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Lesson 3 Steps to creating a password file
Objective Explain the process for creating a password file.

Steps to creating Password File

To create a password file and configure a database to use it, you must perform these five tasks
  1. Shut down the database.
  2. Determine the proper location and name for the password file.
  3. Use the orapwd utility to create the password file.
  4. Set the REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE initialization parameter to EXCLUSIVE (this configures the database to use the password file).
  5. Restart the database.

Password File Order

Click the exercise link below to try an ordering exercise covering the process of creating a password file.
Password File Order
You already know how to shut down and restart your database. The next three lessons cover the other steps.

It is critically important to the security of your system that you protect your password file and the environment variables that identify the location of the password file. Any user with access to these could potentially compromise the security of the connection.


This argument specifies the number of entries that you require the password file to accept. This number corresponds to the number of distinct users allowed to connect to the database as SYSDBA or SYSOPER. The actual number of allowable entries can be higher than the number of users, because the ORAPWD utility continues to assign password entries until an operating system block is filled. For example, if your operating system block size is 512 bytes, it holds four password entries. The number of password entries allocated is always a multiple of four.
Entries can be reused as users are added to and removed from the password file. If you intend to specify REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE=EXCLUSIVE, and to allow the granting of SYSDBA and SYSOPER privileges to users, this argument is required.

Caution: When you exceed the allocated number of password entries, you must create a new password file. To avoid this necessity, allocate a number of entries that is larger than you think you will ever need.
This argument, if set to Y, enables you to overwrite an existing password file. An error is returned if a password file of the same name already exists and this argument is omitted or set to N.


If this argument is set to y, passwords are case-insensitive. That is, case is ignored when comparing the password that the user supplies during login with the password in the password file.


In addition to creating the password file, you must also set the initialization parameter REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE to the appropriate value. The values recognized are:
  1. NONE: Setting this parameter to NONE causes Oracle Database to behave as if the password file does not exist. That is, no privileged connections are allowed over nonsecure connections.
  2. EXCLUSIVE: (The default) An EXCLUSIVE password file can be used with only one instance of one database. Only an EXCLUSIVE file can be modified. Using an EXCLUSIVE password file enables you to add, modify, and delete users. It also enables you to change the SYS password with the ALTER USER command.
  3. SHARED: A SHARED password file can be used by multiple databases running on the same server, or multiple instances of an Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) database. A SHARED password file cannot be modified. This means that you cannot add users to a SHARED password file. Any attempt to do so or to change the password of SYS or other users with the SYSDBA or SYSOPER privileges generates an error. All users needing SYSDBA or SYSOPER system privileges must be added to the password file when REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE is set to EXCLUSIVE. After all users are added, you can change REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE to SHARED, and then share the file.
This option is useful if you are administering multiple databases or a RAC database.
If REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE is set to EXCLUSIVE or SHARED and the password file is missing, this is equivalent to setting REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE to NONE.