I am wondering what is the quickest way to properly startup/shutdown a Oracle DB daemon (Oracle 11.2, installed on a test machine).

I need it for C/C++ programs that use the OCI/Pro*C API.

I want this because I am used to the startup speed of PostgreSQL, and because the daemon runs in a virtual machine which is only started (on-demand) for test cases.

Currently I script it like this - startup:

sqlplus /nolog <<EOF
connect / as sysdba
lsnrctl start
emctl start dbconsole

And shutdown:

emctl stop dbconsole
lsnrctl stop
sqlplus /nolog <<EOF
connect / as sysdba

This works - programs work as expected - but this procedure is quite slow.

The Oracle DB runs on CentOS 6.3, it is the free (as-in-beer) available 'standard version'.


3 Answers 3


You can use the dbstart/dbshut scripts which come with an Oracle install. They are available under $ORACLE_HOME/bin.

After a fresh install you have to edit the /etc/oratab file:

# cat /etc/oratab
# sed -i 's/:N$/:Y/' /etc/oratab
# grep my_sid /etc/oratab

Then you can use the scripts like this:

$ whoami
$ dbstart $ORACLE_HOME
$ # execute DB jobs ...
$ dbshut $ORACLE_HOME

dbstart brings all up which is needed for Pro*C/OCI programs.

Using dbstart/dbshut is an improvement above the custom method mentioned in the question:

method                time    called tools
dbstart              5.7 s    lsnrctl, sqlplus
dbshut               5.7 s    lsnrctl, sqlplus
custom startup      27.9 s    lsnrctl, sqlplus, emctl
custom shutdown     31.0 s    lsnrctl, sqlplus, emctl

(times on a Core i7/2.8GHz system, slow spinning hard disk.)

How dbstart/dbshut work

A dbstart $ORACLE_HOME$ call is basically equivalent to:

$ lsnrctl start
$ echo -e 'connect / as sysdba\nstartup\nquit'| sqlplus /nolog

And a dbshut $ORACLE_HOME$ is basically equivalent to:

$ lsnrctl stop
$ echo -e 'connect / as sysdba\nshutdown\nquit'| sqlplus /nolog

(you can verify if everything is shutdown via ps aux | grep 'tnsl\|ora')

Note that the order of the commands is important. That means when lsnrctl start is executed after the sqlplus-startup command then the Pro*C/OCI program still complains about an unavailable TNS-listener.

And this is exactly the problem with the command sequence in the question - where the emctl start just workarounds the wrong order because it fixes the TNS-listener setup part.

Also note that for executing Pro*C/OCI programs the EMCTL service is not needed.


Why do you need it at all? What is the reason? For shutdown you have 3 options:

  • plain shutdown - waits for sessions end
  • shutdown immediate - rollbacks and ends sessions (waits for rollback finish)
  • shutdown abort - kills everything - usually database has to perform some recovery on startup.

PS: you probably do not need Enterprise manager to run, if you need the database for tests only. Use the Oracle dbstart/dbshut scripts. If you really need EM, start it in the background.


yasir-arsanukaev: Can you just pause (suspend) your VM saving its state to disk?

colin-t-hart: If this is a test machine, create a snapshot. Start the machine and start Oracle using dbstart. Just force off the machine when done and rollback to the snapshot.

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