Question: How do you delete a PostgreSQL replication slot?


PostgreSQL replication slots are a feature introduced in version 9.4 to ensure that the master server retains WAL files that might still be needed by replicas, thereby preventing data loss during replication. However, there might be scenarios where you need to remove an unused or unnecessary replication slot to free up resources. Here's how you can do that:

Steps to Delete a PostgreSQL Replication Slot

  1. Identify the Replication Slot: Before deletion, you must know the name of the replication slot you wish to remove. You can list all available replication slots and their details using the pg_replication_slots view.

    SELECT * FROM pg_replication_slots;
  2. Delete the Replication Slot: Once you've identified the slot, you can delete it using the pg_drop_replication_slot(slot_name) function. Replace slot_name with the actual name of the slot you want to delete.

    SELECT pg_drop_replication_slot('your_slot_name');

    Ensure you replace 'your_slot_name' with the name of the replication slot you intend to delete.


  • Permission Requirements: You need superuser, replication, or database owner privileges to delete a replication slot.

  • Impact on Replicas: Make sure the replication slot you're planning to delete is not in use. Deleting a slot that's currently being used by a replica can cause replication issues, leading to potential data loss.

  • Transaction Logs Accumulation: If the reason for deleting the replication slot is because the WAL files are taking up too much space, consider monitoring and managing replication slots regularly to prevent future storage issues.

By following these steps, you can safely delete a PostgreSQL replication slot. It's a straightforward process but requires careful consideration to avoid impacting your replication setup negatively.

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