This release contains a variety of fixes from 8.4.12. For information about new features in the 8.4 major release, see Section E.42, « Release 8.4 ».
A dump/restore is not required for those running 8.4.X.
However, if you are upgrading from a version earlier than 8.4.10, see the release notes for 8.4.10.
Prevent access to external files/URLs via XML entity references (Noah Misch, Tom Lane)
xml_parse() would attempt to fetch external files or URLs as needed to resolve DTD and entity references in an XML value, thus allowing unprivileged database users to attempt to fetch data with the privileges of the database server. While the external data wouldn't get returned directly to the user, portions of it could be exposed in error messages if the data didn't parse as valid XML; and in any case the mere ability to check existence of a file might be useful to an attacker. (CVE-2012-3489)
Prevent access to external files/URLs via contrib/xml2's xslt_process() (Peter Eisentraut)
libxslt offers the ability to read and write both files and URLs through stylesheet commands, thus allowing unprivileged database users to both read and write data with the privileges of the database server. Disable that through proper use of libxslt's security options. (CVE-2012-3488)
Also, remove xslt_process()'s ability to fetch documents and stylesheets from external files/URLs. While this was a documented « feature », it was long regarded as a bad idea. The fix for CVE-2012-3489 broke that capability, and rather than expend effort on trying to fix it, we're just going to summarily remove it.
Prevent too-early recycling of btree index pages (Noah Misch)
When we allowed read-only transactions to skip assigning XIDs, we introduced the possibility that a deleted btree page could be recycled while a read-only transaction was still in flight to it. This would result in incorrect index search results. The probability of such an error occurring in the field seems very low because of the timing requirements, but nonetheless it should be fixed.
Fix crash-safety bug with newly-created-or-reset sequences (Tom Lane)
If ALTER SEQUENCE was executed on a freshly created or reset sequence, and then precisely one nextval() call was made on it, and then the server crashed, WAL replay would restore the sequence to a state in which it appeared that no nextval() had been done, thus allowing the first sequence value to be returned again by the next nextval() call. In particular this could manifest for serial columns, since creation of a serial column's sequence includes an ALTER SEQUENCE OWNED BY step.
Ensure the backup_label file is fsync'd after pg_start_backup() (Dave Kerr)
Back-patch 9.1 improvement to compress the fsync request queue (Robert Haas)
This improves performance during checkpoints. The 9.1 change has now seen enough field testing to seem safe to back-patch.
Only allow autovacuum to be auto-canceled by a directly blocked process (Tom Lane)
The original coding could allow inconsistent behavior in some cases; in particular, an autovacuum could get canceled after less than deadlock_timeout grace period.
Improve logging of autovacuum cancels (Robert Haas)
Fix log collector so that log_truncate_on_rotation works during the very first log rotation after server start (Tom Lane)
Fix WITH attached to a nested set operation (UNION/INTERSECT/EXCEPT) (Tom Lane)
Ensure that a whole-row reference to a subquery doesn't include any extra GROUP BY or ORDER BY columns (Tom Lane)
Disallow copying whole-row references in CHECK constraints and index definitions during CREATE TABLE (Tom Lane)
This situation can arise in CREATE TABLE with LIKE or INHERITS. The copied whole-row variable was incorrectly labeled with the row type of the original table not the new one. Rejecting the case seems reasonable for LIKE, since the row types might well diverge later. For INHERITS we should ideally allow it, with an implicit coercion to the parent table's row type; but that will require more work than seems safe to back-patch.
Fix memory leak in ARRAY(SELECT ...) subqueries (Heikki Linnakangas, Tom Lane)
Fix extraction of common prefixes from regular expressions (Tom Lane)
The code could get confused by quantified parenthesized subexpressions, such as ^(foo)?bar. This would lead to incorrect index optimization of searches for such patterns.
Fix bugs with parsing signed hh:mm and hh:mm:ss fields in interval constants (Amit Kapila, Tom Lane)
Report errors properly in contrib/xml2's xslt_process() (Tom Lane)
Update time zone data files to tzdata release 2012e for DST law changes in Morocco and Tokelau