Posts Tagged ‘ORA-01031’

Solving ORA-01031: insufficient privileges while connecting as sqlplus / as sysdba.

Many times we can see an issue like this:
This is a very common and frequent error that can occur after the new oracle software install or due to some permissions changes at OS level. I will discuss the approach to solve ORA-1031 error on both Windows and Linux environment but first a little theory.
An administrative account is a user that is granted SYSOPER or SYSDBA privileges. Oracle DBAs and operators typically use administrative accounts to manage the database and database instance. SYSDBA and SYSOPER allow access to a database instance even if it is not running. Control of these privileges is managed outside of the database via password files and special operating system groups (dba on Unix/Linux and ORA_DBA on Windows). External password files are created with the orapwd utility.
If an administrative users belongs to the ‘dba’ group on Linux or the ‘ORA_DBA’ group on Windows, he/she can connect like this:

sqlplus / as sysdba

No password is required. This is equivalent to the unsupported “connect internal” method.
A password is required for “non-secure” administrative access. These passwords are stored in password files. Remote connections via Net8 are classified as non-secure. Look at this example:

sqlplus sys/password as sysdba

The Oracle password file ($ORACLE_HOME/dbs/orapw$ORACLE_SID or $ORACLE_HOME/database/orapw$ORACLE_SID) stores passwords for users with administrative privileges. One needs to create a password files before remote administrators will be allowed to connect.
Follow this procedure to create a new password file:
– Log in as the Oracle software owner
– Run command: orapwd file=$ORACLE_HOME/dbs/orapw$ORACLE_SID password=mypasswd
– Shutdown the database (SHUTDOWN IMMEDIATE)
– Edit the INIT.ORA file and ensure REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE=exclusive is set
– Startup the database (STARTUP)
Keep in mind that the orapwd utility presents a security risk in that it receives a password from the command line. This password is visible in the process table (at least as long as orapwd is running) and in the shell’s history file of many systems.
Last but not least, avoid at all cost the OPS$ accounts and setting the REMOTE_OS_AUTHENT initialization parameter (deprecated in Oracle 11g) which could be a security risk in a client/server environment.

Now, let’s go back to the ORA-01031 error – how to solve it in Windows environment?
First of all, be sure that your OS user belongs to the ORA_DBA group.
Then, set the SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES parameter to NTS in the sqlnet.ora file (located in the $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin):


which allows Windows users to be authenticated using Windows NT native security.
With your user account added to the ORA_DBA group and the SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES parameter being set to NTS, you should have sufficient privileges and be able to connect as SYSDBA without a password.

How to solve the ORA-01031 error in UNIX/Linux environment?
1. Check that $ORACLE_SID and $ORACLE_HOME are set correctly as:


Find the values returned by above commands and match these values under /etc/oratab file, these have to be listed there.
The values above are matching with /etc/oratab entries.
If the $ORACLE_SID and $ORACLE_HOME are not set properly then set it as:

export ORACLE_SID=orcl11gr2
export ORACLE_HOME=/u01/app/oracle/product/1120

and try to connect as “/ as sysdba” – it should work now.
If these are correct but still the error is coming then move to step 2.
2. Ensure you are invoking sqlplus from correct $ORACLE_HOME by checking the $PATH environment variable:

echo $PATH

If this is correct but still the error is coming then move to step 3.
3. Set the SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES parameter to ALL in the sqlnet.ora file (located in the $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin):


If this is correct but still the error is coming then move to step 4.
4. Ensure $TWO_TASK is not set.

echo $TWO_TASK

If it return any lines, then unset the environment variable as:

unset TWO_TASK

If this is correct but still the error is coming then move to step 5.
5. Check the permissions on the Oracle executable file.
It should show the permissions as on the above screen – if its not the same then issue the following command to set the correct permissions:

chmod 6751 oracle

If these are correct but still the error is coming then move to step 6.
6. Make sure that dba group at OS level only exists once in /etc/group file and that the users belonging to the dba group are properly comma separated. Check that the oracle user uid and gid are the same in /etc/group and /etc/passwd.
If these are correct but still the error is coming then move to step 7.
7. Check for the dba group at OS level. We need to make sure that OS user issuing “connect / as sysdba” belongs to dba group at OS level.
There is one file we need to check for this: $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/lib/config.s or $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/lib/config.c (file name vary depending on OS). The value for SS_DBA_GRP in these file is typically set to “dba” :
Let’s check it as oracle user:

[oracle@orclprod ~]$ id
uid=54321(oracle) gid=54321(oinstall) groups=54321(oinstall),54322(orcldba)

Look for the groups value here – 54322(orcldba), the value is orcldba so we need to modify the config.c or config.s so that it should look like:

#define SS_DBA_GRP "orcldba"

After making changes to config file make sure that:
– no oracle processes are running
– login as oracle
– $LD_LIBRARY_PATH and $ORACLE_HOME are set properly
and relink oracle binaries with the following command:

$ORACLE_HOME/bin/relink all

If all previous settings are correct and still ORA-1031 is coming then the only option is to take strace output and check while opening which file the error is coming – for example:

strace -o /tmp/strace.txt sqlplus "/ as sysdba"

How to (re)configure Oracle Enterprise Manager – unexpected part II.

2013-07-30 1 comment

When I wrote about (re)configuring Oracle Enterprise Manager last time, I wrote something like that: “When you have a problem with creating the Oracle EM via command line (you’ve got the insufficient privileges error) try to use the Database Configuration Assistant“. I think it’s time to be more specific 🙂
Suppose, we did the following:

set ORACLE_SID=orcl
emca -config dbcontrol db -repos create

and get the insufficient privileges error:

STARTED EMCA at Jun 28, 2012 11:08:59 AM
EM Configuration Assistant, Version Production
Copyright (c) 2003, 2005, Oracle.  All rights reserved.

Enter the following information:
Database SID:  orcl
Exception in thread "main" oracle.sysman.emcp.exception.DatabaseUnavailableException: Database instance unavailable.
        at oracle.sysman.emcp.DatabaseChecks.throwDBUnavailableException(
        at oracle.sysman.emcp.DatabaseChecks.checkDbAvailabilityImpl(
        at oracle.sysman.emcp.DatabaseChecks.checkDbAvailability(
        at oracle.sysman.emcp.DatabaseChecks.getDbServiceName(
        at oracle.sysman.emcp.EMConfigAssistant.performConfiguration(
        at oracle.sysman.emcp.EMConfigAssistant.statusMain(
        at oracle.sysman.emcp.EMConfigAssistant.main(

and the emca log contains the below details:

oracle.sysman.emcp.util.GeneralUtil initSQLEngineLoacly
CONFIG: ORA-01031: insufficient privileges
oracle.sysman.assistants.util.sqlEngine.SQLFatalErrorException: ORA-01031: insufficient privileges
at oracle.sysman.assistants.util.sqlEngine.SQLEngine.executeImpl(
at oracle.sysman.assistants.util.sqlEngine.SQLEngine.connect(
at oracle.sysman.emcp.util.GeneralUtil.initSQLEngineLoacly(
at oracle.sysman.emcp.util.GeneralUtil.initSQLEngine(
at oracle.sysman.emcp.DatabaseChecks.checkDbAvailabilityImpl(

From the above logs, we find two hints: database instance is down and ORA-01031. So, some possible reasons may be:
1. Database may not be up – confirm that the database is up. Connect to the database via SQLPLUS

sqlplus / as sysdba

and do

select instance_name, status, version from v$instance;

the output should be similar to that:

------------- ------ ----------
orcl          OPEN

2. Confirm whether the ORACLE_HOME environmental variable is correct. This involves comparing the current ORACLE_HOME environmental setting, with the one that was set the last time the database was started.
To check the current ORACLE_HOME (MS Windows):


To check the ORACLE_HOME which was set at the time when the database was last started, connect to SQLPLUS (sys as sysdba) and issue the following:

var OHM varchar2(100);
exec dbms_system.get_env('ORACLE_HOME', :OHM);
print OHM;

If the ORACLE_HOME was set wrongly at the time that the database was started (as determined by above steps), then the database will need to be shut down and restarted. To shut the database down, it will be necessary to set the “wrong” ORACLE_HOME (the one which is returned in the OHM output). After the database has been successfully shut down, then the correct ORACLE_HOME should be set, and the database can be re-started.

3. Confirm whether it’s possible to connect to the database as the SYSDBA user remotely, using sqlplus. As part of the repository creation/drop process, the SYS user needs to be able to connect as SYSDBA. The “ORA-01031: insufficient privileges error” is returned when the SYS user is unable to connect as SYSDBA. To test this outside of dbconsole, test a sqlplus remote connection (one which connects via a tnsnames.ora alias) as sysdba, eg:

sqlplus sys/@ as sysdba

If the above returns the ORA-01031 error check whether the REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE initialization parameter is set correctly in the database. For the purposes of configuring dbconsole, it must be set to ‘EXCLUSIVE’. This value can be checked this way:

show parameter remote_login_passwordfile

and the output should be like that

NAME                      TYPE   VALUE
------------------------- ------ ---------
remote_login_passwordfile string EXCLUSIVE

If this parameter is not set to ‘EXCLUSIVE’, the following command can be run:

alter system set remote_login_passwordfile=EXCLUSIVE scope=both;

For dbconsole, and check whether the %ORACLE_HOME%\network\admin\sqlnet.ora (or %TNS_ADMIN%\sqlnet.ora) contains the entry:


In my case the value of SQLNET.AUTHENTICATION_SERVICES was NONE. So, I changed to NTS and think that finally I’ll be able to configure the OEM. Unfortunatelly, still there was an error. So, I started to dig up the logfiles in the %ORACLE_HOME%\_\sysman\log folder and there found the source of the problem (the OracleDBConsolesrvc.log and emdb.nohup are especially useful).