Oracle DBA – A lifelong learning experience

Autostart using the ‘W’ flag in oratab

Posted by John Hallas on May 12, 2009

In an option arrived to manage the automatic startup and shutdown of the databases. This is documented in the manual and also in Metalink note 788502.1.
It  is probably easier to reproduce the key paragraph here

Database entries in the oratab file are displayed in the following format:


In this example, the values Y and N specify whether you want the scripts to start up or shut down the database, respectively. For each database for which you want to automate shutdown and startup, first determine the instance identifier (SID) for that database, which is identified by the SID in the first field.

Then, change the last field for each to Y.

You can set dbstart to autostart a single-instance database that uses an Automatic Storage Management installation that is auto-started by Oracle Clusterware. This is the default behavior for an Automatic Storage Management cluster. If you want to do this, then you must change the oratab entry of the database and the Automatic Storage Management installation to use a third field with the value W and N, respectively. These values specify that dbstart auto-starts the database only after the Automatic Storage Management instance is started.

However on playing around with these settings on a server with ASM and installed complete with a single instance database I could not see any way that the functionality was working.

Looking around on the net there does not seem to be much information out there and nothing on Metalink

In our environment we have a standard that we set up the oratab in the following manner

DATABASE SID that will be the default ORACLE_SID and ORACLE_HOME when you login
DATABASE_SID1 – if available
DATABASE_SID2 – if available
+ASM – the asm instance entry
agent10g – the ORACLE_HOME for the grid agent.

I suspect that if the ‘W’ flag in oratab did work then we would need to change that standard to get the ASM entry in as the first entry.

If anyone has any more feedback please feel free to comment


One Response to “Autostart using the ‘W’ flag in oratab”

  1. […] Hallas ponders autostart using the ‘W’ flag in oratab: “In an option arrived to manage the automatic startup and shutdown of the […]

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