Friday Aug 03, 2012

Enabling 2 GB Large Pages on Solaris 10

Few facts:

  • - 8 KB is the default page size on Solaris 10 and 11 as of this writing
  • - both hardware and software must have support for 2 GB large pages
  • - SPARC T4 hardware is capable of supporting 2 GB pages
  • - Solaris 11 kernel has in-built support for 2 GB pages
  • - Solaris 10 has no default support for 2 GB pages
  • - Memory intensive 64-bit applications may benefit the most from using 2 GB pages


OS: Solaris 10 8/11 (Update 10) or later
Hardware: SPARC T4. eg., SPARC T4-1, T4-2 or T4-4

Steps to enable 2 GB large pages on Solaris 10:

  1. Install the latest kernel patch or ensure that 147440-04 or later was installed

  2. Add the following line to /etc/system and reboot
    • set max_uheap_lpsize=0x80000000

  3. Finally check the output of the following command when the system is back online
    • pagesize -a

    % pagesize -a
    8192		<-- 8K
    65536		<-- 64K
    4194304		<-- 4M
    268435456	<-- 256M
    2147483648	<-- 2G
    % uname -a
    SunOS jar-jar 5.10 Generic_147440-21 sun4v sparc sun4v

Also See:

Sunday Jul 29, 2012

[OID] ldap_modify: Failed to find member in mandatory or optional attribute list

A sample LDAP entry and the resulting error message are shown below. The objective is simple - adding a new member (employee) to an existing group (Administrators).

% cat assigngrp.ldif

dn: cn=Administrators,ou=groups,ou=entapp
changetype: modify
add: member
member: cn=emp1234,ou=people,ou=entapp

% ldapmodify -p 3060 -h localhost -D "cn=orcladmin" -w passwd -f assigngrp.ldif
add member:
modifying entry cn=Administrators,ou=groups,ou=entapp
ldap_modify: Object class violation
ldap_modify: additional info: Failed to find member in mandatory or \
     optional attribute list.

The above error message is a generic one. It would have been nice had it shown the expected and actual inputs as part of the error. However it gave us a hint that the object class was violated. In this example, the group "Administrators" was created under object class groupOfUniqueNames.

% ldapsearch -p 3060 -h localhost -b "ou=groups,ou=entapp" -A "(objectclass=*)"

RFC 4519 for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) requires the uniqueMember attribute within the groupOfUniqueNames object class. An excerpt from the original RFC:

3.6.  'groupOfUniqueNames'

      ( NAME 'groupOfUniqueNames'
         SUP top
         MUST ( uniqueMember $
               cn )
         MAY ( businessCategory $
               seeAlso $
               owner $
               ou $
               o $
               description ) )

Going back to the issue in hand, the "add" attribute must be uniqueMember, not member, in "modify" LDAP entry. That's the object class violation in this case. Now the fix to the issue is obvious.

The modified entry and the output from Oracle Internet Directory's ldapmodify command are shown below.

% cat assigngrp.ldif

dn: cn=Administrators,ou=groups,ou=entapp
changetype: modify
add: uniqueMember
uniqueMember: cn=emp1234,ou=people,ou=entapp

$ ldapmodify -p 3060 -h localhost -D "cn=orcladmin" -w passwd -f assigngrp.ldif
add uniqueMember:
modifying entry cn=Administrators,ou=groups,ou=entapp
modify complete

Though the above example was derived from an Oracle Internet Directory (OID) environment, the problem and the solution are applicable to all environments running LDAP servers.

Saturday Jun 30, 2012

Session Sharing with another User on *NIX and Windows

Oracle Solaris

Since Solaris is not widely known for its graphical interface, let's just focus on sharing a terminal session in read-only mode with another user on the same system. Here is an example.


% finger
Login       Name               TTY         Idle    When    Where
root     Super-User            pts/1            Sat 16:57  dhcp-amer-vpn-rmdc-a
sunperf         ???            pts/2          4 Sat 16:41

In this example, two users root and sunperf are connected to the same system from two different terminals pts/1 and pts/2 respectively. If the root user wants to show something to sunperf user -- what s/he is doing in her/his terminal, for example, it can be accomplished with the following command.

script -a /dev/null | tee -a <target_terminal>


# script -a /dev/null | tee -a /dev/pts/2
Script started, file is /dev/null
# uptime
  5:04pm  up 1 day(s),  2:56,  2 users,  load average: 0.81, 0.81, 0.81
# isainfo -v
64-bit sparcv9 applications
        crc32c cbcond pause mont mpmul sha512 sha256 sha1 md5 camellia kasumi 
        des aes ima hpc vis3 fmaf asi_blk_init vis2 vis popc 
32-bit sparc applications
        crc32c cbcond pause mont mpmul sha512 sha256 sha1 md5 camellia kasumi 
        des aes ima hpc vis3 fmaf asi_blk_init vis2 vis popc v8plus div32 mul32 
# exit
Script done, file is /dev/null

After the script .. | tee .. command, sunperf user should be able to see the root user's stdin and stdout contents in her/his own terminal until the script session exits in root user's terminal. Since this kind of sharing is based on capturing and redirecting the contents to the target terminal, the users on the receiving end won't be able to see whatever is being edited on initiators' terminal [using editors such as vi]. Also it is not possible to share the session with any connected user on the system unless the initiator has the necessary permissions and privileges.

The script utility records everything printed in a terminal session, while the tee utility replicates the contents of the screen capture on to the standard output of the target terimal. The tee utility does not buffer the output - so, the screen capture from the initiators' terminal appears almost right away in the target terminal.

Though I never tested, this technique may work on all *NIX and Linux flavors with little or no changes. Also there might be other ways to accomplish this.

[Thanks to Sujeet for sharing this tip]

Microsoft Windows

Most of the Windows users may rely on VNC services to share a desktop session. Another way to share the desktop session is to use the Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) client. Here are the steps.

  • Connect to the target Windows system using Remote Desktop Connection client
  • Launch Windows Task Manager
  • Navigate to the "Users" tab
  • Find the user session that you want to connect to and have full control over as the other user who is currently holding that session
  • Select the user name in Windows Task Manager, right click and choose the option "Remote Control"
  • A window pops up on the other user's session with the message "<USER> is requesting to control your session remotely. Do you accept the request?"

Once the other user says "Yes", you will be granted access to that session. Since then both users should be able to see the same screen and even control the session from their respective workstations.

Tuesday Jun 12, 2012

Oracle E-Business Suite Tip : SQL Tracing


Attempts to enable SQL tracing from concurrent request form fails with error:

Function not available to this responsibility.
Change Responsibilities or contact your System Administrator


Switch responsibility to "System Administrator". Navigate to System -> Profiles, and query for "%Diagnostics% ("Utilities : Diagnostics")". Once found the profile, change its value to "Yes". Restart web browser and try enabling SQL trace again.

Tuesday May 08, 2012

OBIEE 11g: Resolving Presentation Services Startup Failure


Starting Presentation Services fail with the error:

[OBIPS] [ERROR:1] [] [] [ecid: ] [tid: ] Authentication Failure.
Odbc driver returned an error (SQLDriverConnectW).
State: 08004.  Code: 10018.  [NQODBC] [SQL_STATE: 08004] [nQSError: 10018] Access for the requested connection is refused.
[nQSError: 43113] Message returned from OBIS.
[nQSError: 43126] Authentication failed: invalid user/password. (08004)[[

Also connecting to the metadata repository (RPD) in online mode fails with similar error.

Looking through the BI server log, nqserver.log, you may find an error message similar to the following:

[OracleBIServerComponent] [ERROR:1] [] [] [ecid: 0001J1LfUetFCC3LVml3ic0000pp000000] [tid: 1] 
[13026] Error in getting roles from BI Security Service:	 
'Error Message From BI Security Service: [nQSError: 46164] HTTP Server returned 404 (Not Found) for URL .' ^M


  • Connect to WebLogic Server (WLS) Console -> Deployments. Ensure that all deployed components are in 'Active' state.

  • If any of the components is in 'Prepared' state, select that application and then click on "start servicing all requests"

  • Restart BI Server and Presentation Services

In some cases, the following additional step might be needed to resolve the issue.

  • Access the Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware control: http://<host.domain>:port/em

  • Navigate to Business Intelligence -> coreapplication

  • 'Capacity Management' tab -> 'Scalability' sub-tab

  • Click on 'Lock and Edit Configuration' button

  • Enter the IP address in the 'Listen Address' field

  • Click on 'Activate Changes' followed by 'Release Configuration' buttons

  • Restart BI Server and Presentation Services

Also check these My Oracle Support (MOS) documents for more clues and information.

1387283.1 Authentication failed: invalid user/password
1251364.1 Error: "[nQSError: 10018] Access .. Refused. [nQSError: 43126] Authentication Failed .." when Installing OBIEE 11g
1410233.1.1 How To Bind Components / Ports To A Specific IP Address On Multiple Network Interface (NIC) Machines

Friday Apr 27, 2012

Solaris Volume Manager (SVM) on Solaris 11

SVM is not installed on Solaris 11 by default.

# metadb
-bash: metadb: command not found

# /usr/sbin/metadb
-bash: /usr/sbin/metadb: No such file or directory

Install it using pkg utility.

# pkg info svm
pkg: info: no packages matching the following patterns you specified are
installed on the system.  Try specifying -r to query remotely:


# pkg info -r svm
          Name: storage/svm
       Summary: Solaris Volume Manager
   Description: Solaris Volume Manager commands
      Category: System/Core
         State: Not installed
     Publisher: solaris
       Version: 0.5.11
 Build Release: 5.11
Packaging Date: October 19, 2011 06:42:14 AM 
          Size: 3.48 MB
          FMRI: pkg://solaris/storage/svm@0.5.11,5.11-

# pkg install storage/svm
           Packages to install:   1
       Create boot environment:  No
Create backup boot environment: Yes
            Services to change:   1

DOWNLOAD                                  PKGS       FILES    XFER (MB)
Completed                                  1/1     104/104      1.6/1.6

PHASE                                        ACTIONS
Install Phase                                168/168 

PHASE                                          ITEMS
Package State Update Phase                       1/1 
Image State Update Phase                         2/2 

# which metadb

This time metadb may fail with a different error.

# metadb
metadb: <HOST>: /dev/md/admin: No such file or directory

Check if md.conf exists.

# ls -l  /kernel/drv/md.conf 
-rw-r--r--   1 root     sys          295 Apr 26 15:07 /kernel/drv/md.conf

Dynamically re-scan md.conf so the device tree gets updated.

# update_drv -f md

# ls -l  /dev/md/admin
lrwxrwxrwx   1 root root 31 Apr 20 10:12 /dev/md/admin -> ../../devices/pseudo/md@0:admin

# metadb
metadb: <HOST>: there are no existing databases

Now Solaris Volume Manager is ready to use.

#  metadb -f -a c0t5000CCA00A5A7878d0s0

# metadb
        flags           first blk       block count
     a        u         16              8192          /dev/dsk/c0t5000CCA00A5A7878d0s0

Friday Mar 30, 2012

Resolving "PLS-00201: identifier 'DBMS_SYSTEM.XXXX' must be declared" Error

Here is a failure sample.

SQL> set serveroutput on
SQL> alter package APPS.FND_TRACE compile body;

Warning: Package Body altered with compilation errors.

SQL> show errors

-------- -----------------------------------------------------------------
235/6    PL/SQL: Statement ignored
235/6    PLS-00201: identifier 'DBMS_SYSTEM.SET_EV' must be declared

By default, DBMS_SYSTEM package is accessible only from SYS schema. Also there is no public synonym created for this package. So, the solution is to create the public synonym and grant "execute" privilege on DBMS_SYSTEM package to all database users or a specific user.


SQL> CREATE PUBLIC SYNONYM dbms_system FOR dbms_system;

Synonym created.


Grant succeeded.

- OR -


Grant succeeded.

SQL>  alter package APPS.FND_TRACE compile body;

Package body altered.

Note that merely granting execute privilege is not enough -- creating the public synonym is as important to resolve this issue.

Tuesday Feb 28, 2012

Oracle RDBMS & Solaris : Few Random Tips (Feb 2012)

These tips are just some quick solutions or workarounds. Use these quickies at your own risk.

[#1] Oracle Data Pump

Q: How to exclude the table definition while importing a table using Oracle Data Pump import utility?




[#2] Workaround to ORA-01089: immediate shutdown in progress - no operations are permitted

When the database is in the middle of an instance shutdown, if another shutdown or startup was attempted, Oracle RDBMS may throw the above ORA-01089 error. The workaround is to force Oracle to start the database instance using startup force option. This option will shutdown the database instance (if running) using the abort command and then starts it up.



[#3] Quick steps to upgrade the Oracle database from version 11.2.0.[1 or 2] to

Execute the following in the same sequence as sysdba.

startup upgrade
!cd $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin
@utlu112i.sql		/* pre-upgrade information tool */
exec dbms_stats.gather_dictionary_stats (DEGREE => 64);
@catupgrd.sql		/* create/modify data dictionary tables */
@utlu112s 		/* all components should be in VALID state */
shutdown immediate
@catuppst.sql		/* upgrade actions that do not require DB in UPGRADE mode */
@utlrp.sql		/* recompile stored PL/SQL and Java code */
SELECT count(*) FROM dba_invalid_objects;		
                        /* verify that all packages and classes are valid */

[#4] Q: Solaris: how to get rid of zombie processes?

A: Run the following with appropriate user privileges.

ps -eaf | grep defunct | grep -v grep | preap `awk '{ print $2 }'`

Alternative way: (not as good as the previous one - still may work as expected)

prstat -n 500 1 1 | grep zombie | preap `awk '{ print $1 }'`

[Added on 03/01/2012]

[#5] Solaris: Many TCP listen drops


# netstat -sP tcp | grep tcpListenDrop
        tcpListenDrop       =2442553     tcpListenDropQ0     =     0

To alleviate numerous TCP listen drops, bump up the value for the tunable tcp_conn_req_max_q

# ndd -set /dev/tcp tcp_conn_req_max_q <value>

[Added on 03/02/2012]

[#6] Solaris ZFS: listing all properties and values for a zpool

Run: zfs get all <zpool_name> as any OS user


% zpool list
rpool   276G   167G   109G    60%  ONLINE  -
spec    556G   168G   388G    30%  ONLINE  -

% zfs get all rpool
NAME   PROPERTY              VALUE                  SOURCE
rpool  type                  filesystem             -
rpool  creation              Fri May 27 17:06 2011  -
rpool  compressratio         1.00x                  -
rpool  mounted               yes                    -
rpool  quota                 none                   default
rpool  reservation           none                   default
rpool  recordsize            128K                   default
rpool  checksum              on                     default
rpool  compression           off                    default
rpool  logbias               latency                default
rpool  sync                  standard               default
rpool  rstchown              on                     default

[#7] Solaris: listing all ZFS tunables

Run: echo "::zfs_params" | mdb -k with root/super-user privileges


# echo "::zfs_params" | mdb -k
arc_reduce_dnlc_percent = 0x3
zfs_arc_max = 0x10000000
zfs_arc_min = 0x10000000
arc_shrink_shift = 0x5
zfs_mdcomp_disable = 0x0
zfs_prefetch_disable = 0x0
zio_injection_enabled = 0x0
zvol_immediate_write_sz = 0x8000

Tuesday Jan 17, 2012

Solaris Tip: How-To Identify Memory Mapped Files

A memory mapped (mmap'd) file is a shared memory object, or a file with some portion or the whole file was mapped to virtual memory segments in the address space of an OS process. Here is one way to figure out if a given object (file or shared memory object) was memory mapped in a process or not.

  1. find the file system inode number of the object
  2. look for that inode number in the address space of a given process

And here is an example. We are about to check a log file and a shared memory segment in a Siebel object manager's process address space.

# pfiles 8251
8251:   siebmtshmw /siebel/siebsrvr/admin/Siebel81.isve02.s
   1: S_IFREG mode:0744 dev:256,65539 ino:246660 uid:1234 gid:30 size:0
   9: S_IFREG mode:0700 dev:256,65539 ino:246640 uid:1234 gid:30 size:6889472

# pmap -sx 8251 | grep 246660    
#               <== stderrout_8251_23311913.log file was not a memory mapped file

# pmap -sx 8251 | grep 246640
F6400000      64      64       -       -   8K r--s-  dev:256,65539 ino:246640   
F6410000     136     136       -       -    - r--s-  dev:256,65539 ino:246640
F6432000     128     128       -       -   8K r--s-  dev:256,65539 ino:246640
                <== Siebel81.isve02.shm was a memory mapped object

Wednesday Jan 04, 2012

Unwanted Software Installers

After all these years of software evolution, it is odd to see not much improvement in the area of software installation. Customers do not seem to mind dealing with different, complex installers. Nevertheless this whole process can be simplified to save time, effort and energy.

In an ideal world, a software installer is supposed to have just one function - copying the software bits to a designated location and nothing else. However today we interact with different installers that does variety of things -- some install the pre-compiled binaries, few come in ready-to-extract zip archives, few others compile the binary on-the-fly and install the binary. Most of the enterprise software installers configure the software as part of the installation process where as few installers install the software and simply quit leaving the configuration step for the experts. Some of the installers hard-code the hostname, IP address, absolute paths of certain files etc., into some of the files on target system, which makes it hard to re-use the software home directory on a different server. Few installers do sensible job by not tying anything to the host system where the software is being installed.

Here is my partial wish list of features for a software installer. I think it is enough to make a point.

Idempotent installations : install the software once, run anywhere. Customers should be able to move the resulting home directories from one host to any location on another host without worrying about the underlying changes to the location of the home directory, hostname, IP address etc., One example is the Oracle RDBMS installation. Once installed, the ORACLE_HOME can be zipped up, moved to another host, extracted and used right away. ORACLE_HOME usually contains the binaries. Installation specific configuration is stored outside of ORACLE_HOME. Optional Oracle Grid Control configuration appears to be saved under ORACLE_HOME, which is an aberration though it can be easily reconfigured once moved to another host.

Simplicity : providing the entire directory structure in an extractable compressed archive file will remove one or more layers of dependency that the software installer has. For example, some of the installers require Java run-time to show the graphical interface for the installer. I recently encountered an installer executable that has private/unsupported symbols statically linked to it. When those private interfaces were removed in a later version of the operating environment, installer crashed and failed to make any progress. Had the software been provided in an extractable archive, software would have been readily available in the latter case. It appears that Oracle Corporation is moving in the right direction by releasing WebLogic 12c software as a zip file.

De-couple software installation from configuration : there should be clear separation between the installation and configuration. Once the software is in place, relevant folks can always configure the software as directed and needed. The customer just needs a simple tool or script to configure the software.

        => Off-topic: providing a web interface is even better. It gives the flexibility to configure the software from anywhere in the same network.

Contain everything in a single top-level directory : it makes patching easier even if the top-level directory was moved to a different location or host. No point in spreading the pieces of software into multiple locations anyway. Going back to the example of ORACLE_HOME, one shortcoming in Oracle RDBMS installation is that few directories/files such as oraInventory reside outside of ORACLE_HOME - so, when moving ORACLE_HOME to another host, it is necessary to move all relevant files that are outside of ORACLE_HOME as well for successful database software patching.

With careful planning/design, Release Engineering can be as creative and innovative as the rest of the teams in delivering a software product out of the door --- but I guess it is up to the customers to demand that attitude.

This blog post can be improved a lot. However since it is mostly about an opinion and a wish list, there is not much motivation to put more effort into it. And of course it is a generic discussion - nothing specific to a particular software or corporation.


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