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Installing Oracle 8.1.6

ACS Documentation : ACS Installation Guide : Installing Oracle 8.1.6

Oracle is the RDBMS utilized by the ArsDigita Community System. If you have trouble installing it, please refer to Oracle's documentation.

Table of Contents

  1. Acquire Oracle 8.1.6 Enterprise Edition for Linux
  2. Things to Keep in Mind
  3. Pre-Installation Tasks
  4. Installing Oracle 8.1.6 Server
  5. Creating the First Database
  6. Acceptance Test
  7. Automating Startup and Shutdown
  8. Appendix A: What to Do About Wrong Dates
  9. Appendix B: Useful Procedures
  10. Appendix C: Oracle Defaults

Acquire Oracle 8.1.6 Enterprise Edition

You can obtain the software through a variety of methods:

  1. Order a CD from the Oracle Store. There is a link under the heading Buying Tips that says "Learn how to trial Oracle software." Click this for instructions on how to make your order. The cost is currently $39.95 with delivery estimated between 3-4 business days.

  2. Request a free demonstration CD. At the Oracle Downloads page, click on the appropriate version of Oracle 8.1.6 Release 2 for your OS. You should see a "Try Online" link. After filling out some information forms, you should be able to order a version of the CD. This takes about 2-3 weeks for delivery.

  3. You can download Oracle from the Technet ftp site. The Linux version is at

    Note that the Oracle tarball that you will download is huge (> 250MB).

    • Oracle 8.1.6 now comes with a Java RunTime Environment built-in to the distribution, so you no longer have to download and install it separately.

    • After the download is complete, untar the file to a convenient location. To do this, you will need to login and cd to the directory where the archive is.
      $ cd /directory/where/oracle/is
      $ tar -xzvf oracle8161_tar.gz


Things to Keep in Mind

Throughout these instructions, we will refer to a number of configurable settings and advise certain defaults. With the exception of passwords, we advise you to follow these defaults unless you know what you are doing. Subsequent documents will expect that you used the defaults, so a change made here will necessitate further changes later. For a guide to the defaults, please see Appendix 3.


Pre-Installation Tasks

Though Oracle 8.1.6 has an automated installer, we still need to perform several manual, administrative tasks before we can launch it. You must perform all of these steps as the root user. We recommend entering the X window system as a user other than root and then doing a su -. This command gives you full root access.

  • Login in as a non-root user

  • Start X by typing startx

  • Open a terminal window type and login as root
    $ su -
    ; Enter the root password when prompted.
  • Create and setup the oracle group and oracle account

    We need to create a user oracle, which is used to install the product, as well as starting and stopping the database.

    # groupadd dba
    # groupadd oinstall
    # groupadd oracle
    # useradd -g dba -G oinstall,oracle -m oracle
    Now change the oracle account password

    # passwd oracle

    You will be prompted for the New Password and Confirmation of that password.

  • Setup the installation location for Oracle

    While Oracle can reside in a variety of places in the file system, ArsDigita has adopted '/ora8' as the base directory.

    Note: the Oracle install needs about 1 GB free on '/ora8' to install successfully.

    # mkdir /ora8
    # cd /ora8
    # mkdir -p m01 m02 m03/oradata/ora8
    # chown -R oracle.dba /ora8
    # exit                  ; Logs out.
  • Set up the oracle user environment

    • Log in as the user oracle

      In the same terminal window, type the following.

      $ su - oracle
      ; Enter oracle's password
    • Use a text editor to edit the .bash_profile file in the oracle account home directory.
      $ emacs ~oracle/.bash_profile
      You may get this error trying to start emacs:
      Xlib: connection to ":0.0" refused by server
      Xlib: Client is not authorized to connect to Server
      emacs: Cannot connect to X server :0.
      Check the DISPLAY environment variable or use `-d'.
      Also use the `xhost' program to verify that it is set to permit
      connections from your machine.
      If so, do the following.
      Open a new terminal window.
      $ xhost +localhost
      Now, back in the oracle terminal
      $ export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0
      $ emacs ~oracle/.bash_profile
      Try this procedure anytime you get an Xlib connection refused error.

    • Add the following lines to ~oracle/.bash_profile:

      export ORACLE_BASE=/ora8/m01/app/oracle
      export ORACLE_HOME=$ORACLE_BASE/product/8.1.6
      export PATH=$PATH:$ORACLE_HOME/bin
      export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$ORACLE_HOME/lib:/lib:/usr/lib
      export ORACLE_SID=ora8
      export ORACLE_TERM=vt100
      export ORA_NLS33=$ORACLE_HOME/ocommon/nls/admin/data
      umask 022

      Save the file by typing CTRL-X CTRL-S and then exit by typing CTRL-X CTRL-C. Alternatively, use the menus.

    Make sure that you do not add any lines like the following
    # NLS_LANG=american
    # export NLS_LANG

    These lines will change the Oracle date settings and will break the ArsDigita Community System (ACS) because ACS depends on the ANSI date format, YYYY-MM-DD dates.

  • Log out as oracle

    $ exit
  • Log back in as oracle and double check that your environment variables are as intended

    $ su - oracle
    $ env | grep ORA
    If it worked, you should see:

    If not, try adding the files to ~oracle/.bashrc instead of .bash_profile. Then logout and log back in again. Also, be certain you are doing su - and not just su. The - means that .bashrc and .bash_profile will be evaluated.

    Make sure that /bin, /usr/bin, and /usr/local/bin are in your path by typing:

    $ echo $PATH

    If they are not, then add them to the .bash_profile by changing the PATH statement above to PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/bin:$ORACLE_HOME/bin


Installing Oracle 8.1.6 Server

  • Log in as the user oracle and start X if not already running

    Start a new terminal
    $ xhost +localhost
    $ su - oracle
    Enter oracle password
    $ export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0
  • Find the 'runInstaller' script

    • If you are installing Oracle from a CD-ROM, it is located in the 'install/linux' path from the cd-rom mount point

      $ su - root
      # mount -t iso9660 /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom
      # exit
      $ cd /mnt/cdrom
    • If you are installing from the tarball, the install script is located in the 'Oracle8iR2' directory that was created when you expanded the archive.

      $ cd /where/oracle/archive/is/Oracle8iR2
    Check to make sure the file is there.
    $ ls
    doc  index.htm  install  runInstaller  stage  starterdb
    If you don't see runInstaller you are in the wrong directory.

  • Run the installer

    $ ./runInstaller
    • A window will open that welcomes you to the 'Oracle Universal Installer' (OUI). Click on "Next"

  • The "File Locations" screen in the OUI:

    • "Source" path should have been prefilled with "(wherever you mounted the CDROM)/stage/products.jar"

    • "destination" path says "/ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6"

      If the destination is not correct it is because your environment variables are not set properly. Make sure you logged on as oracle using su - oracle. If so, edit the ~oracle/.bash_profile as you did in the pre-installation steps.

    • Click "Next" (a pop up window will display Loading Product information).

  • The "Unix Group Name" screen in the OUI:

    • The Unix Group name needs to be set to 'oinstall' ( we made this Unix group earlier ).

    • Click "Next"

    • A popup window appears instantly, requesting you to run a script a root:

    • Open a new terminal window, then type:

      $ su
      # cd /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6
      # ./  
      ; You should see:
      Creating Oracle Inventory pointer file (/etc/oraInst.loc)
      Changing groupname of /ora8/m01/app/oracle/oraInventory to oinstall.	  
      # exit
      $ exit
    • Click "Retry"

  • The "Available Products" screen in the OUI:

    • Select "Oracle 8i Enterprise Edition"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Installation Types" screen

    • Select the "Custom" installation type.

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Available Product Components" screen

    • In addition to the defaults, make sure that "Oracle SQLJ," "Oracle Protocol Support," and "Linux Documentation" are also checked (they were not in release 8.1.5).

    • Click "Next"

    • A progress bar will appear for about 1 minute.

  • The "Component Locations" screen in the OUI

    • Click on the "Java Runtime Environment 1.1.8" It should have the path "/ora8/m01/app/oracle/jre/1.1.8"

    • Click "Next"

    • A progress bar will appear for about 1 minute.

  • The "Privileged Operation System Groups" screen in the OUI

    • Enter "dba" for "Database Administrator (OSDBA) Group"

    • Enter "dba" for the "Database Operator (OSOPER) Group"

    • Click "Next"

    • A progress bar will appear for about 1 minute.

  • The "Create a Database" screen in the OUI

    • Select "No" as we will do this later, after some important configuration changes.

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Summary" screen in the OUI

    • Check the "Space Requirements" section to verify you have enough disk space for the install.

    • Check that "(91 products)" is in the "New Installations" section title.

    • Click "Install"

    • A progress bar will appear for about 20- 30 minutes. Now is a good time to take a break.

    • A "Setup Privileges" window will popup towards the end of the installation asking you to run a script as root

    • Run the script.

      $ su -
      Enter root password
      # /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/
      ; You should see the following.	  
      Creating Oracle Inventory pointer file (/etc/oraInst.loc)
      Changing groupname of /ora8/m01/app/oracle/oraInventory to oinstall.
      # /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/
      Running Oracle8 script...
      The following environment variables are set as:
          ORACLE_OWNER= oracle
          ORACLE_HOME=  /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6
          ORACLE_SID=   ora8
      Enter the full pathname of the local bin directory: [/usr/local/bin]: 
      Press ENTER here to accept default of /usr/local/bin
      Creating /etc/oratab file...
      Entry will be added to the /etc/oratab file by
      Database Configuration Assistant when a database is created
      Finished running generic part of script.
      Now product-specific root actions will be performed.
      IMPORTANT NOTE: Please delete any log and trace files previously
                      created by the Oracle Enterprise Manager Intelligent
                      Agent. These files may be found in the directories
                      you use for storing other Net8 log and trace files.
                      If such files exist, the OEM IA may not restart.
    • Do not follow the instructions on deleting trace and log files, it is not necessary.

    # exit
    $ exit
  • Go back to the pop-up window and click "OK"

  • The "Configuration Tools" screen in the OUI

    • This window displays the config tools that will automatically be launched.

  • The "Welcome" screen in the "net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • Make sure the "Perform Typical installation" is not selected.

    • Click "Next"

    • The "Directory Service Access" screen in the "Net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • Select "No"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Listener Configuration, Listener Name" screen in the "Net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • Accept the default listener name of "LISTENER"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Listener Configuration, Select Protocols" screen in the "Net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • The only choice in "Select protocols:" should be "TCP/IP"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Listener Configuration TCP/IP Protocol" screen in the "Net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • Default Port should be 1521 and selected.

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Listener Configuration, More Listeners" screen in the "Net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • Select "No"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Listener Configuration Done" screen in the "Net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Naming Methods Configuration" screen in the "Net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • Select "No"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Done" screen in the "Net 8 Configuration Assistant"

    • Click "Finish"

  • The "End of Installation" screen in the OUI

    • Click "Exit"

    • Click "Yes" on the confirmation pop up window.

    • The Oracle Universal Installer window should have disappeared!

Congratulations, you have just installed Oracle 8.1.6 Server! However, you still need to create a database which can take about an hour of non-interactive time, so don't quit yet.


Creating the First Database

This step will take you through the steps of creating a customized database. Be warned that this process takes about an hour on a Pentium II with 128 MB of RAM.

  • Make sure you are running X. Open up a terminal and su to oracle and then run the dbassist program.
    $ xhost +localhost
    $ su - oracle
    ; Enter oracle password
    $ export DISPLAY=localhost:0.0
    $ dbassist

  • The "Welcome" screen in the Oracle Database Configuration Agent (ODCA)

    • Select "Create a database"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Select database type" screen in the ODCA

    • Select "Custom"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "Primary Database Type" window in ODCA

    • Select "Multipurpose"

    • Click "Next"

  • The "concurrent users" screen of the ODCA

    • Select "60" concurrent users.

    • Click "Next"

  • Select "Dedicated Server Mode", click "Next"

  • Accept all of the options, and click "Next" Oracle Visual Information Retrieval may be grayed out. If so, you can ignore it; just make sure that everything else is checked.

  • For "Global Database Name", enter "ora8"; for "SID", also enter "ora8" (it should do this automatically). Click "Next".

  • Accept the defaults for the next screen (control file location). Click "Next"

  • Go to the "temporary" and "rollback" tabs, and change the Size (upper-right text box) to 150MB. Click "Next"

  • Increase the redo log sizes to 10000K each. Click "Next"

  • Use the default checkpoint interval & timeout. Click "Next"

  • Increase "Processes" to 100; "Block Size" to 4096 (better for small Linux boxes; aD uses 8192 on the big Solaris machines).

  • Accept the defaults for the Trace File Directory. Click "Next"

  • Finally, select "Save information to a shell script" and click "Finish" (We're going to examine the contents of this file before creating our database.)

  • Click the "Save" button. Oracle will automatically save it to the correct directory and with the correct file name. This will likely be /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/assistants/dbca/jlib/

  • It will alert you that the script has been saved successfully.

  • Now we need to customize the database configuration a bit. While still logged on as oracle, edit the database initialization script (run when the db loads). The scripts are kept in $ORACLE_HOME/dbs and the name of the script is usually initSID.ora where SID is the SID of your database. Assuming your $ORACLE_HOME matches our default of /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6, the following will open the file for editing.
    $ emacs /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/dbs/initora8.ora  
  • Add the following line to the end:

    nls_date_format = "YYYY-MM-DD"
  • Now find the open_cursors line in the file. If you're using emacs scroll up to the top of the buffer and do CTRL-S and type open_cursors to find the line. The default is 100. Change it to 500.
    open_cursors = 500
  • Save the file. In emacs, do CTRL-X CTRL-S to save followed by CTRL-X CTRL-C to exit or use the menu.

  • At this point, you are ready to initiate database creation. We recommend shutting down X to free up some RAM unless you have 256 MB of RAM or more. You can do this quickly by doing a CRTL-ALT-BACKSPACE, but make sure you have saved any files you were editing. You should now be returned to a text shell prompt. If you get sent to a graphical login screen instead, switch to a virtual console by doing CRTL-ALT-F1. Then login as oracle.

  • Change to the directory where the database creation script is and run it:
    $ cd /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/assistants/dbca/jlib
    $ ./
    In some instances, Oracle will save the file to /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/assistants/dbca Try running the script there if your first attempt does not succeed.

  • Your database will now be built. It will take > 1 hour - no fooling. You will see lots of errors scroll by (like: "ORA-01432: public synonym to be dropped does not exist") Fear not, this is normal.

    Eventually, you'll be returned to your shell prompt. In the meantime, relax, you've earned it.


Acceptance Test

For this step, open up a terminal and su to oracle as usual. You should be running X and Netscape for this phase.

  • You need to download the "Oracle Acceptance Test" file. It's available here and at Save the file to /tmp

  • In the oracle shell, copy the file.

    $ cp /tmp/acceptance-sql.txt /tmp/acceptance.sql
  • Once you've got the acceptance test file all set, stay in your term and type the following:

    $ sqlplus system/manager

    SQL*Plus should startup. If you get an ORA-01034: Oracle not Available error, it is because your Oracle instance is not running. You can manually start it as the oracle user.

    $ svrmgrl
    SVRMGR> connect internal
    SVRMGR> startup
  • Now that you're into SQL*Plus, change the default passwords for system, sys, and ctxsys to "alexisahunk" (or to something you'll remember):
    SQL> alter user system identified by alexisahunk;
    SQL> alter user sys identified by alexisahunk;
    SQL> alter user ctxsys identified by alexisahunk;
  • Verify that your date settings are correct.
    SQL> select sysdate from dual;
    If you don't see a date that fits the format YYYY-MM-DD, please read this information.

  • At this point we are going to hammer your database with an intense acceptance test. This usually takes around 30 minutes.
    SQL> @ /tmp/acceptance.sql
    ; A bunch of lines will scroll by.  You'll know if the test worked if
    ; you see this at the end:

    Many people encounter an error regarding maximum key length:

    ERROR at line 1:
    ORA-01450: maximum key length (758) exceeded

    This error occurs if your database block size is wrong and is usually suffered by people trying to load the ACS into a pre-existing database. Unfortunately, the only solution is to create a new database with a block size of at least 4096. For instructions on how to do this, see Creating a new database above. You can set the parameter using the dbassist program or by setting the DB_BLOCK_SIZE parameter in your database's creation script.

    If there were no errors, then consider yourself fortunate. Your Oracle installation is working.


Automating Startup & Shutdown

You will want to automate the database startup and shutdown process. It's probably best to have Oracle spring to life when you boot up your machine.

  • Oracle includes a script called dbstart that can be used to automatically start the database. Unfortunately, the script shipped in the Linux distribution does not work out of the box. The fix is simple. Follow these directions to apply it. First, save dbstart to /tmp. Then login, and su to oracle.
    $ cp /tmp/dbstart.txt /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/bin/dbstart 
    $ chmod 755 /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/bin/dbstart 
  • While you're logged in as oracle, you should configure the oratab file to load your database at start. Edit the file /etc/oratab:

    • You will see this line.

      By the way, if you changed the service name or have multiple databases, the format of this file is

      service_name:$ORACLE_HOME:Y || N (for autoload)

    • Change the last letter from "N" to "Y". This tells Oracle that you want the database to start when the machine boots. It should look like this.


    • Save the file & quit the terminal.

  • You need a script to automate startup and shutdown. Save oracle8i.txt in /tmp. Then login as root and install the script.
    $ su -
    # cp /tmp/oracle8i.txt /etc/rc.d/init.d/oracle8i
    # chown root.root /etc/rc.d/init.d/oracle8i
    # chmod 700 /etc/rc.d/init.d/oracle8i      
  • Test the script by typing the following commands and checking the output.
    # /etc/rc.d/init.d/oracle8i stop
    Oracle 8i auto start/stop
    Shutting Oracle8i:
    Oracle Server Manager Release - Production
    Copyright (c) 1997, 1999, Oracle Corporation.  All Rights Reserved.
    Oracle8i Enterprise Edition Release - Production
    With the Partitioning option
    JServer Release - Production
    SVRMGR> Connected.
    SVRMGR> Database closed.
    Database dismounted.
    ORACLE instance shut down.
    Server Manager complete.
    Database "ora8" shut down.
    # /etc/rc.d/init.d/oracle8i start
    Oracle 8i auto start/stop
    Starting Oracle8i: 
    SQL*Plus: Release - Production on Sat Jun 10 17:56:02 2000
    (c) Copyright 1999 Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    SQL> Connected to an idle instance.
    SQL> ORACLE instance started.
    Total System Global Area   85004272 bytes
    Fixed Size		      69616 bytes
    Variable Size		   76374016 bytes
    Database Buffers	    8388608 bytes
    Redo Buffers		     172032 bytes
    Database mounted.
    Database opened.
    SQL> Disconnected
    Database "ora8" warm started.
  • If it worked, then run these commands to make the startup and shutdown automatic.
    # cd /etc/rc.d/init.d/                      
    # chkconfig --add oracle8i
    # chkconfig --list oracle8i
    ; You should see:
    oracle8i       	0:off	1:off	2:off	3:on	4:on	5:on	6:off
  • You also need some scripts to automate startup and shutdown of the Oracle8i listener. The listener is a name server that allows your Oracle programs to talk to local and remote databases using a standard naming convention. It is required for Intermedia Text and full site search.

    Download these three scripts into /tmp

    Now issue the following commands (still as root).

    # su - oracle
    # cp /tmp/startlsnr.txt /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/bin/startlsnr
    $ cp /tmp/stoplsnr.txt /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/bin/stoplsnr    
    $ chmod 700 /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/bin/startlsnr
    $ chmod 700 /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/bin/stoplsnr
    $ exit
    ; You should now be back as root.
    # cp /tmp/listener8i.txt /etc/rc.d/init.d/listener8i
    # cd /etc/rc.d/init.d
    # chmod 700 listener8i

    Test the listener automation by running the following commands and checking the output.

    # ./listener8i stop
    Oracle 8i listener start/stop
    Shutting down Listener for 8i: 
    LSNRCTL for Linux: Version - Production on 10-JUN-2000 18:28:49
    (c) Copyright 1998, 1999, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    Connecting to (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=localhost.localdomain)(PORT=1521)))
    The command completed successfully
    # ./listener8i start
    Oracle 8i listener start/stop
    Starting the Listener for 8i: 
    LSNRCTL for Linux: Version - Production on 10-JUN-2000 18:28:52
    (c) Copyright 1998, 1999, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.
    Starting /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/bin/tnslsnr: please wait...
    TNSLSNR for Linux: Version - Production
    System parameter file is /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/network/admin/listener.ora
    Log messages written to /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/network/log/listener.log
    Listening on: (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=tcp)(HOST=localhost.localdomain)(PORT=1521)))
    Connecting to (DESCRIPTION=(ADDRESS=(PROTOCOL=TCP)(HOST=localhost.localdomain)(PORT=1521)))
    Alias                     LISTENER
    Version                   TNSLSNR for Linux: Version - Production
    Start Date                10-JUN-2000 18:28:53
    Uptime                    0 days 0 hr. 0 min. 0 sec
    Trace Level               off
    Security                  OFF
    SNMP                      OFF
    Listener Parameter File   /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/network/admin/listener.ora
    Listener Log File         /ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6/network/log/listener.log
    Services Summary...
      PLSExtProc		has 1 service handler(s)
      ora8		has 1 service handler(s)
    The command completed successfully

    This test will verify that the listener is operating normally. Login into the database using the listener naming convention.

    sqlplus username/password@SID

    # su - oracle
    $ sqlplus system/alexisahunk@ora8
    SQL> select sysdate from dual;
    SQL> exit
    $ exit

    Now run chkconfig on the listener8i script.

    # cd /etc/rc.d/init.d/
    # chkconfig --add listener8i
    # chkconfig --list listener8i
    listener8i     	0:off	1:off	2:off	3:on	4:on	5:on	6:off

  • Test the automation

    As a final test, reboot your computer and make sure Oracle comes up. You can do this by typing

    # /sbin/shutdown -r -t 0 now
    Log back in and ensure that Oracle started automatically.
    $ su - oracle
    $ sqlplus system/alexisahunk@ora8
    SQL> exit

Congratulations, your installation of Oracle 8.1.6 is complete.


Appendix A: Troubleshooting Oracle Dates

Oracle has an internal representation for storing the data based on the number of seconds elapsed since some date. However, for the purposes of inputing dates into Oracle and getting them back out, Oracle needs to be told to use a specific date format. By default, it uses an Oracle-specific format which isn't copacetic. You want Oracle to use the ANSI-compliant date format which is of form 'YYYY-MM-DD'.

To fix this, you should include the following line in $ORACLE_HOME/dbs/initSID.ora or for the default case, $ORACLE_HOME/dbs/initora8.ora

nls_date_format = "YYYY-MM-DD"
You test whether this solved the problem by firing up sqlplus and typing:
SQL> select sysdate from dual;

You should see back a date like 2000-06-02. If some of the date is chopped off, i.e. like 2000-06-0, everything is still fine. The problem here is that sqlplus is simply truncating the output. You can fix this by typing:

SQL> column sysdate format a15
SQL> select sysdate from dual;

If the date does not conform to this format, double-check that you included the necessary line in the init scripts. If it still isn't working, make sure that you have restarted the database since adding the line if you didn't do it prior to database creation.

If you're sure that you have restarted the database since adding the line, check your initialization scripts. Make sure that the following line is not included:

export nls_lang = american

Setting this environment variable will override the date setting. Either delete this line and login again or add the following entry to your login scripts after the nls_lang line:

export nls_date_format = 'YYYY-MM-DD'

Log back in again. If adding the nls_date_format line doesn't help, then let the maintainer of this document know about it.


Appendix B: Useful Procedures

  • Dropping a tablespace

    • Run sqlplus as the dba:
      $ sqlplus system/changeme
    • To drop a user and all of the tables and data owned by that user:
      SQL> drop user oracle_user_name cascade;
    • To drop the tablespace: This will delete everything in the tablespace overriding any referential integrity constraints. Run this command only if you want to clean out your database entirely.
      SQL> drop tablespace table_space_name including contents cascade constraints;

For more information on Oracle, please consult the documentation.


Appendix C: Defaults

We used the following defaults while installing Oracle.

ORACLE_HOME/ora8/m01/app/oracle/product/8.1.6This is the default Oracle installation directory.
ORACLE_SERVICEora8The service name is a domain-qualified identifier for your Oracle server.
ORACLE_SIDora8This is an identifier for your Oracle server.
ORACLE_OWNERoracleThe user who owns all of the oracle files.
ORACLE_GROUPdbaThe special oracle group. Users in the dba group are authorized to do a connect internal within svrmgrl to gain full system access to the Oracle system.

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