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Oracle® Database Reference
11g Release 2 (11.2)

E40402-15
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DB_BLOCK_CHECKSUM

Property Description
Parameter type String
Syntax DB_BLOCK_CHECKSUM = { OFF | FALSE | TYPICAL | TRUE | FULL }
Default value TYPICAL
Modifiable ALTER SESSION, ALTER SYSTEM
Basic No

DB_BLOCK_CHECKSUM determines whether DBWn and the direct loader will calculate a checksum (a number calculated from all the bytes stored in the block) and store it in the cache header of every data block when writing it to disk. Checksums are verified when a block is read - only if this parameter is TYPICAL or FULL and the last write of the block stored a checksum. In FULL mode, Oracle also verifies the checksum before a change application from update/delete statements and recomputes it after the change is applied. In addition, Oracle gives every log block a checksum before writing it to the current log.

Starting with Oracle Database 11g, most of the log block checksum is done by the generating foreground processes, while the LGWR performs the rest of the work, for better CPU and cache efficiency. Prior to Oracle Database 11g, the LGWR solely performed the log block checksum.

If this parameter is set to OFF, DBWn calculates checksums only for the SYSTEM tablespace, but not for user tablespaces. In addition, no log checksum is performed when this parameter is set to OFF.

Checksums allow Oracle to detect corruption caused by underlying disks, storage systems, or I/O systems. If set to FULL, DB_BLOCK_CHECKSUM also catches in-memory corruptions and stops them from making it to the disk. Turning on this feature in TYPICAL mode causes only an additional 1% to 2% overhead. In the FULL mode it causes 4% to 5% overhead. Oracle recommends that you set DB_BLOCK_CHECKSUM to TYPICAL.

For backward compatibility the use of TRUE (implying TYPICAL) and FALSE (implying OFF) values is preserved.