Tag Archives: Oracle Linux

Oracle DBCA can’t see ASM disk groups if NLS_LANG is set

Just ran into this issue with the following configuration:

  • Oracle Grid Infrastructure with a Standalone Server (Oracle Restart) with ASM
  • Oracle Database 12cR2
  • Separation of responsibilities using grid as the Grid Infrastructure owner and oracle as the Database software owner

If the following were set in the oracle user’s environment then dbca won’t log into asm correctly and the ASM disk groups won’t show up in dbca.

[oracle@dba ~]$ export NLS_LANG=aermerican_america.al32utf8
[oracle@dba ~]$ export NLS_DATE_FORMAT="yyyy-mm-dd hh24:mi:ss"
[oracle@dba ~]$ dbca

CaptureIf those environment variable are set, then just unset them before you run dbca.

[oracle@dba ~]$ unset NLS_LANG 
[oracle@dba ~]$ unset NLS_DATE_FORMAT 
[oracle@dba ~]$ dbca



Command line editing with bash

I use Oracle Linux just about every day. I teach Oracle classes using Oracle Linux and work with a whole bunch of Oracle servers which, more often than not, use Oracle Linux (or sometimes Redhat Linux which is basically very similar to Oracle Linux). The vast majority of the time these systems are set up to use bash (From wikipedia: The name itself is an acronym, a pun, and a description. As an acronym, it stands for Bourne-again shell, referring to its objective as a free replacement for the Bourne shell. As a pun, it expressed that objective in a phrase that sounds similar to born again, a term for spiritual rebirth. The name is also descriptive of what it did, bashing together the features of sh, csh, and ksh.) as the default shell for users.

While teaching my classes, I frequently type commands while my students watch and it’s not unusual for me to make typing mistakes. I often bang the BACKSPACE key a bunch of times while removing a single word, or worse yet, I hold it down to erase and entire line and start all over again. Every time I did this I would think “I used to know how to do this better.”

Today I looked it up a book that I have sitting on my bookshelf, (I last read it in 1995), which I would highly recommend if you’re a Unix System Admin: Using csh & tcsh Type Less, Accomplish More. It’s a really great book if you are going to be using a Unix shell all day every day interactively. I read it way back when I was learning Unix and it made a huge difference in my productivity with interactive ‘shelling’. These days I’m mostly only working with Linux to get Oracle systems set up and configured correctly, so I’m usually sticking with the default shell… which is bash.

I tested out some of the things in the book and they work a bit differently in tcsh than they do in bash. Since I’ve become (largely by default) a bash user, here goes:

Remove the entire command line in bash with CTRL-u or CTLR-w

[oracle@multitenant ~]$ This is a command line that I want to erase

Type CTRL-u or CTRL-w (as an aside, CTRL-w in tcsh erases a single word) and voila:

[oracle@multitenant ~]$

Sometime I only mess up the last word…

Remove the last word typed in bash with ESC BACKSPACE

[oracle@multitenant ~]$ env | grep ORALCE

Oops! Messed up that ORACLE. Type ESC BACKSPACE and voila:

[oracle@multitenant ~]$ env | grep

Now I can correctly add ORACLE to the above without having to use backspace six times.

Reuse part of the previous commands arguments with !$, !^, !*

Often we’ll look at the contents of a file and then decide we want to edit it.

[oracle@multitenant ~]# cat /etc/oratab

Hmmm…. I see something I want to change, so rather than typing vi /etc/oratab I can just do the following:

[oracle@multitenant ~]# vi !$

!$ uses the last argument from the previous command, !^ uses the first argument from the previous command, and !* uses all arguments from the last command, so actually any of those would have worked in the example above. Remember that above I have two parts in the line I’m typing; The first is the actual command (cat) and then the second is the argument (/etc/oratab).

Hopefully this (along with the CTRL-r post from earlier) will help a few folks become just a bit more efficient in their day to day operations!

CTRL-r is your friend!

You already knew that the up and down arrows in a Linux terminal window allow you to navigate through previously typed commands, but did you know that you can also search through your command history?

CTRL-r is great for finding those commands that are a bit tedious to type.

When you type CTRL-R in a terminal window your whole prompt turns into this strange looking text:


As you type characters the first command in your history, starting from the most recent and working back towards the top will be displayed.

Let’s say you’ve typed the following list of commands:

sqlplus / as sysdba
rman target "'/ as sysbackup'"
ls -als

At a command prompt you type CTRL-r and then type s. Your prompt will now look like this:

(reverse-i-search)`s': ls -als

And the s in the als will be highlighted. What you’ve done here is found the first s in your command history.

If you type Enter right now, you’ll rerun that command.

Things get more interesting when you start typing more letters. Instead of typing just s, type sq and you’ll get the following:

(reverse-i-search)`sq': sqlplus / as sysdba

Hitting Enter will rerun that sqlplus command.

What if you want to find something that you typed earlier than the last command that matched? Just type CTRL-r again. Each time you press CTRL-r you’ll find older and older strings that match. If you have a short search string (just s for example), then it’s not unusual to find that string in a single command multiple times. Once you’ve exhausted all the matches in one command, you’ll reach back into your history to find another that matches.

What if you want to find the last thing that you found with CTRL-r?

Start a new search (or just use backspace to remove any characters you’ve started typing) and press CTRL-r again. Let’s say that you used rm as your last successful search and retrieved the rman command from the above list of commands. You then ran a few more commands and decided to run rman again… Just type CTRL-r twice. The first CRTL-r says “I want to search through my history”, the second CTRL-r says “Remember the last successful search I used? I want that one again.”

What if you don’t want to run the command you found, but instead you just put the command at your prompt so you can edit it? Instead of hitting Enter after you find a command, just press Esc. This dumps the text of the command into your terminal at a command prompt.

Here’s where things get really cool… If you use rlwrap for various Oracle commands like sqlplus, rman, etc. (See this post to install rlwrap, and this post to configure the aliases to use with rlwrap) then CTRL-r will also work in those commands too!

Want to find the last alter user command that you ran? In sqlplus just type your good friend CTLR-r and start typing alter. You probably won’t have to actually type all the letters in alter and soon you’ll have the following:

(reverse-i-search)`al': alter user dbsnmp identified by oracle_4U account unlock;

Technically CTRL-r finds the spot in your history where the command you found lives, so once you’ve found a command, you can use the up and down arrows to cycle through the commands that are near that command. What was that command that I typed right after I did that alter user command? Just press the down arrow key and you’ve found it!

There are a few idiosyncrasies with CTRL-r. First it is case sensitive so you’ll have to remember if you used SELECT or select. Second it can be kind of easy to get it into a strange place with the characters you are searching for if you start typing characters that are not actually in your command history CTLR-r will beep at you a bunch and you may or may not be able to use the backspace key to get back to where you want to be… Just use Esc to get out of the CTRL-r search and try again.

Also you may want to give CTRL-r more history to work with. If you’d like to do this you’ll need export two different environment variables, HISTSIZE and HISTFILESIZE.

I added the following to my .bash_profile file in my home directory:

# Let's give the history command and CTRL-r more to work with!
export HISTSIZE=10000
export HISTFILESIZE=10000

CTRL-r has saved me much typing over the years, I hope it helps you too!

Helping others

Part of this series of posts: Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6

One of my students at ACC suggested that I put this document up for sale on Amazon.

Instead I’ve decided to do the following:

  • Please consider opening an account on Kiva.Kiva is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.If you use the below link you can get $25 to lend to others to get you started. I’ll also get $25 to lend to others. Technically the $25 to lend is a limited time offer, so you and I may not get this ‘bonus’ money to lend.http://www.kiva.org/invitedby/richard4068


I couldn’t have done it without you… < Previous Post

I couldn’t have done it without you…

Part of this series of posts: Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6

I made this document because I’ve seen folks struggle with some of the concepts in the document. Of course this document wasn’t created in a vacuum. Various blogs, the Oracle forums, a ton of Google searches and a lot of trial and error went into this document. To those that helped me in some way with the content in this document, thanks!


Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6 – Step 31: Enjoy a frosty beverage! < Previous Post – Next Post > Helping others

Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6 – Step 31: Enjoy a frosty beverage!

Part of this series of posts: Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6


If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! Open a frosty beverage of choice and pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!


Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6 – Step 30: Install the VirtualBox guest additions in the VM < Previous Post – Next Post > I couldn’t have done it without you…

Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6 – Step 30: Install the VirtualBox guest additions in the VM

Part of this series of posts: Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6


Select Devices -> Install Guest Additions… from the VirtualBox menu. You’ll have to use the right Ctrl key to release the mouse to do so.


Click Cancel.


Right-click the desktop and select Open in Terminal.


Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each.

su - 
root (at the Password: prompt)
export KERN_DIR=/usr/src/kernels/`uname –r`
cd /media/V [TAB]


Those are back ticks which are probably next to the 1 key on your keyboard, not forward ticks in the export command. The Tab key will autocomplete commands for you. When we type cd /media/V the shell will complete the name of the Virtualbox Guest Additions CD for you. It’s much easier than typing it. If you’d like to use the Tab key to autocomplete the second command, you’ll have to type up to the L in Linux before it will work because there are other commands in that directory that start with VBox. You can always hit the Tab key twice to see what the shell will be able to autocomplete based on your search path.


You should see output with all green OKs.


If you get a failed message it’s most probably because your kernel doesn’t match the kernel sources which usually means that your yum update kernel-uek-devel command from earlier didn’t work correctly. Recheck your commands from Step 9 to make sure you did everything correctly.


Select System -> Log out oracle… from the menu.


Click Log Out.


Press Enter and type oracle in the Password field.


Right click the Guest Additions CD and select Eject.


Your window should now resize to fill the whole screen!


We could actually do this step a lot earlier and get the nice widescreen if we want. It was just a bit harder to do screen captures for me so I stuck this at the end. This must be done AFTER the reboot in step 18 though…

Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6 – Step 29: Create a Link to SQL Developer and Database Connections < Previous Post – Next Post > Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 6 – Step 31: Enjoy a frosty beverage!