From PostgreSQL wiki
Hot Standby is the name for the capability to run queries on a database that is currently performing archive recovery. Log Shipping replication allows you to create one or more standby nodes that are replicas of the primary node (or master node). Standby nodes can then be used for read-only query access.
Hot Standby was developed for inclusion in PostgreSQL 9.0 by Simon Riggs of 2ndQuadrant via public sponsorship.
The feature was committed in PostgreSQL 8.5 Alpha3 and is available in PostgreSQL 9.0 and above. See the Hot Standby docs for full details.
This feature augments streaming replication feature that was introduced in PostgreSQL 9.1, though it does not rely on it and has minimal interaction with it.
Questions, issues and bugs
If you have a question/issue or wish to report a bug then you are welcome to do that via [the pgsql-bugs or pgsql-hackers mailing lists](http://www.postgresql.org/community/lists/). Please also copy simon@2ndQuadrant.com on hot standby related mail.
There is also a more extensive Binary Replication Tutorial
Setting up Hot Standby is much the same as Warm Standby, with a few extra parameters.
The most basic set of instructions you'll need are as follows:
- Create the master database
- Configure the master for WAL archiving
- Create a backup of the master
- Start up the hot standby instance
1. Create the master database
Use initdb to create the master database.
2. Configure the master for WAL archiving
The most limited set of parameters you'll need to change are:
wal_level = hot_standby archive_mode = on archive_command = 'cp -i %p /path/to/archive/%f'
Start the master database.
3. Create a backup of the master
The best option for creating the base backup is to use the standard pg_basebackup tool that comes with PostgreSQL 9.1 and above. If you intend to use 9.0 you will need to use your own scripts using pg_start_backup, pg_stop_backup, rsync or similar, and WAL archiving. pg_basebackup is strongly recommended instead.
A simple example might be, as the postgres user who wants to put a trial hot standby in the current directory, to run:
pg_basebackup -D hotstandby2 -w -R --xlog-method=stream --dbname="host=master user=postgres"
A more typical location to put the standby would be under /var/lib/pgsql or /var/lib/postgresql, depending on your install.
Windows and Mac users can use pg_basebackup, it isn't limited to unix/linux. It doesn't have to be run as the postgres user, that's just convention on unix/linux systems.
4. Start your standby server
Start up your standby server with pg_ctl or equivalent startup command for your operating system, running as the same user you made the pg_basebackup with:
pg_ctl -D hotstandby2 -l hotstandby2.log start
There are sometimes reasons why you cannot connect. Check the log for messages.
First, check that you are connected to the correct server and that the server is in recovery. You can check this by looking at "ps" output and looking for a "startup process". If you can't find one, you aren't in recovery.
If you can connect, check you are in recovery by running:
If you think you should be able to see an object or some data, check that the standby has processed all outstanding WAL. It may just be the standby is lagging behind.
Look at the current snapshot using:
Look at pg_locks and pg_stat_activity.