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Oracle Windows orakill Utility
Oracle Tips by Burleson Consulting

Advanced Oracle Utilities: The Definitive Reference by Rampant TechPress is written by the top Oracle database experts (Bert Scalzo, Donald Burleson, and Steve Callan).  The following is an excerpt from the book.



On the Windows operating system platforms, Oracle provides a command line utility for killing sessions: orakill. The reason is two-fold. First, Oracle on Windows is implemented based upon threads rather than processes. So when the Windows Task Manager is viewed, all that will be seen is one ORACLE.EXE for that database instance. The individual threads for the sessions will not be visible since Task Manager only shows the process and number of threads. Look at the next screen snapshot; there are two SQL*Plus sessions connected to the database on this Windows box. Even though two sqlplus.exe processes can be seen, there is but one oracle.exe process. One would need to dig deeper than the basic Windows task management program to find the Oracle dedicated database server process’ thread.


Figure 4.7:  ORACLE.EXE in Windows Task Manager

Find a utility program, such as the free QuickSlice (qslice.exe) and PStat (pstat.exe) from the Microsoft's Resource Kit, or Process Explorer (procexp.exe), also from Microsoft. With tools like these, now open the oracle.exe process and investigate into its many threads. However, if one simply selects the 1176 thread using Process Explorer and presses the KILL button, there could be a problem. These tools do not inform Oracle’s PMON as to what just occurred, so they do not always make a hanging session and its locks go away. It still may be necessary to also manually run oradebug wakeup 1 to clear the locks, v$session and v$process. Hence, it is advisable to always use the Oracle- provided orakill utility instead. Just be careful, because if the wrong thread, such as a background process, is chosen, then the entire database may crash. As was said before, KILL is a four-letter word.


Figure 4.8:  Selecting 1176 Thread in Process Explorer

The orakill command is very simple. In fact, it is essentially the exact same syntax as the ALTER SYSTEM KILL SESSION. This means that it accepts two parameters – the SID and v$process.spid – which represents the thread number.


C:\Temp>orakill OR0310 1176


Kill of thread id 1176 in instance OR0310 successfully signaled.


On UNIX and Linux, there may be occasions where increasing an Oracle process priority may be contemplated. While some people are dead set against this, the Oracle ADDM report can, on occasion, suggest increasing the priority of the GS processes in order to reduce global waits in a RAC environment. Remember, only the priority of a process that is owned can be changed, so login as Oracle or root to make these changes. The command syntax is as follows:


$ renice nice_value id [options]


Where the options are:



Force who parameters to be interpreted as process group IDs


Resets who interpretation to be (the default) process IDs


Force who parameters to be interpreted as user names


The nice value can range from -20 (fastest or highest) to 19 (slowest or lowest).

For more details on Oracle utilities, see the book "Advanced Oracle Utilities" by Bert Scalzo, Donald K. Burleson, and Steve Callan.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30% off directly from Rampant TechPress.


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