repmgr standby follow

repmgr standby follow — attach a running standby to a new upstream node


Attaches the standby ("follow candidate") to a new upstream node ("follow target"). Typically this will be the primary, but this command can also be used to attach the standby to another standby.

This command requires a valid repmgr.conf file for the standby, either specified explicitly with -f/--config-file or located in a default location; no additional arguments are required.

The standby node ("follow candidate") must be running. If the new upstream ("follow target") is not the primary, the cluster primary must be running and accessible from the standby node.


To re-add an inactive node to the replication cluster, use repmgr node rejoin.

By default repmgr will attempt to attach the standby to the current primary. If --upstream-node-id is provided, repmgr will attempt to attach the standby to the specified node, which can be another standby.

This command will force a restart of PostgreSQL on the standby node.

repmgr standby follow will wait up to standby_follow_timeout seconds (default: 30) to verify the standby has actually connected to the new upstream node.


If recovery_min_apply_delay is set for the standby, it will not attach to the new upstream node until it has replayed available WAL.

Conversely, if the standby is attached to an upstream standby which has recovery_min_apply_delay set, the upstream standby's replay state may actually be behind that of its new downstream node.


      $ repmgr -f /etc/repmgr.conf standby follow
      INFO: setting node 3's primary to node 2
      NOTICE: restarting server using "pg_ctl -l /var/log/postgres/startup.log -w -D '/var/lib/postgres/data' restart"
      waiting for server to shut down........ done
      server stopped
      waiting for server to start.... done
      server started
      NOTICE: STANDBY FOLLOW successful
      DETAIL: node 3 is now attached to node 2



Check prerequisites but don't actually follow a new upstream node.

This will also verify whether the standby is capable of following the new upstream node.


If a standby was turned into a primary by removing recovery.conf (PostgreSQL 12 and later: standby.signal), repmgr will not be able to determine whether that primary's timeline has diverged from the timeline of the standby ("follow candidate").

We recommend always to use repmgr standby promote to promote a standby to primary, as this will ensure that the new primary will perform a timeline switch (making it practical to check for timeline divergence) and also that repmgr metadata is updated correctly.


Node ID of the new upstream node ("follow target").

If not provided, repmgr will attempt to follow the current primary node.

Note that when using repmgrd, --upstream-node-id should always be configured; see Automatic failover configuration for details.


Wait for a primary to appear. repmgr will wait for up to primary_follow_timeout seconds (default: 60 seconds) to verify that the standby is following the new primary. This value can be defined in repmgr.conf.


Execute with the --dry-run option to test the follow operation as far as possible, without actually changing the status of the node.

Note that repmgr will first attempt to determine whether the standby ("follow candidate") is capable of following the new upstream node ("follow target").

If, for example, the new upstream node has diverged from this node's timeline, for example if the new upstream node was promoted to primary while this node was still attached to the original primary, it will not be possible to follow the new upstream node, and repmgr will emit an error message like this:

ERROR: this node cannot attach to follow target node "node3" (ID 3)
DETAIL: follow target server's timeline 2 forked off current database system timeline 1 before current recovery point 0/6108880

In this case, it may be possible to have this node follow the new upstream using repmgr node rejoin with the --force-rewind to execute pg_rewind. This does mean that transactions which exist on this node, but not the new upstream, will be lost.

Exit codes

One of the following exit codes will be emitted by repmgr standby follow:


The follow operation succeeded; or if --dry-run was provided, no issues were detected which would prevent the follow operation.


A configuration issue was detected which prevented repmgr from continuing with the follow operation.


The node could not be restarted.


repmgr was unable to establish a database connection to one of the nodes.


repmgr was unable to complete the follow command.

Event notifications

A standby_follow event notification will be generated.

If provided, repmgr will substitute the placeholders %p with the node ID of the node being followed, %c with its conninfo string, and %a with its node name.

See also

repmgr node rejoin