About This Guide

A newer version of this documentation is available. Click here to view the most up-to-date release of the Greenplum 4.x documentation.

About This Guide

This guide describes system and database administration tasks for Greenplum Database. The guide consists of five sections:

  • Greenplum Database Concepts describes Greenplum Database architecture and components. It introduces administration topics such as mirroring, parallel data loading, and Greenplum management and monitoring utilities.
  • Managing a Greenplum System contains information about everyday Greenplum Database system administration tasks. Topics include starting and stopping the server, client front-ends to access the database, configuring Greenplum, enabling high availability features, backing up and restoring databases, expanding the system by adding nodes, monitoring the system, and regular maintenance tasks.
  • Managing Greenplum Database Access covers configuring Greenplum Database authentication, managing roles and privileges, and setting up Kerberos athentication.
  • Working with Databases contains information about creating and managing databases, schemas, tables and other database objects. It describes how to view database metadata, insert, update, and delete data in tables, load data from external files, and run queries in a database.
  • Managing Performance describes how to monitor and manage system performance. It discusses how to define performance in a parallel environment, how to diagnose performance problems, workload and resource administration, and performance troubleshooting.

This guide assumes knowledge of Linux/UNIX system administration and database management systems. Familiarity with structured query language (SQL) is helpful.

Because Greenplum Database is based on PostgreSQL 8.2.15, this guide assumes some familiarity with PostgreSQL. References to PostgreSQL documentation are provided throughout this guide for features that are similar to those in Greenplum Database.

This guide provides information for system administrators responsible for administering a Greenplum Database system.

About the Greenplum Database Documentation Set

The Greenplum Database 4.3 documentation set consists of the following guides.

Table 1. Greenplum Database documentation set
Guide Name Description
Greenplum Database Administrator Guide Describes the Greenplum Database architecture and concepts such as parallel processing, and system administration and database administration tasks for Greenplum Database. System administraiton topics include configuring the server, monitoring system activity, enabling high-availability, backing up and restoring databases, and expanding the system. Database administration topics include creating databases and database objects, loading and manipulating data, writing queries, and monitoring and managing database performance.
Greenplum Database Reference Guide Reference information for Greenplum Database systems: SQL commands, system catalogs, environment variables, character set support, datatypes, the Greenplum MapReduce specification, postGIS extension, server parameters, the gp_toolkit administrative schema, and SQL 2008 support.
Greenplum Database Utility Guide Reference information for command-line utilities, client programs, and Oracle compatibility functions.
Greenplum Database Installation Guide Information and instructions for installing and initializing a Greenplum Database system.

Document Conventions

The following conventions are used throughout the Greenplum Database documentation to help you identify certain types of information.

Text Conventions

Table 2. Text Conventions
Text Convention Usage Examples
bold Button, menu, tab, page, and field names in GUI applications Click Cancel to exit the page without saving your changes.
italics New terms where they are defined

Database objects, such as schema, table, or column names

The master instance is the postgres process that accepts client connections.

Catalog information for Greenplum Database resides in the pg_catalog schema.

monospace File names and path names

Programs and executables

Command names and syntax

Parameter names

Edit the postgresql.conf file.

Use gpstart to start Greenplum Database.

monospace italics Variable information within file paths and file names

Variable information within command syntax


COPY tablename FROM 'filename'

monospace bold Used to call attention to a particular part of a command, parameter, or code snippet. Change the host name, port, and database name in the JDBC connection URL:


UPPERCASE Environment variables

SQL commands

Keyboard keys

Make sure that the Java /bin directory is in your $PATH .

SELECT * FROM my_table ;

Press CTRL+C to escape.

Command Syntax Conventions

Table 3. Command Syntax Conventions
Text Convention Usage Examples
{ } Within command syntax, curly braces group related command options. Do not type the curly braces. FROM { ' filename ' | STDIN }
[ ] Within command syntax, square brackets denote optional arguments. Do not type the brackets. TRUNCATE [ TABLE ] name
... Within command syntax, an ellipsis denotes repetition of a command, variable, or option. Do not type the ellipsis. DROP TABLE name [, ... ]
| Within command syntax, the pipe symbol denotes an "OR" relationship. Do not type the pipe symbol. VACUUM [ FULL | FREEZE ]
$ system_command

# root_system_command

=> gpdb_command

=# su_gpdb_command

Denotes a command prompt - do not type the prompt symbol. $ and # denote terminal command prompts. => and =# denote Greenplum Database interactive program command prompts (psql or gpssh, for example). $ createdb mydatabase

# chown gpadmin -R /datadir

=> SELECT * FROM mytable;

=# SELECT * FROM pg_database;

Getting Support

Pivotal/Greenplum support, product, and licensing information can be obtained as follows.

Product information and Technical Support

For technical support, documentation, release notes, software updates, or for information about Pivotal products, licensing, and services, go to www.pivotal.io.

Additionally, you can still obtain product and support information from the EMCSupport Site at: http://support.emc.com