LWLock:MultiXact - Amazon Aurora
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The LWLock:MultiXactMemberBuffer, LWLock:MultiXactOffsetBuffer, LWLock:MultiXactMemberSLRU, and LWLock:MultiXactOffsetSLRU wait events indicate that a session is waiting to retrieve a list of transactions that modifies the same row in a given table.

  • LWLock:MultiXactMemberBuffer – A process is waiting for I/O on a simple least-recently used (SLRU) buffer for a multixact member.

  • LWLock:MultiXactMemberSLRU – A process is waiting to access the simple least-recently used (SLRU) cache for a multixact member.

  • LWLock:MultiXactOffsetBuffer – A process is waiting for I/O on a simple least-recently used (SLRU) buffer for a multixact offset.

  • LWLock:MultiXactOffsetSLRU – A process is waiting to access the simple least-recently used (SLRU) cache for a multixact offset.

Supported engine versions

This wait event information is supported for all versions of Aurora PostgreSQL.


A multixact is a data structure that stores a list of transaction IDs (XIDs) that modify the same table row. When a single transaction references a row in a table, the transaction ID is stored in the table header row. When multiple transactions reference the same row in a table, the list of transaction IDs is stored in the multixact data structure. The multixact wait events indicate that a session is retrieving from the data structure the list of transactions that refer to a given row in a table.

Likely causes of increased waits

Three common causes of multixact use are as follows:

  • Sub-transactions from explicit savepoints – Explicitly creating a savepoint in your transactions spawns new transactions for the same row. For example, using SELECT FOR UPDATE, then SAVEPOINT, and then UPDATE.

    Some drivers, object-relational mappers (ORMs), and abstraction layers have configuration options for automatically wrapping all operations with savepoints. This can generate many multixact wait events in some workloads. The PostgreSQL JDBC Driver's autosave option is an example of this. For more information, see pgJDBC in the PostgreSQL JDBC documentation. Another example is the PostgreSQL ODBC driver and its protocol option. For more information, see psqlODBC Configuration Options in the PostgreSQL ODBC driver documentation.

  • Sub-transactions from PL/pgSQL EXCEPTION clauses – Each EXCEPTION clause that you write in your PL/pgSQL functions or procedures creates a SAVEPOINT internally.

  • Foreign keys – Multiple transactions acquire a shared lock on the parent record.

When a given row is included in a multiple transaction operation, processing the row requires retrieving transaction IDs from the multixact listings. If lookups can't get the multixact from the memory cache, the data structure must be read from the Aurora storage layer. This I/O from storage means that SQL queries can take longer. Memory cache misses can start occurring with heavy usage due to a large number of multiple transactions. All these factors contribute to an increase in this wait event.


We recommend different actions depending on the causes of your wait event. Some of these actions can help in immediate reduction of the wait events. But, others might require investigation and correction to scale your workload.

Perform vacuum freeze on tables with this wait event

If this wait event spikes suddenly and affects your production environment, you can use any of the following temporary methods to reduce its count.

  • Use VACUUM FREEZE on the affected table or table partition to resolve the issue immediately. For more information, see VACUUM.

  • Use the VACUUM (FREEZE, INDEX_CLEANUP FALSE) clause to perform a quick vacuum by skipping the indexes. For more information, see Vacuuming a table as quickly as possible .

Increase autovacuum frequency on tables with this wait event

After scanning all tables in all databases, VACUUM will eventually remove multixacts, and their oldest multixact values are advanced. For more information, see Multixacts and Wraparound. To keep the LWLock:MultiXact wait events to its minimum, you must run the VACUUM as often as necessary. To do so, ensure that the VACUUM in your Aurora PostgreSQL DB cluster is configured optimally.

If using VACUUM FREEZE on the affected table or table partition resolves the wait event issue, we recommend using a scheduler, such as pg_cron, to perform the VACUUM instead of adjusting autovacuum at the instance level.

For the autovacuum to happen more frequently, you can reduce the value of the storage parameter autovacuum_multixact_freeze_max_age in the affected table. For more information, see autovacuum_multixact_freeze_max_age.

Increase memory parameters

You can set the following parameters at the cluster level so that all instances in your cluster remain consistent. This helps in reducing the wait events in your workload. We recommend you to not set these values so high that you run out of memory.

  • multixact_offsets_cache_size to 128

  • multixact_members_cache_size to 256

You must reboot the instance for the parameter change to take affect. With these parameters, you can use more of the instance RAM to store the multixact structure in memory before spilling to disk.

Reduce long-running transactions

Long-running transaction causes the vacuum to retain its information until the transaction is committed or until the read-only transaction is closed. We recommend that you proactively monitor and manage long-running transactions. For more information, see Database has long running idle in transaction connection. Try to modify your application to avoid or minimize your use of long-running transactions.

Long term actions

Examine your workload to discover the cause for the multixact spillover. You must fix the issue in order to scale your workload and reduce the wait event.

  • You must analyze the DDL (data definition language) used to create your tables. Make sure that the table structures and indexes are well designed.

  • When the affected tables have foreign keys, determine whether they are needed or if there is another way to enforce referential integrity.

  • When a table has large unused indexes, it can cause autovacuum to not fit your workload and might block it from running. To avoid this, check for unused indexes and remove them completely. For more information, see Managing autovacuum with large indexes.

  • Reduce the use of savepoints in your transactions.