I have just been awarded with the task of recovering a oracle database with some given datafiles. However, nobody knows from which OS this backup comes from.

I have an AIX box to make the recover. Is there any way that i can determine the OS from the original datafiles?

2 Answers 2


Mount the database and make a level 3 datafile header dump:

alter session set tracefile_identifier = 'header_dump';
alter session set events 'immediate trace name file_hdrs level 3';

In the trace file, you will find this section:

Platform Information:    Creation Platform ID: 13
Current Platform ID: 13 Last Platform ID: 13

The platform ID identifies the platform of the datafile, and that is all what matters. You can match the platform ID to platform name by using the information in the V$TRANSPORTABLE_PLATFORM view. For example platform 13 is x86 Linux 64-bit:

SQL> select platform_name from v$transportable_platform where platform_id = 13;

Linux x86 64-bit

[Can some moderator please make this answer a comment to Balazs Papp`s answer?]

I'm not sure if the above solution works across different endianesses. I tried to copy a cold backup of a 64bit SPARC Database to a 64bit Linux x86 system and tried to verify the the answer but I keep getting errors

e.g. if I try to generate a new control file I keep on getting errors like

ORA-27048: skgfifi: file header information is invalid


dbv --file d$DATAFILE

gives a

DBV-00107: Unknown header format (162) (2105310074) error.

@Balazs Papp: given the fact that you generally should use transportable tablespaces if you change your platform, can you please clarify if your solutions works across different endiannesses?

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