Oracle & Linux is a great duet. Very powerfull, very scriptable. Here are several commands that make my life easier. These tools seems to be widespread on most of the Linux distributions.

watch with diff

It’s my favorite tool since a long time. watch can repeat a command indefinitely until you stop it with Ctrl+C. And it’s even more useful with the – -diff parameter. All the differences since last run are highlighted. For example if you want to monitor a running backup, try this:

watch -n 60 --diff 'sqlplus -s /nolog @check_backup; echo ; du -hs /backup'

The check_backup.sql being:

conn / as sysdba
set feedback off
set lines 150
set pages 100
col status for a30
alter session set NLS_DATE_FORMAT="DD/MM-HH24:MI:SS";
select start_time "Start", round (input_bytes/1024/1024,1) "Source MB", round(output_bytes/1024/1024,1) "Backup MB", input_type "Type", status "Status", round(elapsed_seconds/60,1) "Min", round(compression_ratio,1) "Ratio" from v$rman_backup_job_details where start_time >= SYSDATE-1 order by 1 desc;

Every minute (60 seconds), you will check, in the rman backup views, the amount of data already backed up. And the amount of data in your backup folder.

Very convenient to keep an eye on things without actually repeating the commands.

Truncate a logfile in one simple command

Oracle is generating a lot of logfiles, some of them can reach several GB and fill up your filesystem. How to quickly empty a big logfile without removing it? Simply use the true command:

true > listener.log

Run a SQL script on all the running databases

You need to check something on every databases running on your system? Or eventually make the same change to all these databases? A single line will do the job:

for a in `ps -ef | grep pmon | grep -v grep | awk '{print $8}' | cut -c 10- | sort`; do . oraenv <<< $a; sqlplus -s / as sysdba @my_script.sql >> output.log; done

Don’t forget to put an exit at the end of your SQL script my_script.sql. Using this script through ansible will even increase the scope and save hours of work.

Copy a folder to another server

scp is fine for copying single file or multiple files inside a folder. But copying a folder recursively to a remote server with scp is more complicated. Actually, you need to do a tarfile for that purpose. A clever solution is to use tar without creating any archive on the source server, but with a pipe to the destination server. Very useful and efficient, with just one line:

tar cf - source_folder | ssh [email protected] "cd destination_folder_for_source_folder; tar xf -"

For sure, you will need +rwx on destination_folder_for_source_folder for oracle user on

Check the network speed – because you need to check

As an Oracle DBA you probably have to deal with performance: not a problem it’s part of your job. But are you sure your database system is running at full network speed? You probably didn’t check that, but low network speed could be the root cause of some performance issues. This concerns copper-based networks.

Today’s servers handle 10Gb/s ethernet speed but can also work with 1Gb/s depending on the network behind the servers. You should be aware that you can still find 100Mb/s network speeds, for example if the network port of the switch attached to your server has been limitated for some reason (needed for the server connected to this port before yours for example). If 1Gb/s is probably enough for most of the databases, 100Mb/s is clearly inadequate, and most of the recent servers will even not handle correctly 100Mb/s network speed. Your Oracle environment may work, but don’t expect high performance level as your databases will have to wait for the network to send packets. Don’t forget that 1Gb/s gives you about 100-120MBytes/s in real condition, and 100Mb/s only allows 10-12MBytes/s, “Fast Ethernet” of the 90’s…

Checking the network speed is easy, with ethtool.

[[email protected] ~]# ethtool btbond1
Settings for btbond1:
Supported ports: [ ]
Supported link modes: Not reported
Supported pause frame use: No
Supports auto-negotiation: No
Advertised link modes: Not reported
Advertised pause frame use: No
Advertised auto-negotiation: No
Speed: 1000Mb/s <= Network speed is OK
Duplex: Full
Port: Other
Transceiver: internal
Auto-negotiation: off
Link detected: yes

In case of a network bonding interface, please also check the real interfaces associated to the bonding, all the network interfaces belonging to the bonding need to have the same network speed :

[[email protected] ~]# ethtool em1
Settings for em1:
Supported ports: [ TP ]
Supported link modes: 100baseT/Full <= This network interface is physically supporting 100Mb/s
1000baseT/Full <= also 1Gb/s
10000baseT/Full <= and 10Gb/s
Supported pause frame use: Symmetric
Supports auto-negotiation: Yes
Advertised link modes: 100baseT/Full
Advertised pause frame use: Symmetric
Advertised auto-negotiation: Yes
Speed: 1000Mb/s <= Network speed is 1Gb/s
Duplex: Full
Port: Twisted Pair
Transceiver: external
Auto-negotiation: on
MDI-X: Unknown
Supports Wake-on: d
Wake-on: d
Current message level: 0x00000007 (7)
drv probe link
Link detected: yes <= This interface is connected to a switch


Hope this helps!

Thumbnail [60x60]
Jérôme Dubar