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GitLab PostgreSQL Data Recovery

September 1st, 2021 by Philip Iezzi 5 min read

Today, shit happened on a larger on-premise GitLab EE instance of one of our Onlime GmbH customers. GitLab's production.log started to fill up with PG::Error (FATAL: the database system is in recovery mode) errors which were somehow related to LFS operations. That definitely didn't sound cool and smelled like data corruption. The customer noticed it by failed CI jobs with 500 Internal Server Errors, and let me know immediately.

As we have that GitLab server running in a LXC container on a ZFS based system (Proxmox VE), it was easy to pull a clone of the full system and play around with PostgreSQL data recovery before working on live data. I decided to go for a full data restore by dumping and loading it from scratch in a freshly initialized PostgreSQL data dir.