I have configured controlfile autobackup:


Then added a test tablesapce into the database:

create tablespace test datafile '+DATA01' size 10m;

And there is no controlfile autobackup, and also no entry in alert log file about backing it up.


  • Why should be there any? CONFIGURE CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP ON means "When running database backup using RMAN then include controlfile in the backupset". D you want our controlfile to be backed up automatically without the tablespace? – ibre5041 Dec 6 '13 at 11:54
  • As I know that database structural changes cause controlfile/spfile to be automatically backed up. – kupa Dec 6 '13 at 12:09
  • @kupa You're misinformed. @ Ivan already told you the answer.... – Philᵀᴹ Dec 6 '13 at 12:14
  • @Phil Please see the answer below. and also this link docs.oracle.com/cd/E11882_01/backup.112/e10643/… – kupa Dec 6 '13 at 12:22
  • Yes, but you have to run rman to create the backup in the first place. It's not "automatic" in the sense you thought it was. – Philᵀᴹ Dec 6 '13 at 12:46

I found the answer as I think:

"Starting with Oracle 11g Release 2, RMAN creates a single autobackup file encompassing all of the structural changes that have occurred within a few minutes of each other rather than creating a new backup of the controlfile on each structural change to the database."

After about(not sure how much) 10-15 minutes I run the following command from the RMAN:

list backup;

and now it shows me the result. So it waited for a time and then backed up the controlfile.

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  • Interesting. Good to know. I thought something like that must be impossible, because in many cases RMAN cooperates with backup SW like NetBackup or TSM. In these envs. one can not simply execute RMAN to put the backup onto tapes. I assume this is specific to envs. where backup are kept on disk. – ibre5041 Dec 6 '13 at 12:53
  • @Ivan such kind of automatic backups of controlfile are saved always on disk(when database structure changes, because backup is taken by server process itself, rather than one of the RMAN channels) Also , in 10g every structural change was causing controlfile to be backed up (so many controlfile autobackups were being generated) , in 11g it waits for a few minutes and then generates(nice upgrade) <- have tested myself , believe me :) – kupa Dec 6 '13 at 13:07
  • @Ivan So you may be taking backups on tapes as usual but your controlfile autobackups taken by server process will be located on disk :) – kupa Dec 6 '13 at 13:13
  • @Ivan Both NBU and TSM work when executed from RMAN script. In fact, you cannot execute them in any other way, which kind-of sucks. – kubanczyk Dec 6 '13 at 19:47

I tested in 11g without RMAN catalog. When CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP is OFF and you issue backup database; without any additional option, it adds current controlfile and spfile into current backup set. But, when you set


then issue just


it'll back up data files without Control File and SPFILE. Upon finishing the main backup RMAN runs again backup for Control File and SPFILE itself and backs up them into AUTOBACKUP folder. It's important because after main backup completes it adds information about the last backup into control file and backs it up with latest changes. Without this feature Control File inside backup set will not include your latest backup information.

If you set CONTROLFILE AUTOBACKUP ON and want to include an old Control File during backup, force it with option INCLUDE CURRENT CONTROLFILE:

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Oracle 12v Automatic Control File Backup

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    Welcome to Stack Exchange, Olivier! Please phrase answers so that they can be read and understood by other users than just the specific person who posted the original question. I.e. explain in more detail how your answer solves the problem. – Daniel Hutmacher Feb 8 '17 at 9:30

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