I wrote this entry for planet postgreql back in 2008. I am posting it here again not to lose it. The details here are a bit out of date but some of them might still be relevant.
Autovacuum, something that comes up a lot when you talk about PostgreSQL maintainence, and it is relatively new, started from PostgreSQL 8.1 to be part of the backend proper. Before that it was a contrib module IIRC. In the generally excellent PotgreSQL documentation you can find its reference here however i will also try and state a few things about autovaccum which are not in docs but perhaps should be, i will also try to keep it as end-userish as possible. Continue reading