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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle Tips

Finding a file on your Oracle server

One of the most confounding tasks for the Oracle professional is locating relevant file on the Oracle server.  These files include trace files needed for diagnostics, locating the Oracle alert log file, and locating miscellaneous files on the server.

Some of the common uses for the file location include:

  • tnsnames.ora file

  • listener.ora file location

  • alert log file location

  • trace and dump file locations

  • sqlnet.log file location(s)

Fortunately, the UNIX syntax for locating files is constant on Linux, HP/UX, AIX and Solaris, and uniform between Korn Shell Bourne shell and Bourne Again Shell (bash).


find . –print|grep –I alert|more


dir /s alert*.log|more

Finding the most recent files in a directory

Once you have located the directory for a trace or dump file, the next step is to locate the most recent file in the directory. 


ls –alt *.trc|head


dir *.trc/O-D|more

You can also use SQL*Plus scripts to accept values and use the SQL*Plus “host” command to shell-out to the operating system to locate files.  Here is an example of such a script:

prompt “please enter the name of the file to find: “


accept &filename


host find / -print|grep –I &filename

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