How to diagnose and fix the 58P02 duplicate_file error code in Postgres.

The 58P02 error code in PostgreSQL indicates a duplicate_file issue, which occurs when a duplicate file is found in the PostgreSQL database, suggesting that the same file exists in multiple locations. This can happen in various scenarios, such as when a tablespace is being created or a file is being copied, and the target file already exists.

To diagnose and fix the 58P02 duplicate_file error, you’ll want to consider the context in which the error occurred. Here are some examples and sample code to explain and cover the possibilities:

Example 1: Duplicate Tablespace File

When creating a tablespace, PostgreSQL expects the directory specified to be empty. If a file with the same name already exists in the directory, you’ll encounter the 58P02 error.

CREATE TABLESPACE mytablespace LOCATION '/path/to/tablespace/directory';

Check the directory for existing files. If there’s a file with the same name as the tablespace, this is likely the cause of the error.

Remove or rename the existing file, or choose a different directory for the tablespace.

rm /path/to/tablespace/directory/existing_file

Example 2: Duplicate File in Data Directory

When restoring a database or moving files around within the data directory, you might accidentally create a duplicate file.

Identify the duplicate file by checking the PostgreSQL logs for more detailed error messages, which usually include the name of the offending file.

Remove the duplicate file from the data directory.

rm /path/to/data/directory/duplicate_file

Example 3: Copy File Operation

If you’re using low-level file operations or extensions that interact with the file system, you might inadvertently attempt to copy a file to a destination where a file with the same name already exists.

Review your SQL commands or scripts that perform copy operations, looking for any that might target an existing file.

Ensure that the destination for copy operations does not contain a file with the same name, or explicitly handle the case where a file might exist.

-- Pseudo-code to illustrate logic
IF NOT EXISTS (SELECT * FROM pg_ls_dir('destination_directory') WHERE filename = 'target_file') THEN
    -- Perform copy operation

When dealing with a 58P02 error, it is crucial to carefully examine the context and the operations that led to the error. Always ensure that you have appropriate backups before performing operations that modify the file system or database structure. If you continue to experience issues, consulting the PostgreSQL documentation on error codes can provide additional insights into the specific error you’re facing.

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