Difference between fetched and returned tuples in postgresql

Posted on

Question :

I’m facing a hard time trying to figure it out some performance problems in my database. I’m using a bunch of resources online to learn what to monitor and how to interpret that information.

From the above, I’m unable to find a clear explanation of what is the difference between pg_stat_database.tup_returned and pg_stat_database.tup_fetched.

In pgAdmin4, there is a beautiful chart called “Tuples out” where these two concepts are contrasted, but I don’t know how to interpret the info. In the official documentation only says that:

  • tup_returned: Number of rows returned by queries in this database
  • tup_fetched: Number of rows fetched by queries in this database

What exactly does “fetched” and “returned” mean?

I’m using postgresql 10.

Answer :

If you do select count(*) from million_row_table, one million row wills be returned, but only one row will be fetched.

I can’t see I’ve ever found these fields useful for diagnosing performance problems. Find your slow query and do an EXPLAIN (ANALYZE, BUFFERS) of it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *