The ORATAB file just determines which databases the dbshut and dbstart scripts will operate on. But you'll need to run dbstart on system bootup in order for this file to be read and for the databases to start automatically. You'll need to ask your Linux administrator to add an entry to /etc/init.d to run the appropriate script. More information can be found in the Oracle documentation, specifically the following URL: http://download-east.oracle.com/docs/html/A96167_01/post-inst.htm#BHACBJFH
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This was first published in April 2003