Investigating kernel dives using ftrace.

This blogpost is about using the linux ftrace kernel facility. If you are familiar with ftrace and specifically the function_graph tracer, you might already be aware of this functionality. This is Linux specific, and this facility is at least available in kernel 2.6.39 (Oracle’s UEK2 kernel).

What is a ‘kernel dive’? Whenever a process is running, it should mostly be in ‘user mode’, executing the program it is supposed to run. However, during (more...)

Tales from the field: potential reasons for PDB plug-in violations part 2

In the first part of this little series I explained how a missing (default) tablespace in a PDB can have an impact when opening it. In this instalment I’ll add another common cause for PDBs not opening in read-write mode: different patch levels between the PDB to be plugged in and the CDB.


Assume for a moment that you upgraded Oracle binaries from to (more...)

Manually downloading Java For Use With Webupd8’s apt-get Package

Oracle Java is one of the biggest problems in life. That’s just a fact. Half of it is the fact that you have to download it directly from Oracle each time, quarter of it is the almost daily updates (compounded by the first problem), and the remainder is dealing with the fact that the first problem

Tales from the field: potential reasons for PDB plug-in violations part 1

Container Databases have been an area that I have researched intensively over the past years. With this post (and hopefully some others that follow) I would like to demonstrate some of the new situations the DBA might be confronted with. Please don’t use this post to give the new 12c architecture a hard time: standardised deployments (which I love) help you a lot. Not only do your DBA scripts work reliably everywhere, but the error condition (more...)

Install DataStax Cassandra 3 on Debain/ Ubuntu

The following process will install the DataStax distribution of Cassandra on any Debian based system, such as Debian or Ubuntu. We’ll use the official DataStax apt repositories to install Cassandra using apt-get. Cassandra is written in Java and the latest version (at the time of writing) of Cassandra requires Java 8. You can use either OpenJDK or

Developer Days VM Startup and Shutdown, SQLcl

| Jun 16, 2016
If you're developing on a remote platform, chances are that you are using a Virtual Machine. (VM)  In Oracle, we release a virtual machine called the  "Oracle Developer Days".    This is available on the Oracle Technology Network and ala google.  Todays hack is setting up headless vm's, ports and aliases to speed up your day. (This post took a lot longer to write that the aliases we set up!)

For this (more...)

Little things worth knowing: auto-DOP or hint-which one takes precedence?

This is just another short post about one of the little things worth knowing. Assume you are on for example and you want to know if parallel_degree_limit reliably keeps the degree of parallelism at bay, for all sessions and queries across the board. After all, every machine has finite CPU (and other) resources that shouldn’t be exhausted. Setting parallel_degree_limit of course only has an effect if you set parallel_degree_policy to limited, auto (more...)

Can’t Display 256 Colors

If you’re reading this post, you most likely are trying to run the Oracle Database 11g or 12c runInstaller program, and it’s failing a critical dependency check and displaying an error like the one below. If so, choose n because if you choose y it won’t launch the Oracle Installer.

Starting Oracle Universal Installer...
Checking Temp space: must be greater than 500 MB.   Actual 30824 MB    Passed
Checking swap space: must be greater than  (more...)

The Oracle database, in-memory parallel execution and NUMA

In a previous article called ‘memory allocation on startup’ I touched on the subject of NUMA; Non Uniform Memory Access. This article is about how to configure NUMA, how to look into NUMA usage and a real life case of NUMA optimisation using in-memory parallel execution.

At this point in time (start of the summer of 2016) we see that the CPU speed competition has stagnated and settled at somewhere below maximally 4 gigahertz, and (more...)

Linux BPF/bcc for Oracle Tracing

Topic: In this post you will find a short discussion and pointers to the code of a few sample scripts that I have written using Linux BPF/bcc and uprobes for Oracle tracing.

Previous work and motivations

Tools for dynamic tracing are very useful for troubleshooting and internals investigations of Oracle workloads. Dynamic tracing probes on the OS/kernel, can be used to measure the details for I/O latency for example. Moreover probes on the Oracle (more...)

Oracle 12c Pre-requisites

Installing any Oracle database is tedious, but the installing the pre-requisites can be tedious. This post tries to simplify the process by creating a single file for all the pre-requisite libraries. The file should contain the following:

yum install -y binutils \
               compat-libstdc++-33 \
               compat-libstdc++-33.i686 \
               gcc \
               gcc-c++ \
               glibc \
               glibc.i686 \
               glibc-devel \
               glibc-devel.i686 \
               ksh \
               libgcc \
               libgcc.i686 \
               libstdc++ \
               libstdc++. (more...)

perf top ‘Too many events are opened.’ message

This is a small blogpost on using ‘perf’. I got an error message when I tried to run ‘perf top’ systemwide:

# perf top
Too many events are opened.
Try again after reducing the number of events

What actually is the case here, is actually described in the perf wiki:

Open file limits
The design of the perf_event kernel interface which is used by the perf tool, is such that it uses one file (more...)

Linux User-Group Console

This post shows you how to add the menu option and GUI to set users and groups. It’s quite a bit easier than mastering all the command-line syntax. It makes setting up the required user and group accounts for an Oracle Enterprise or MySQL database solution much easier.

You add the utility by calling the yum (Yellowdog Updater, Modified) utility like this:

yum installed -y system-config_users

You should see the following:

Loaded plugins: langpacks
Usage:  (more...)

Oracle SGA memory allocation on startup

Recently I have been presenting on what running on a large intel based NUMA system looks like (OTN EMEA tour in Düsseldorf and Milan, and I will be presenting about this at the Dutch AMIS 25th anniversary event in june). The investigation of this presentation is done on a SGI UV 300 machine with 24 terabyte of memory, 32 sockets (=NUMA nodes), 480 core’s and 960 threads.

Recently I have been given access to a (more...)

Fix VMware Networking

Occasionally, my students loose their network connection when copying their virtual machines. This article shows you how to rebuild your Internet connection.

The first step requires you to identify the port number on your host operating system, which is typically Windows OS or Mac OS X. You can find that by running the following search from a Mac OS X Terminal session or Windows OS Command session.

If you’re on the Mac OS X, you (more...)

New Installation Cookbook: Oracle Linux 6.7 with Oracle RAC

cookbookI’ve updated my install cookbooks page to include a new cookbook for installation of Oracle Real Application Clusters on Oracle Linux 6.7.

This is also the first one I’ve published since I left the employment of Violin Memory to work for Kaminario, so this install uses a Kaminario K2 All Flash Array. However, it applies very well to any Oracle RAC installation which uses relatively capable storage.


Filed (more...)

SystemTap Guru Mode and Oracle SQL Parsing

Introduction and motivations

SystemTap and dynamic tracing tools in general give administrators great control on their systems with the relatively little additional effort to learn the new tools. In this post you will see of how SystemTap that can be used to modify data on the fly at runtime. The outcome is a form of "live patching". Examples are provided on how to apply these ideas to Oracle SQL parsing functionality. This type of "guru mode" use (more...)

Oracle Linux 7 disks and udev

I was setting up disk devices for ASM in Oracle Linux 7. I knew things have changed between Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7, but only just a little bit.

First of all, let’s take a look at the current disk usage. To see what disk devices are visible and how they are used, use lsblk:

# lsblk
fd0           2:0    1    4K  0 disk
sda           8:0    0    (more...)

The Oracle wait interface granularity of measurement

The intention of this blogpost is to show the Oracle wait time granularity and the Oracle database time measurement granularity. One of the reasons for doing this, is the Oracle database switched from using the function gettimeofday() up to version 11.2 to clock_gettime() to measure time.

This switch is understandable, as gettimeofday() is a best guess of the kernel of the wall clock time, while clock_gettime(CLOCK_MONOTONIC,…) is an monotonic increasing timer, which means it (more...)

PL/SQL context switch, part 2

This is the second blogpost on using PL/SQL inside SQL. If you landed on this page and have not read the first part, click this link and read that first. I gotten some reactions on the first article, of which one was: how does this look like with ‘pragma udf’ in the function?

Pragma udf is a way to speed up using PL/SQL functions in (user defined function), starting from version 12. If you want (more...)