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Oracle rename data file tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson

Oracle is the worlds most flexible database and we have many methods for renaming tablespaces and the underlying data files.

In 12c and beyond, it is easy to rename a data file. 

Here is an example of the 12c new feature for a online move of a data file:

alter database move datafile
  '/u01/app/oracle/oradata/cust2.dbf' ;

Database altered.

Tablespace data file rename

We can use the alter tablespace rename datafile command, but the tablespace most be offline and you must re-name the data file while the tablespace is offline:



RENAME datafile     

Database data file rename

We can also use the alter database rename datafile command, but the data file must be renamed in the OS (using the mv Linux command) while the database is down and the rename data file must be done while the database is un-opened (in the mount stage):

sqlplus:  shutdown;


sqlplus:  startup mount;

RENAME file     

RMAN data file rename

In RMAN, you can rename a data file like this:
  • SET NEWNAME - This command can be used to rename the data files to be restored to a new location. It is equivalent to the db_file_name_convert parameter of the server initialization parameter file. Combination of the SET NEWNAME and SWITCH command is the equivalent of the ALTER DATABASE RENAME FILE statement.
  • CONFIGURE AUXNAME - CONFIGURE AUXNAME is equivalent to the SET NEWNAME command, except that the CONFIGURE AUXNAME is persistent, whereas, the SET NEWNAME command must be used every time the DBA wants to rename a data file. It is necessary to connect to the recovery catalog in order to use the CONFIGURE AUXNAME command.

Renaming data files with soft links

When re-naming raw data files, we use the ln command:

 ln -s - This unlinks the previous file then creates the symbolic link

The -f parameter (--force) when passed to ln it causes it to call the unlink() system call right before symlink()

 ln -sfT /path/to/new/target linkname


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