I have installed Oracle 11g, and I can connect as sysman to the Oracle database, but there is no tnsnames.ora file that I can find.

Do I need to generate the tnsnames.ora file myself? If so, where do I place it? If not, how does Oracle generate it for me? If I do need to generate it, what is the appropriate syntax for the file?

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up vote 15 down vote accepted

You can easily create a tnsnames.ora [text] file. It should be in $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/ and should look something like this:

     (address = (protocol = TCP)(host = fu.bar)(port = 1521))
 (connect_data =
  • Good answer, although I found that I had to name my file $HOME/.tnsnames.ora; the path suggested in the answer seemed to be ignored by sqlplus. – DuffJ Feb 21 '17 at 12:21
  • @DuffJ then something is wrong with your environment. – miracle173 May 27 '17 at 17:55

The default directory for a tnsnames.ora file is



<alias> = (DESCRIPTION =
    (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP)(HOST = <ip>)(PORT = <port>))
      (SERVICE_NAME = <dbname>)
  • alias: you can choose this and use it as connection string later on.
  • port: the default is 1521

More info here: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B28359_01/network.111/b28317/tnsnames.htm

  • 6
    The default directory is nothing of the sort. It's relative to $ORACLE_HOME and therefore will be $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin (where $ORACLE_HOME can be multiple different directories where there's more than one Oracle install/patch level) or can be overrided by the $TNS_ADMIN environment variable. It's completely up to the user where the software resides. – Philᵀᴹ Nov 7 '12 at 23:07
  • 4
    Honestly it is the default on a linux system... If you don't touch a thing it will be put there... thus being the default. But $ORACLE_HOME if not tampered with is indeed a better solution. – Munchi Nov 8 '12 at 23:44
  • I have run Oracle on literally hundreds of Linux systems and that is NOT the default, nor is there such a thing. Perhaps you mean that's the example in the documentation, well they had to choose something. There is no Linux distro that I know of that has a /u01 filesystem "by default", you must have created it and told Oracle to use it! – Gaius Jun 26 '13 at 8:22

$ORACLE_HOME/network/admin is the directory where tnsnames.ora file is created by DBCA and/or NetCA.

$ORACLE_HOME is a path like /u01/app ..., it is an OFA compliant path that the installler uses as default if not overriden by installer.

As far as i know the tnsnames.ora needs to be placed at the <ORA_INSTALL_FOLDER>\product\11.1.0\client_1\network\admin\ folder

Documentation can be found here

If your OS is Windows 10, you can find tnsnames.ora file in the following unc path:


Where myAccount is your Windows account name.

  • 1
    In other words, it's %ORACLE_HOME%\NETWORK\ADMIN, right? – Andriy M Sep 13 '16 at 12:24
  • Yes, that is right. Remember Oracle by default store tnsnames.ora in the $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin directory on UNIX operating systems and in the %ORACLE_HOME%\network\admin directory on Windows operating systems. – S. Mayol Sep 14 '16 at 18:34

protected by Community May 27 '17 at 6:45

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