PostgreSQL version:

effective_cache_size

Sets the planner's assumption about the effective size of the disk cache that is available to a single query. This is factored into estimates of the cost of using an index; a higher value makes it more likely index scans will be used, a lower value makes it more likely sequential scans will be used. When setting this parameter you should consider both PostgreSQL's shared buffers and the portion of the kernel's disk cache that will be used for PostgreSQL data files. Also, take into account the expected number of concurrent queries on different tables, since they will have to share the available space. This parameter has no effect on the size of shared memory allocated by PostgreSQL, nor does it reserve kernel disk cache; it is used only for estimation purposes. The system also does not assume data remains in the disk cache between queries. The default is 4 gigabytes (4GB).

Recommendations

Tells the PostgreSQL query planner how much RAM is estimated to be available for caching data, in both shared_buffers and in the filesystem cache. This setting just helps the planner make good cost estimates; it does not actually allocate the memory.

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