dumping SGA

If you are desperately salvaging out data or doing forensics or auditing type of job or just poking around buffer cache or in-memory columnar area and do not want to use oracle tools, I found there are at least 2 ways.

  1. Run gcore on oracle process
  2. You can pipe to od or perl with 'shmcat'. Plus, you can dump shared memory segments selectively.

shmcat | Free Development software downloads at SourceForge.net

This is a simple tool that dumps shared memory segments (System V and POSIX), files and text. It might be useful when you have to debug programs that use shared memory.

Lastly, here are some caveats and foot notes.

  1. I don't think we(oracle) support that instance will run healthy after dumping SGA. Please check with apporopriate channel.
  2. I don't know if any oracle tool can dump SGA in similar way. And I'm afraid Oracle Support won't help finding such tool.
  3. I'm not sure if there's a case when one needs to dump SGA to salvage data even when db is noarchivelog mode and on-line redo logs are accidentally deleted or when all background processes died unexpectedly.
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The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

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