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Type: enum
Default: pause
Context: postmaster
Restart: true
Values: [pause, promote, shutdown]
Since: 12

Specifies what action the server should take once the recovery target is reached. The default is pause, which means recovery will be paused. promote means the recovery process will finish and the server will start to accept connections. Finally shutdown will stop the server after reaching the recovery target.

The intended use of the pause setting is to allow queries to be executed against the database to check if this recovery target is the most desirable point for recovery. The paused state can be resumed by using pg_wal_replay_resume() (see functions-recovery-control-table), which then causes recovery to end. If this recovery target is not the desired stopping point, then shut down the server, change the recovery target settings to a later target and restart to continue recovery.

The shutdown setting is useful to have the instance ready at the exact replay point desired. The instance will still be able to replay more WAL records (and in fact will have to replay WAL records since the last checkpoint next time it is started).

Note that because recovery.signal will not be removed when recovery_target_action is set to shutdown, any subsequent start will end with immediate shutdown unless the configuration is changed or the recovery.signal file is removed manually.

This setting has no effect if no recovery target is set. If hot_standby is not enabled, a setting of pause will act the same as shutdown. If the recovery target is reached while a promotion is ongoing, a setting of pause will act the same as promote.

In any case, if a recovery target is configured but the archive recovery ends before the target is reached, the server will shut down with a fatal error.