|PostgreSQL 8.2.6 Documentation|
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This is the amount of time, in milliseconds, to wait on a lock before checking to see if there is a deadlock condition. The check for deadlock is relatively slow, so the server doesn't run it every time it waits for a lock. We (optimistically?) assume that deadlocks are not common in production applications and just wait on the lock for a while before starting the check for a deadlock. Increasing this value reduces the amount of time wasted in needless deadlock checks, but slows down reporting of real deadlock errors. The default is one second ( 1s ), which is probably about the smallest value you would want in practice. On a heavily loaded server you might want to raise it. Ideally the setting should exceed your typical transaction time, so as to improve the odds that a lock will be released before the waiter decides to check for deadlock.
The shared lock table is created to track locks on max_locks_per_transaction * ( max_connections + max_prepared_transactions ) objects (e.g. tables); hence, no more than this many distinct objects can be locked at any one time. This parameter controls the average number of object locks allocated for each transaction; individual transactions can lock more objects as long as the locks of all transactions fit in the lock table. This is not the number of rows that can be locked; that value is unlimited. The default, 64, has historically proven sufficient, but you might need to raise this value if you have clients that touch many different tables in a single transaction. This parameter can only be set at server start.
Increasing this parameter may cause PostgreSQL to request more System V shared memory than your operating system's default configuration allows. See Section 16.4.1 for information on how to adjust those parameters, if necessary.