Postgresql Serial Vs Bigserial

Postgresql Serial Vs Bigserial 7,2/10 8126 reviews
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I have a table in PostgreSQL with 22 columns, and I want to add an auto increment primary key.

I tried to create a column called id of type BIGSERIAL but pgadmin responded with an error:

Does anyone know how to fix this issue? How do I add a create an auto-incrementing primary key in PostgreSQL without recreating the table again?


UUID vs BIGSERIAL for Primary Keys 8 October 2015. SERIAL (32 bit integer) or BIGSERIAL (64 bit integer) are the first choice for most people for a synthetic primary key. They’re easy, they’re comprehensible, and they’re transaction-safe. The values that come out of them are, at least to start, manageable and human-scale. Work needed with the bigserial type in the queries? I have a log database with 100million records (the biggest table contains 65million records) and I use bigserial data type as primary key now. The primary key looks this way: YYYYMMDD1xxxxxxx where the first 8 numbers are the date, and the x's are the record sequence number on that day. PostgreSQL supports a wide set of the datatype, it also provides the facility to create user-defined datatype as per user requirement. Serial: 4 bytes storage size and the range is 1 to. Bigserial: 8 bytes storage size and the range is 1 to 854775807. Money: 8 bytes storage size and the range is -8547758.08 to. As this is a new application, I would like to ask for your advice regarding using serial vs. Bigserial as the id for the meter records. Is there any noticable performance downgrade on current x64 CPUs or such? Storage for the id field should increase by factor 2, right? Any obvious reason why not to use bigserial? Each data type has an external representation determined by its input and output functions. Many of the built-in types have obvious external formats. However, several types are either unique to PostgreSQL, such as geometric paths, or have several possible formats, such as the date and time types.

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7 Answers

Try this command:

Try it with the same DB-user as the one you have created the table.

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Auto incrementing primary key in postgresql:

Step 1, create your table:

Step 2, insert values into your table like this, notice that mytable_key is not specified in the first parameter list, this causes the default sequence to autoincrement.

Step 3, select * from your table:

Step 4, interpret the output:

Observe that mytable_key column has been auto incremented.


You should always be using a primary key on your table because postgresql internally uses hash table structures to increase the speed of inserts, deletes, updates and selects. If a primary key column (which is forced unique and non-null) is available, it can be depended on to provide a unique seed for the hash function. If no primary key column is available, the hash function becomes inefficient as it selects some other set of columns as a key.

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Eric LeschinskiEric Leschinski
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Create an auto incrementing primary key in postgresql, using a custom sequence:

Step 1, create your sequence:

Step 2, create your table

Step 3, insert into your table

Step 4, observe the rows

The two rows have keys that start at 1 and are incremented by 1, as defined by the sequence.

Bonus Elite ProTip:

Programmers hate typing, and typing out the nextval('splog_adfarm_seq') is annoying. You can type DEFAULT for that parameter instead, like this:

For the above to work, you have to define a default value for that key column on splog_adfarm table. Which is prettier.

Eric LeschinskiEric Leschinski
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If you want to do this in pgadmin, it is much easier. It seems in postgressql, to add a auto increment to a column, we first need to create a auto increment sequence and add it to the required column. I did like this.

1) Firstly you need to make sure there is a primary key for your table. Also keep the data type of the primary key in bigint or smallint. (I used bigint, could not find a datatype called serial as mentioned in other answers elsewhere)

2)Then add a sequence by right clicking on sequence->add new sequence. If there is no data in the table, leave the sequence as it is, don't make any changes. Just save it.If there is existing data, add the last or highest value in the primary key column to the Current value in Definitions tab as shown below.

3)Finally, add the line nextval('your_sequence_name'::regclass) to the Default value in your primary key as shown below.

Make sure the sequence name is correct here. This is all and auto increment should work.

Postgresql Serial Or Bigserial

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If you want to use numbers in a sequence, define a new sequence with something like

and then alter the table to use the sequence for the id:

Paul Roub
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Postgresql Serial Vs Bigserial 7


Maybe I'm a bit of late to answer this question, but I'm working on this subject at my job :)

I wanted to write column 'a_code' = c1,c2,c3,c4..

Firstly I opened a column with the name ref_id and the type serial.Then I solved my problem with this command:

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I have tried the following script to successfully auto-increment the primary key in PostgreSQL.

Asad ShakeelAsad Shakeel
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