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Oracle passwords - changing, expiring and locking users

Oracle Tips by Steve Karam, OCM

See these important notes on how to un-lock a database and make_a password_not_expire.

Change Oracle passwords, expire, and lock unnecessary users

There are many users on a full installation of Oracle, most of which you probably won't need. To lock an Oracle user account, you can use the following command:

alter user username account lock;

To unlock the user, simply replace 'lock' with 'unlock.'

Oracle comes with a few default accounts that should never be locked or dropped. These include: SYS, SYSTEM, SYSMAN (Oracle 10g), OUTLN. However, you do want always to change the password for these users. The default password for SYS is change_on_install. It is important that you follow these directions. To change the password for a user:

alter user username identified by new_password;

For non-critical users, you can always lock and expire the account. We can change the password for, lock, and expire the account CTXSYS all at once:

alter user ctxsys identified by 0bscur3 account lock password expire;

This will ensure that CTXSYS password has been changed from the self evident default of CTXSYS; on a successful login the password will have to be changed (because it is expired); and because it is locked, he account can't be logged into under any circumstances.

To aid you in this task, here is a list of users that come with a full database installation that are safe to expire and lock if you are not using their functionality:

  2. BI - demo user
  3. CTXSYS - Oracle Text/interMedia administrator
  4. DBSNMP - Oracle Intelligent Agent
  5. DSSYS - Dynamic Services and Syndication Server
  6. HR - demo user
  7. MDSYS - Spatial administrator
  8. ORDSYS/ORDPLUGIN - Object Relational Data user
  9. OE - demo user
  10. PERFSTAT - Statspack administrative user
  11. SCOTT - demo user
  12. SH - demo user
  13. TRACESVR - Oracle trace server
  14. WKSYS - Ultrasearch administrator

The best rule of thumb is to install only the features you need when you install Oracle. If you are not going to use Spatial, interMedia, or UltraSearch, don't install them. Then you will not have to worry about those three users.

Once an account has been expired, it can only be revived by assigning it a new password.  You can save the old password.


You can then re-add the original password, provided that password_reuse_max is greater than zero.

Also see our notes on:


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