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Amazon Redshift
Database Developer Guide (API Version 2012-12-01)

Step 5: Query the System Tables

In addition to the tables that you create, your database contains a number of system tables. These system tables contain information about your installation and about the various queries and processes that are running on the system. You can query these system tables to collect information about your database.

Note

The description for each table in the System Tables Reference indicates whether a table is visible to all users or visible only to superusers. You must be logged in as a superuser to query tables that are visible only to superusers.

Amazon Redshift provides access to the following types of system tables:

  • STL Tables for Logging

    These system tables are generated from Amazon Redshift log files to provide a history of the system. Logging tables have an STL prefix.

  • STV Tables for Snapshot Data

    These tables are virtual system tables that contain snapshots of the current system data. Snapshot tables have an STV prefix.

  • System Views

    System views contain a subset of data found in several of the STL and STV system tables. Systems views have an SVV or SVL prefix.

  • System Catalog Tables

    The system catalog tables store schema metadata, such as information about tables and columns. System catalog tables have a PG prefix.

You may need to specify the process ID associated with a query to retrieve system table information about that query. For information, see Determine the Process ID of a Running Query.

View a List of Table Names

For example, to view a list of all tables in the public schema, you can query the PG_TABLE_DEF system catalog table.

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select distinct(tablename) from pg_table_def where schemaname = 'public';

The result will look something like this:

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tablename --------- category date event listing sales testtable users venue

View Database Users

You can query the PG_USER catalog to view a list of all database users, along with the user ID (USESYSID) and user privileges.

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select * from pg_user; usename | usesysid | usecreatedb | usesuper | usecatupd | passwd | valuntil | useconfig ------------+----------+-------------+----------+-----------+----------+----------+----------- rdsdb | 1 | t | t | t | ******** | | masteruser | 100 | t | t | f | ******** | | dwuser | 101 | f | f | f | ******** | | simpleuser | 102 | f | f | f | ******** | | poweruser | 103 | f | t | f | ******** | | dbuser | 104 | t | f | f | ******** | | (6 rows)

The user name rdsdb is used internally by Amazon Redshift to perform routine administrative and maintenance tasks. You can filter your query to show only user-defined user names by adding where usesysid > 1 to your select statement.

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select * from pg_user where usesysid > 1; usename | usesysid | usecreatedb | usesuper | usecatupd | passwd | valuntil | useconfig ------------+----------+-------------+----------+-----------+----------+----------+----------- masteruser | 100 | t | t | f | ******** | | dwuser | 101 | f | f | f | ******** | | simpleuser | 102 | f | f | f | ******** | | poweruser | 103 | f | t | f | ******** | | dbuser | 104 | t | f | f | ******** | | (5 rows)

View Recent Queries

In the previous example, you found that the user ID (USESYSID) for masteruser is 100. To list the five most recent queries executed by masteruser, you can query the SVL_QLOG view. The SVL_QLOG view is a friendlier subset of information from the STL_QUERY table. You can use this view to find the query ID (QUERY) or process ID (PID) for a recently run query or to see how long it took a query to complete. SVL_QLOG includes the first 60 characters of the query string (SUBSTRING) to help you locate a specific query. Use the LIMIT clause with your SELECT statement to limit the results to five rows.

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select query, pid, elapsed, substring from svl_qlog where userid = 100 order by starttime desc limit 5;

The result will look something like this:

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query | pid | elapsed | substring --------+-------+----------+-------------------------------------------------------------- 187752 | 18921 | 18465685 | select query, elapsed, substring from svl_qlog order by query 204168 | 5117 | 59603 | insert into testtable values (100); 187561 | 17046 | 1003052 | select * from pg_table_def where tablename = 'testtable'; 187549 | 17046 | 1108584 | select * from STV_WLM_SERVICE_CLASS_CONFIG 187468 | 17046 | 5670661 | select * from pg_table_def where schemaname = 'public'; (5 rows)