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endian format Tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonMay 4, 2013

Question:  I am migrating from AIX to Linux and I understand that the endian format (endianness) is different.  How to I get the endian format for an OS platform?

Answer:  The v$transportable_platform view shows the endian format for almost all Oracle platforms: 

SQL> select * from v$transportable_platform;

PLATFORM_ID PLATFORM_NAME                  ENDIAN_FORMAT
----------- ------------------------------ --------------
1           Solaris[tm] OE (32-bit)          Big
2           Solaris[tm] OE (64-bit)          Big
7           Microsoft Windows NT             Little
10          Linux IA (32-bit)                Little
6           AIX-Based Systems (64-bit)       Big
3           HP-UX (64-bit)                   Big
5           HP Tru64 UNIX                    Little
4           HP-UX IA (64-bit)                Big
11          Linux IA (64-bit)                Little
15          HP Open VMS                      Little
8           Microsoft Windows IA (64-bit)    Little
9           IBM zSeries Based Linux          Big
13          Linux 64-bit for AMD             Little
16          Apple Mac OS                     Big
12          Microsoft Windows 64-bit for AMD Little

The v$database data dictionary view also adds two columns, platform ID and platform name:

select
   name,
   platform_id,
   platform_name

from
   v$database;


NAME PLATFORM_ID PLATFORM_NAME

------- ----------- -----------------------
GRID 2 Solaris[tm] OE (64-bit)

To transport a tablespace from one platform to another, datafiles on different platforms must be in the same endian format (byte ordering).

The pattern for byte ordering in native types is called endianness. There are only two main patterns, big endian and little endian. Big endian means the most significant byte comes first, and little endian means the least significant byte comes first.

 
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