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Oracle 11g connect as sysdba causes ORA-01031

Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

Updated January 7, 2010

Question:  I am on 11gr2 trying to connect to Oracle as SYSDBA and I am getting the ORA-01031 error.  Is this the new strong authentication I’ve read about?

Answer:  Starting in Oracle 11g, all SQL*Plus sessions must be configured for remote login or you will get the ORA-01031: insufficient privileges error.  Connections with sysdba or sysoper privileges must always be authenticated. This is possible through OS authentication by assigning the appropriate OS group to the OS user.   

Another method is the use of a password file. If an 11g client is not configured you will get the ORA-01031: Insufficient privileges error when connect to Oracle in SQL*Plus as the SYS or SYSTEM user.  Oracle remote login is commonly configured with a password file using the orapwd utility.

Here are the steps to prevent the ORA-01031 error when connecting as sysdba in 11g:

1 - Create the password fileThis is done by executing the following command:

$ orapwd file=filename  password=password entries=max_users

The max_users is the number of database users that can be granted SYSDBA or SYSOPER.  This parameter should be set to a higher value than the number of anticipated users to prevent having to delete and recreate the password file. 

2 - Edit the init.ora parameter remote_login_passwordfile

This parameter must be set to either SHARED or EXCLUSIVE.  When set to SHARED, the password file can be used by multiple databases, yet only the SYS user is recognized.  When set to EXCLUSIVE, the file can be used by only one database, yet multiple users can exist in the file. 

SQL> show parameter password
 
NAME                          TYPE        VALUE
----------------------------- ----------- ----------remote_login_passwordfile     string      EXCLUSIVE

3 - Grant SYSDBA or SYSOPER to users When SYSDBA or SYSOPER privileges are granted to a user, that user's name and privilege information are added to the password file.

SQL> grant sysdba to scott;
 
Grant succeeded.

 
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