Pivotal Knowledge Base


"ERROR","XX000",could not connect to the primary server: FATAL: invalid command-line argument for server process


Product Version
Pivotal Greenplum (GPDB) 4.3.x



This article explain on issues in configuring Master (mdw) and Standby (smdw) servers. Similar searches are explained on below link:

Link to Fault-Tolerance-and-Segment-recovery

This is specific to one particular Error :

"ERROR","XX000","could not connect to the primary server: FATAL:  invalid command-line argument for server process: dbname=replication (gp_libpqwalreceiver.c:81)","HINT:  Try ""postgres --help"" for more information.",,,,,,0,,"gp_libpqwalreceiver.c",81


Invalid entries in recovery.conf file placed under Standby (smdw) data directory with entries related to "client_min_messages=ERROR"


  • Checked to see the recovery.conf file placed under standby master data directory causing the issue.
  • File had entry related to "client_min_messages=ERROR"
  • Removed Invalid entries from that file.

  • Check the mdw and smdw process status for a while. If there are no active transactions then try to perform preliminary tests (to be sure it generates transaction to track the status)
  • Standby master and master are in sync.


  • Avatar
    Amitabh Kumar

    Thanks for helpful article. I had a very similar issue (SR# 78897402) on version where standby showing the same error message. Got similar entry in recovery.conf file with a difference of options=''-c gp_session_role=utility''. Following this article, removed the entry and it worked.

  • Avatar
    Scott Gai

    Similar error was seen with SR 78108890. An extra entry found in .bashrc on standby master host.

    export PGOPTIONS='-c gp_session_role=utility'

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