A way to hang on to an Oracle instance

Here is an easy way to hang on to an Oracle instance due to an unhandled memory leakage. This problem sometimes results from giving exessive abilities to common Oracle users in production databases. Keeping this memory leakage (or uncontrolled stack growth) problem in mind, administrators should be cautious about giving CREATE PROCEDURE privileges to users. This privilege is included in the RESOURCE role that also has the potential of uncontrolled access due to automatic UNLIMITED TABLESPACE granting. Another way to diminish the harm of breaking a production database is to use systematic profiles limiting DBMS resources usage by common users.

The following may be easily done in Oracle 9.2 running under Win32:

  1. Open Windows Task Manager to monitor processor load and memory usage
  2. Go to SQL*Plus and type the following:
    connect sys/*** as sysdba 
    startup nomount force
    function sin(x number) return number is begin return 1*sin(x); 
    begin dbms_output.put_line(sin(1)); 
  3. See processor load and memory leakage in Task Manager


  • The mount state of the instance was used just to show that the problem is with an Oracle instance, not with a database.
  • This will also work with other users besides sys.

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This was first published in September 2003

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