My thoughts on Tech

Troubleshooting Oracle’s ORA-01017 errors

Was writing this for Stack Overflow‘s tag wiki on ORA-01017, thought I’ll post it here as well.

ORA-01017 is the error code shown my Oracle when a login attempt to the database was not successful.

The full text of the error code is:

ORA-01017: invalid username/password; logon denied

Cause: An invalid username or password was entered in an attempt to
log on to Oracle. The username and password must be the same as was
specified in a GRANT CONNECT statement. If the username and password
are entered together, the format is: username/password.

Action: Enter a valid username and password combination in the correct
format.

DBA-Oracle has a checklist for ORA-01017 errors. Though the core problem is incorrect credentials, the reason for incorrect credentials maybe one of the below:

  • ┬áThe user id may not be present in the target system
  • $ORACLE_SID maybe incorrectly defined, leading to a connection attempt to a wrong system
  • tnanames.ora points to an incorrect instance

Also, if you upgraded a pre-Oracle 11g instance to Oracle 11g & above, you might start encountering ORA-0107 messages. The reason is that Oracle 11g & above by default support case sensitive passwords, as opposed to previous versions where all passwords were set to upper case.

This behavior can be set to status quo by using SEC_CASE_SENSITIVE_LOGON parameter, as explained by Mark Williams.

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