Server process name in Postgres and Oracle

Franck Pachot's picture

Every database analysis should start with system load analysis. If the host is in CPU starvation, then looking at other statistics can be pointless. With ‘top’ on Linux, or equivalent such as process explorer on Windows, you see the process (and threads). If the name of the process is meaningful, you already have a clue about the active sessions. Postgres goes further by showing the operation (which SQL command), the state (running or waiting), and the identification of the client.

Postgres

By default ‘top’ displays the program name (like ‘comm’ in /proc or in ‘ps’ format), which will be ‘postgres’ for all PostgreSQL processes. But you can also display the command line with ‘c’ in interactive mode, or directly starting with ‘top -c’, which is the same as the /proc/$pid/cmdline or ‘cmd’ or ‘args’ in ‘ps’ format.


top -c
 
Tasks: 263 total, 13 running, 250 sleeping, 0 stopped, 0 zombie
%Cpu(s): 24.4 us, 5.0 sy, 0.0 ni, 68.5 id, 0.9 wa, 0.0 hi, 1.2 si, 0.0 st
KiB Mem : 4044424 total, 558000 free, 2731380 used, 755044 buff/cache
KiB Swap: 421884 total, 418904 free, 2980 used. 2107088 avail Mem
 
PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
20347 postgres 20 0 394760 11660 8696 S 7.6 0.3 0:00.49 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37664) DELETE
20365 postgres 20 0 393816 11448 8736 S 6.9 0.3 0:00.37 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37669) idle
20346 postgres 20 0 393800 11440 8736 S 6.6 0.3 0:00.37 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37663) UPDATE
20356 postgres 20 0 396056 12480 8736 S 6.6 0.3 0:00.42 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37667) INSERT
20357 postgres 20 0 393768 11396 8736 S 6.6 0.3 0:00.40 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37668) DELETE waiting
20366 postgres 20 0 394728 11652 8736 S 6.6 0.3 0:00.35 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37670) UPDATE
20387 postgres 20 0 394088 11420 8720 S 6.6 0.3 0:00.41 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37676) UPDATE
20336 postgres 20 0 395032 12436 8736 S 6.3 0.3 0:00.37 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37661) UPDATE
20320 postgres 20 0 395032 12468 8736 R 5.9 0.3 0:00.33 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37658) DROP TABLE
20348 postgres 20 0 395016 12360 8736 R 5.9 0.3 0:00.33 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37665) VACUUM
20371 postgres 20 0 396008 12708 8736 R 5.9 0.3 0:00.40 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37673) INSERT
20321 postgres 20 0 396040 12516 8736 D 5.6 0.3 0:00.31 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37659) INSERT
20333 postgres 20 0 395016 11920 8700 R 5.6 0.3 0:00.36 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37660) UPDATE
20368 postgres 20 0 393768 11396 8736 R 5.6 0.3 0:00.43 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37671) UPDATE
20372 postgres 20 0 393768 11396 8736 R 5.6 0.3 0:00.36 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37674) INSERT
20340 postgres 20 0 394728 11700 8736 S 5.3 0.3 0:00.40 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37662) idle
20355 postgres 20 0 394120 11628 8672 S 5.3 0.3 0:00.32 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37666) DELETE waiting
20389 postgres 20 0 395016 12196 8724 R 5.3 0.3 0:00.37 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37677) UPDATE
20370 postgres 20 0 393768 11392 8736 S 4.6 0.3 0:00.34 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37672) DELETE
20376 postgres 20 0 393816 11436 8736 S 4.6 0.3 0:00.37 postgres: demo demo 192.168.56.125(37675) DELETE waiting
20243 postgres 20 0 392364 5124 3696 S 1.0 0.1 0:00.06 postgres: wal writer process

This is very useful information. Postgres changes the process title when it executes a statement. In this example:

  • ‘postgres:’ is the name of the process
  • ‘demo demo’ are the database name and the user name
  • ‘192.168.56.125(37664)’ are the IP address and port of the client.
  • DELETE, UPDATE… are the commands. They are more or less the command name used in the feed back after the command completion
  • ‘idle’ is for sessions not currently running a statement
  • ‘waiting’ is added when the session is waiting on a blocker session (enqueued on a lock for example)
  • ‘wal writer process’ is a background process

This is very useful information, especially because we have, on the same sampling, the Postgres session state (idle, waiting or running an operation) with the Linux process state (S when sleeping, R when runnable or running, D when in I/O,… ).

Oracle

With Oracle, you can have ASH to sample session state, but being able to see it at OS level would be great. It would also be a safeguard if we need to kill a process.

But, the Oracle processes do not change while running. They are set at connection time.

The background processes mention the Oracle process name and the Instance name:

[oracle@VM122 ~]$ ps -u oracle -o pid,comm,cmd,args | head
 
PID COMMAND CMD COMMAND
1873 ora_pmon_cdb2 ora_pmon_CDB2 ora_pmon_CDB2
1875 ora_clmn_cdb2 ora_clmn_CDB2 ora_clmn_CDB2
1877 ora_psp0_cdb2 ora_psp0_CDB2 ora_psp0_CDB2
1880 ora_vktm_cdb2 ora_vktm_CDB2 ora_vktm_CDB2
1884 ora_gen0_cdb2 ora_gen0_CDB2 ora_gen0_CDB2

The foreground processes mention the instance and the connection type, LOCAL=YES for bequeath, LOCAL=NO for remote via listener.


[oracle@VM122 ~]$ ps -u oracle -o pid,comm,cmd,args | grep -E "[ ]oracle_|[ ]PID"
 
PID COMMAND CMD COMMAND
21429 oracle_21429_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21431 oracle_21431_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21451 oracle_21451_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21517 oracle_21517_cd oracleCDB1 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB1 (LOCAL=NO)

You need to join V$PROCESS with V$SESSION on (V$PROCESS.ADDR=V$SESSION.PADDR) to find the state, operation and client information

For the fun, you can change the program name (ARGV0) and arguments (ARGS).

The local connections can change the name in the BEQueath connection string:


sqlplus -s system/oracle@"(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=BEQ)(PROGRAM=$ORACLE_HOME/bin/oracle)(ARGV0=postgres)(ARGS='(DESCRIPTION=(LOCAL=MAYBE)(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=BEQ)))')(ENVS='OLE_HOME=$ORACLE_HOME,ORACLE_SID=CDB1'))" <<< "host ps -u oracle -o pid,comm,cmd,args | grep -E '[ ]oracle_|[ ]PID'"
 
PID COMMAND CMD COMMAND
21155 oracle_21155_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21176 oracle_21176_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21429 oracle_21429_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21431 oracle_21431_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21451 oracle_21451_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21517 oracle_21517_cd oracleCDB1 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB1 (LOCAL=NO)
22593 oracle_22593_cd postgres (DESCRIPTION=(LOCA postgres (DESCRIPTION=(LOCAL=MAYBE)(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=BEQ)))

The remote connection can have the name changed from the static registration, adding an ARVG0 value on the listener side:


LISTENER=(DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=0.0.0.0)(PORT=1521)))
SID_LIST_LISTENER=(SID_LIST=
(SID_DESC=(GLOBAL_DBNAME=MYAPP)(ARGV0=myapp)(SID_NAME=CDB1)(ORACLE_HOME=/u01/app/oracle/product/12.2.0/dbhome_1))
(SID_DESC=(GLOBAL_DBNAME=CDB1_DGMGRL)(SID_NAME=CDB1)(ORACLE_HOME=/u01/app/oracle/product/12.2.0/dbhome_1))
(SID_DESC=(GLOBAL_DBNAME=CDB2_DGMGRL)(SID_NAME=CDB2)(ORACLE_HOME=/u01/app/oracle/product/12.2.0/dbhome_1))
)

When reloading the listener with this (ARGV0=myapp) to identify connection from this MYAPP service

[oracle@VM122 ~]$ sqlplus -s system/oracle@//localhost/MYAPP <<< "host ps -u oracle -o pid,comm,cmd,args | grep -E '[ ]oracle_|[ ]PID'"
PID COMMAND CMD COMMAND
21155 oracle_21155_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21176 oracle_21176_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21429 oracle_21429_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21431 oracle_21431_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21451 oracle_21451_cd oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB2 (LOCAL=NO)
21517 oracle_21517_cd oracleCDB1 (LOCAL=NO) oracleCDB1 (LOCAL=NO)
24261 oracle_24261_cd myapp (LOCAL=NO) myapp (LOCAL=NO)

However, I would not recommend to change the default. This can be very confusing for people expecting ora_xxxx_SID and oracleSID process names.

 

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