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Large files not supported on Solaris 2.6?

I've been told that when running Oracle 8.1.7.4 on a Sun server with Solaris 2.6 as the operating system that large files, meaning files greater than 2 GB in size, are not supported (because Sol. 2.6 is a 32-bit OS). So far there are .dbs and .dbf files as large as 2.4 GB in size, and I'm being told by some that as long as the database comes "up" that there is no corruption to the files. On the other hand, I'm being told that to enable large file support I have to go to Sol. 2.8 w/64-bit turned "on" in order to protect the integrity of the data since there are large files involved. Using the Sol 2.6 and files > 2.09 GB, should I be wary of file corruption? And if so, will making the files smaller help? Can you recomend any caveats to look for? Any tips?

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Before 64-bit OS's, vendors were able to create files larger than 2 GB by implementing large file support in software, rather than hardware. If you have files that are larger than 2 GB, then your Solaris server is using software to implement large files, greater than 2 GB. If you did not have this feature enabled, then your 2.4 GB file would not exist. So you should be safe. I worked with files larger than 2 GB on Solaris long before we ever had 64-bit Solaris installed on our servers.

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This was first published in July 2003

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