Setting my_slot,name_like:change_%,plugin:test_decoding synchronizes the slot named my_slot, any slot whose name began with change_, and any slot that used the test_decoding plugin.

If pg_failover_slots.synchronize_slot_names is set to an empty string, no slots are synchronized.

The default value for pg_failover_slots.synchronize_slot_names is name_like:%, which matches all logical replication slots and synchronizes all slots.


Controls what happens to extra slots on the standby that aren't found on the primary using the pg_failover_slots.synchronize_slot_names filter. When set to true (the default), they are dropped. Otherwise, they're retained.


Specifies the connection string to use to connect to the primary when fetching slot information.

If empty (the default), then it uses the same connection string as primary_conninfo.


You can't use primary_conninfo if there's a password field in the connection string. The password gets obfuscated by PostgreSQL, and PG Failover Slots can't actually see the password. In this case, you must configure pg_failover_slots.primary_dsn.


Ensures that the failover-candidate streaming physical replicas received and flushed all changes before they ever become visible to any subscribers. This option guarantees that a commit can't vanish on failover to a standby for the consumer of a logical slot.

Replication slots whose names are included in the comma-separated pg_failover_slots.standby_slot_names list are treated specially by the walsender on the primary.

Logical replication walsenders ensure that all local changes are sent and flushed to the replication slots in pg_failover_slots.standby_slot_names before the walsender sends those changes for the logical replication slots. Effectively, it provides a synchronous replication barrier between the named list of slots and all the consumers of logically decoded streams from walsender.

You can list any replication slot in pg_failover_slots.standby_slot_names. Both logical and physical slots work, but it's generally used for physical slots.

Without this safeguard, two anomalies are possible where a commit can be received by a subscriber and then vanish from the provider on failover because the failover candidate didn't received it yet:

  • For one or more subscribers, the subscriber might have applied the change, but the new provider might execute new transactions that conflict with the received change, as it never happened as far as the provider is concerned.

  • For two or more subscribers, at the time of failover, not all subscribers applied the change. The subscribers now have inconsistent and irreconcilable states because the subscribers that didn't receive the commit have no way to get it now.

Setting pg_failover_slots.standby_slot_names causes subscribers to lag behind the provider if the provider's failover-candidate replicas aren't keeping up, by design. Monitoring is thus essential.


Controls how many of the pg_failover_slots.standby_slot_names have to confirm before data is sent through the logical replication slots. Setting -1 (the default) specifies to wait for all entries in pg_failover_slots.standby_slot_names.

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