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Lesson 4Placing and naming the password file
ObjectiveDetermine the proper location and name for a password file.

Placing and Naming the Password File in Oracle

The proper name and location for a password file is specific to the operating system. There are some slight differences between Windows NT and Unix, and there may be differences for other operating systems as well.

If you make a mistake

Naming the password file is one area where Oracle is somewhat forgiving. If you configure a database to use a password file and Oracle can not find the file when you try to start the database, Oracle will display a message showing you the exact directory path and filename that it is looking for. So if you get the filename or location wrong the first time, it is a very easy mistake to correct. You can simply create the password file again using the correct name and location.

Naming the password file

The name of the password file for a database should take one of the following two forms:

Unix: orapwXXXX
Windows NT: pwdXXXX.ora

In both cases, the XXXX represents the Oracle instance identifier, or SID. Using the COIN instance as an example, the password file should be named orapwCOIN or pwdCOIN.ora, depending on whether you are running Oracle on Unix or Windows NT. Note that Oracle on Unix does not expect the password file to have an extension, while Oracle running on Windows NT does.

Placing the password file

In addition to having inconsistent naming conventions across platforms, Oracle also expects to find the password file in different directories for each operating system. For Unix and Windows NT, the password file should be in one of the following two directories:
Unix: $ORACLE_HOME/dbs
Windows NT: c:\oracle\ora81\database

Under Windows NT, the c:\oracle\ora81 part of the path represents the default install. If you chose a different location for your Oracle home when you installed the software, that part of the path will reflect your choice. Also, do not be confused by the fact that both the Windows NT and Unix implementations have a dbs directory. The password file goes in dbs for Unix and in database for Windows.
Now, determine the proper location and name for the password file for your own database. Later on in this module, you will use this information to actually create the password file.