I installed the Oracle 11g server on Ubuntu 12.10. But I can't start the server. When I start up the server, the following error occurs:

SQL> startup
ORA-01078: failure in processing system parameters
LRM-00109: could not open parameter file '/u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/xe/dbs/initXE.ora'

How can I solve this issue? I think the connect failed because target host or object does not exist. How can a target host be specified?

Running:

$ ls -latr /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/xe/dbs/initXE.ora

returns:

-rw-r--r-- 1 oracle dba 2637 Mar 13 17:07 /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/xe/dbs/initxe.ora 

Running echo $ORACLE_SID displays nothing - an empty line.

migrated from askubuntu.com Mar 13 '13 at 18:26

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  • ls initXE.ora will not return initxe.ora. Unix is case sensitive. – miracle173 May 24 '14 at 22:29

I see two things wrong here. Oracle tries to open a parameter file in the $ORACLE_HOME/dbs directory with the format "spfile" + $ORACLE_SID + ".ora". If it cannot find it, it then tries to open "init" + $ORACLE_SID + ".ora". This is where the problem(s) are.

By virtue of the fact that Oracle is trying to open a parameter file named "initXE.ora", your SID must be (or was at one point) equal to "XE".

1) This is the easy part, so try this first. Since (in your comments) doing an echo $ORACLE_SID yields nothing, try setting it.

export ORACLE_SID=XE

Then try starting Oracle again.

2) In your comments above, you show the file is named "initxe.ora". Is that really the name of the file? Or did your paste into a comment somehow lowercase the output of the ls command?

The reason I point this out, is that Ubuntu (Linux) has a case-sensitive filesystem. So initxe.ora and initXE.ora are actually two different files. So if your comment is correct and the file is lower-cased, you'll want to set your ORACLE_SID to "xe" instead:

export ORACLE_SID=xe

Try that, and see if it works.

If this is a new installed Oracle and you do not have initXE.ora parameter file here /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/xe/dbs/, that means you need to create XE DB first. To do that run /u01/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/xe/bin/createdb.sh script first.

  • Spot on, thank you! The script takes ages but does the trick. You need to run it as user oracle though and do note that this means you will have to reset the system/sys passwords afterwards as well when doing this. – Forage Oct 3 '17 at 7:47

Just do ls -altr. If you find like this ...

-rw-r--r-- 1 oracle oinstall 2637 Mar 13 init.ora

... just change the owner: chown -R oracle:dba init.ora, then startup.

I used to face this issue.

I realized that the error can be caused by the pfile not being found. You have to start the Oracle instance using a fully referenced pfile by issuing the following command:

SQL> startup pfile=<your pfile full path here>

find "initXE.ora" in your oracle directory and used :
SQL> startup pfile=<directory_name>/initXE.ora

  • You might want to add some details about why this works, or what the problem is with the original poster's question. – Max Vernon Jan 1 '14 at 20:48

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