How to diagnose and fix the 58000 system_error error code in Postgres. 

The 58000 error code in PostgreSQL indicates a “system_error,” which is a generic class of errors that occur due to unforeseen system issues. These issues can stem from hardware faults, file system problems, misconfiguration of the database system, or other external factors affecting the database server’s ability to function correctly.

Diagnosing system errors often requires a close examination of the PostgreSQL server logs, the environment in which the database is running, and the operating system’s diagnostic tools. Here are some scenarios where a system error might occur, along with examples and approaches to diagnose and fix the issues:

Scenario 1: Disk Failure or File System Corruption

A disk failure or file system corruption can lead to system errors, as PostgreSQL may be unable to read from or write to the database files.


-- Errors occur when trying to access data on a corrupted disk.

Check the file system for errors and review the system logs for any disk-related errors. You may need to replace faulty hardware and restore data from backups.

Example Fix:

# On a Unix-like system, you might use fsck to check and repair the file system.
fsck /dev/sdX

Scenario 2: Insufficient Disk Space

Running out of disk space on the volume where the PostgreSQL data directory is located can cause system errors.


-- Errors occur when the database tries to write to the full disk.

Free up disk space by removing unnecessary files or by increasing the size of the disk volume. You may also need to adjust PostgreSQL’s cleanup and archiving settings to better manage disk space.

Example Fix:

# On a Unix-like system, you might use the following command to find large files.
find /path/to/data/directory -type f -exec ls -s {} \; | sort -n -r | head -n 5

# Clean up or move files as necessary.

Scenario 3: Incorrect File Permissions

If the file permissions of the PostgreSQL data directory or individual database files are incorrect, the server may not be able to access necessary files, leading to system errors.


-- Errors occur when the server cannot access its own data files due to permission issues.

Ensure that the PostgreSQL data directory and all subdirectories and files have the correct permissions and are owned by the PostgreSQL user.

Example Fix:

# On a Unix-like system, you might use the following commands to set the proper permissions.
chown -R postgres:postgres /path/to/data/directory
chmod -R 700 /path/to/data/directory

Scenario 4: Configuration Errors

Misconfiguration of PostgreSQL settings can lead to system errors, especially if the settings cause resource exhaustion or conflicting instructions.


-- Errors occur when misconfigured settings are loaded by the server.

Review the PostgreSQL configuration files, such as postgresql.conf and pg_hba.conf, for any incorrect settings. Correct them as needed and restart the PostgreSQL server.

Example Fix:

# Edit the configuration files and correct any misconfigured settings.
nano /path/to/postgresql.conf
# Restart the PostgreSQL server after making changes.
service postgresql restart

General Tips for Diagnosis and Fixes:

  1. Check Server Logs:
    Review the PostgreSQL server logs for detailed error messages that can help pinpoint the cause of the system error.
  2. Monitor System Resources:
    Use system monitoring tools to track disk usage, memory consumption, and CPU load to identify resource-related issues.
  3. Verify Configuration:
    Ensure that PostgreSQL and related system configurations are correct and that the database server is not running with incompatible or extreme settings.
  4. Test Hardware:
    Perform hardware diagnostics to rule out issues with memory, disks, or other components.
  5. Consult Documentation:
    Refer to the PostgreSQL documentation for guidance on configuration settings and system requirements.
  6. Seek Professional Help:
    If the issue persists and you’re unable to resolve it, consider seeking help from a professional database administrator or PostgreSQL support.

By methodically checking for common issues and using the appropriate diagnostic tools, you can identify the cause of a 58000 system_error in PostgreSQL and take steps to resolve it. Remember that system errors can be complex, and sometimes the resolution may involve multiple steps or assistance from IT professionals.

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