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Oracle® Database Backup and Recovery Reference
12c Release 1 (12.1)

E17631-15
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1 About RMAN Commands

This chapter includes the following topics:

1.1 RMAN Syntax Diagrams

Syntax descriptions are provided in this book for RMAN command-line constructs in graphic form or Backus Naur Form (BNF). See Oracle Database SQL Language Reference for general information about how to interpret syntax diagrams and BNF notation. This section explains RMAN conventions exclusively.

Recovery Manager syntax diagrams use lines and arrows to show syntactic structure, as shown in the following example for the CATALOG command.

catalog::=

Sample syntax diagram
Description of the illustration catalog.gif

This section describes the components of syntax diagrams and gives examples of how to write RMAN commands. Syntax diagrams are made up of these items:

1.1.1 Keywords in RMAN Syntax

Keywords have special meanings in Recovery Manager syntax. In the syntax diagrams, keywords appear in rectangular boxes and an uppercase font, like the word CATALOG in the example diagram. When used in text and code examples, RMAN keywords appear in uppercase, monospace font, for example, CATALOG DATAFILECOPY. You must use keywords in RMAN statements exactly as they appear in the syntax diagram, except that they can be either uppercase or lowercase.

1.1.2 Placeholders in RMAN Syntax

Placeholders in syntax diagrams indicate non-keywords. In the syntax diagrams, they appear in ovals, as in the word integer in the example diagram. When described in text, RMAN placeholders appear in lowercase italic, for example, 'filename'. Placeholders are usually:

  • Names of database objects (tablespace_name)

  • Oracle data type names (date_string)

  • Subclauses (datafileSpec)

When you see a placeholder in a syntax diagram, substitute an object or expression of the appropriate type in the RMAN statement. For example, to write a DUPLICATE TARGET DATABASE TO 'database_name' command, use the name of the duplicate database you want to create, such as dupdb, for the database_name placeholder in the diagram.

The only system-independent, valid environment variables in RMAN quoted strings are a question mark (?) for the Oracle home and an at-sign (@) for the SID. However, you can use operating system-specific environment variables on the target system within quoted strings. The environment variables are interpreted by the database server and not the RMAN client.

The following table shows placeholders that appear in the syntax diagrams and provides examples of the values you might substitute for them in your statements.

Placeholder Description Examples
Quoted strings such as 'filename', 'tablespace_name', 'channel_name', 'channel_parms' A string of characters contained in either single or double quotes. A quoted string may contain white space, punctuation, and RMAN and SQL keywords. "?/dbs/cf.f"

'dev1'

Nonquoted strings such as channel_id, tag_name, date_string A sequence of characters containing no white space and no punctuation characters and starting with an alphabetic character. ch1
integer Any sequence of only numeric characters. 67843

1.1.3 Quotes in RMAN Syntax

The RMAN syntax diagrams shows some placeholder values enclosed in required or optional quotes. The syntax diagrams show single quotes, though in all cases double quotes are also valid in RMAN syntax. For example, you may specify either 'filename' or "filename".

1.2 Format of RMAN Commands

The RMAN language is free-form. Keywords must be separated by at least one white space character (such as a space, tab, or line break). An RMAN command starts with a keyword corresponding to a command described in Chapter 2, "RMAN Commands: @ (at sign) to QUIT", followed by arguments and ending with a semicolon, as shown in the syntax diagrams. The following example shows an RMAN backup command:

BACKUP DATABASE;

A command can span multiple lines. For example, you can rewrite each keyword in the preceding command on a separate line as follows:

BACKUP
  DATABASE
;

You can insert a comment by using a pound (#) character at any point in a line. After the # character, the remainder of the line is ignored. For example:

# run this command once each day
BACKUP INCREMENTAL LEVEL 1 
  FOR RECOVER OF COPY      # using incrementally updated backups
  WITH TAG "DAILY_BACKUP"  # daily backup routine
  DATABASE;

1.3 RMAN Reserved Words

The RMAN language contains reserved words, which are or have been used in RMAN commands. In general, avoid using reserved words in ways that conflict with their primary meaning in the RMAN command language.

If you must use a reserved word as an argument to an RMAN command (for example, as a file name, tablespace name, tag name, and so on), then surround it with single or double quotes. Otherwise, RMAN cannot parse your command correctly and generates an error. Example 1-1 shows correct and incorrect usage of RMAN reserved words in RMAN commands.

Example 1-1 Using Reserved Words as Arguments to RMAN Commands

ALLOCATE CHANNEL backup DEVICE TYPE DISK;         # incorrect
ALLOCATE CHANNEL "backup" DEVICE TYPE DISK;       # correct
BACKUP DATABASE TAG full;                         # incorrect
BACKUP DATABASE TAG 'full';                       # correct

Table 1-1 lists all of the current reserved words.

Table 1-1 RMAN Reserved Words

A-C C-E E-M M-P P-S S-W

,

CHANNEL

EXCLUDE

MASK

PARAMETER_VALUE_CONVERT

SELECT

#

CHECKSYNTAX

EXECUTE

MAXCORRUPT

PARMS

SEND

(

CHECK

EXIT

MAXDAYS

PARTIAL

SEQUENCE

)

CLEAR

EXPIRED

MAXOPENFILES

PASSWORD

SERVER

\

CLONENAME

EXPORT

MAXPIECESIZE

PFILE

SERVICE

{

CLONE

FAILOVER

MAXSEQ

PIPE

SETLIMIT

}

CLONE_CF

FAILURE

MAXSETSIZE

PLATFORM

SETSIZE

<<<

CLOSED

FILESPERSET

MAXSIZE

PLSQL

SET

>>>

CMDFILE

FILE

MERGE

PLUGGABLE

SHIPPED

;

COMMAND

FILES

METHOD

PLUS

SHOW

&

COMMENT

FINAL

MINIMIZE

POINT

SHUTDOWN

_

COMMIT

FLASHBACK

MISC

POLICY

SINCE

'

COMPATIBLE

FORCE

MOUNT

POOL

SIZE

=

COMPLETED

FOREIGN

MSGLOG

PREVIEW

SKIP

^

COMPRESSED

FOREVER

MSGNO

PRIMARY

SLAXDEBUG

@

COMPRESSION

FORMAT

M

PRINT

SNAPSHOT

.

CONFIGURE

FOR

NAMES

PRIORITY

SPFILE

:

CONNECT

FROM

NAME

PRIVILEGES

SPOOL

ABORT

CONSISTENT

FULL

NEED

PROXY

SQL

ACCESSIBLE

CONTROLFILECOPY

GET

NEW-LINE

PURGE

STANDBY

ACTIVE

CONTROLFILE

GLOBAL

NEWNAME

PUT

STARTUP

ADVISEID

CONVERT

GRANT

NEW

QUIT

START

ADVISE

COPIES

GROUP

NOAUDIT

RATE

STEP

AES128

COPY

GUARANTEE

NOCATALOG

RCVCAT

SUMMARY

AES192

CORRUPTION

G

NOCFAU

RCVMAN

SWITCH

AES256

CREATE

HEADER

NOCHECK

READONLY

TABLE

AFFINITY

CRITICAL

HIGH

NOCHECKSUM

READRATE

TABLESPACES

AFTER

CROSSCHECK

HOST

NODEVALS

RECALL

TABLESPACE

ALGORITHM

CUMULATIVE

IDENTIFIER

NODUPLICATES

RECOVERABLE

TAG

ALLOCATE

CURRENT

ID

NOEXCLUDE

RECOVERY

TARGET

ALLOW

DATABASE

IMMEDIATE

NOFILENAMECHECK

RECOVER

TDES168

ALL

DATAFILECOPY

IMPORT

NOFILEUPDATE

REDUNDANCY

TEMPFILE

ALTER

DATAFILE

INACCESSIBLE

NOIMPORT

REGISTER

TEST

AND

DATAPUMP

INCARNATION

NOKEEP

RELEASE

THREAD

APPEND

DAYS

INCLUDE

NOLOGS

RELOAD

TIMEOUT

APPLIED

DBA

INCLUDING

NOMOUNT

REMAP

TIMES

ARCHIVELOG

DBID

INCONSISTENT

NONE

REMOVE

TIME

AREA

DB_FILE_NAME_CONVERT

INCREMENTAL

NOOPEN

RENAME

TO

AS

DB_NAME

INPUT

NOPARALLEL

RENORMALIZE

TRACE

AT

DB_RECOVERY_FILE_DEST

INSERT

NOPROMPT

REPAIRID

TRACKING

ATALL

DB_UNIQUE_NAME

INSTANCE

NOREDO

REPAIR

TRANSACTIONAL

AUTOBACKUP

DEBUG

IO

NORMAL

REPLACE

TRANSPORT

AUTOLOCATE

DECLARE

JOB

NOT

REPLICATE

TRUNCATE

AUXILIARY

DECRYPTION

KBYTES

NOTABLEIMPORT

REPORT

TYPE

AUXNAME

DEFAULT

KEEP

NO

RESETLOGS

UNAVAILABLE

AVAILABLE

DEFINE

KRB

NULL

RESET

UNCATALOG

BACKED

DELETE

K

NUMWIDTH

RESTART

UNDO

BACKUPPIECE

DELETION

LEVEL

OBSOLETE

RESTORE

UNKNOWN

BACKUPSET

DESCRIBE

LIBPARM

OFFLINE

RESTRICTED

UNLIMITED

BACKUPS

DESTINATION

LIBRARY

OFF

RESYNC

UNRECOVERABLE

BACKUP

DETAIL

LIKE

OF

RETENTION

UNREGISTER

BEFORE

DEVICE

LIMIT

ONLY

REUSE

UNTIL

BETWEEN

DIRECTORY

LINK

ON

REVOKE

UPDATE

BLOCKRECOVER

DISKRATIO

LIST

OPEN

ROLLBACK

UPGRADE

BLOCKS

DISK

LOAD

OPTIMIZATION

ROOT

UP

BLOCK

DISPLAY

LOCK

OPTION

RPCTEST

USING

BY

DORECOVER

LOGFILE

ORPHAN

RPC

VALIDATE

CANCEL

DROP

LOGICAL

OR

RUN

VERBOSE

CATALOG

DUMP

LOGSEQ

OUTPUT

SAVE

VIRTUAL

ANALYZE

DUPLEX

LOGS

PACKAGES

SAVEPOINT

WINDOW

AUDIT

DUPLICATE

LOG

PARALLELISM

SCHEMA

WITH

BEGIN

DURATION

LOGSCN

PARALLELMEDIARESTORE

SCN

 

CALL

ECHO

LOW

PARALLEL

SCRIPT

 

CHANGE

ENCRYPTION

MAINTENANCE

PARAMETER

SECTION

 

1.4 Summary of RMAN Commands

Table 1-2 provides a functional summary of RMAN commands that you can execute at the RMAN prompt, within a RUN command, or both. All commands from previous RMAN releases work with the current release, although some commands and options are now deprecated (see Appendix A, "Deprecated RMAN Syntax"). For command-line options for the RMAN client, refer to RMAN.

Table 1-2 Recovery Manager Commands

Command Purpose

@ (at sign)

Run a command file.

@@ (double at sign)

Run a command file in the same directory as another command file that is currently running. The @@ command differs from the @ command only when run from within a command file.

ADVISE FAILURE

Display repair options.

ALLOCATE CHANNEL

Establish a channel, which is a connection between RMAN and a database instance.

ALLOCATE CHANNEL FOR MAINTENANCE

Allocate a channel in preparation for issuing maintenance commands such as DELETE.

BACKUP

Back up database files, copies of database files, archived logs, or backup sets.

CATALOG

Add information about file copies and user-managed backups to the repository.

CHANGE

Mark a backup piece, image copy, or archived redo log as having the status UNAVAILABLE or AVAILABLE; remove the repository record for a backup or copy; override the retention policy for a backup or copy; update the recovery catalog with the DB_UNIQUE_NAME for the target database.

CONFIGURE

Configure persistent RMAN settings. These settings apply to all RMAN sessions until explicitly changed or disabled.

CONNECT

Establish a connection between RMAN and a target, auxiliary, or recovery catalog database.

CONVERT

Convert data file formats for transporting tablespaces and databases across platforms.

CREATE CATALOG

Create the schema for the recovery catalog.

CREATE SCRIPT

Create a stored script and store it in the recovery catalog.

CROSSCHECK

Determine whether files managed by RMAN, such as archived logs, data file copies, and backup pieces, still exist on disk or tape.

DELETE

Delete backups and copies, remove references to them from the recovery catalog, and update their control file records to status DELETED.

DELETE SCRIPT

Delete a stored script from the recovery catalog.

DESCRIBE

List the column definitions of a table or view.

DROP CATALOG

Remove the schema from the recovery catalog.

DROP DATABASE

Delete the target database from disk and unregisters it.

DUPLICATE

Use backups of the target database to create a duplicate database that you can use for testing purposes or to create a standby database.

EXECUTE SCRIPT

Run an RMAN stored script.

EXIT

Quit the RMAN executable.

FLASHBACK DATABASE

Return the database to its state at a previous time or SCN.

GRANT

Grant privileges to a recovery catalog user.

HOST

Invoke an operating system command-line subshell from within RMAN or run a specific operating system command.

IMPORT CATALOG

Imports the metadata from one recovery catalog into a different recovery catalog.

LIST

Produce a detailed listing of backup sets or copies.

PRINT SCRIPT

Display a stored script.

QUIT

Exit the RMAN executable.

RECOVER

Apply redo log files and incremental backups to data files or data blocks restored from backup or data file copies, to update them to a specified time.

REGISTER DATABASE

Register the target database in the recovery catalog.

RELEASE CHANNEL

Release a channel that was allocated with an ALLOCATE CHANNEL command or ALLOCATE CHANNEL FOR MAINTENANCE command.

REPAIR FAILURE

Repair one or more failures recorded in the automated diagnostic repository.

REPLACE SCRIPT

Replace an existing script stored in the recovery catalog. If the script does not exist, then REPLACE SCRIPT creates it.

REPORT

Perform detailed analyses of the content of the recovery catalog.

RESET DATABASE

Inform RMAN that the SQL statement ALTER DATABASE OPEN RESETLOGS has been executed and that a new incarnation of the target database has been created, or reset the target database to a prior incarnation.

RESTORE

Restore files from backup sets or from disk copies to the default or a new location.

RESYNC CATALOG

Perform a full resynchronization, which creates a snapshot control file and then copies any new or changed information from that snapshot control file to the recovery catalog.

REVOKE

Revoke privileges from a recovery catalog user.

RMAN

Start RMAN from the operating system command line.

RUN

Execute a sequence of one or more RMAN commands, which are one or more statements executed within the braces of RUN.

SEND

Send a vendor-specific quoted string to one or more specific channels.

SET

Set the value of various attributes that affect RMAN behavior for the duration of a RUN block or a session.

SHOW

Display the current CONFIGURE settings.

SHUTDOWN

Shut down the target database. This command is equivalent to the SQL*Plus SHUTDOWN command.

SPOOL

Write RMAN output to a log file.

SQL

Execute a SQL statement or PL/SQL procedures from within Recovery Manager.

SQL (Quoted)

Execute a SQL statement from within Recovery Manager. See the SQL command for improved syntax.

STARTUP

Start the target database. This command is equivalent to the SQL*Plus STARTUP command.

SWITCH

Specify that a data file copy is now the current data file, that is, the data file pointed to by the control file. This command is equivalent to the SQL statement ALTER DATABASE RENAME FILE as it applies to data files.

TRANSPORT TABLESPACE

Create transportable tablespace sets from backup for one or more tablespaces.

UNREGISTER

Unregister a database from the recovery catalog.

UPGRADE CATALOG

Upgrade the recovery catalog schema from an older version to the version required by the RMAN executable.

VALIDATE

Examine a backup set and report whether its data is intact. RMAN scans all of the backup pieces in the specified backup sets and looks at the checksums to verify that the contents can be successfully restored.


1.5 Summary of RMAN Subclauses

Subclauses that are used in multiple commands are documented in a separate chapter to avoid unnecessary duplication. The descriptions of commands that use these subclauses include a cross-reference to the subclause entry in Chapter 4, "RMAN Subclauses". Table 1-3 summarizes the RMAN subclauses.

Table 1-3 Recovery Manager Subclauses

Subclause Specifies . . .

allocOperandList::=

Channel control options such as PARMS and FORMAT

archivelogRecordSpecifier

A range of archived redo log files

completedTimeSpec

A time range during which the backup or copy completed

connectStringSpec

The user name, password, and net service name for connecting to a target, recovery catalog, or auxiliary database. The connection is necessary to authenticate the user and identify the database

datafileSpec

A data file by file name or absolute file number

dbObject::=

A database or part of a database.

deviceSpecifier

The type of storage device for a backup or copy

fileNameConversionSpec

Patterns to transform source to target file names during BACKUP AS COPY, CONVERT and DUPLICATE

forDbUniqueNameOption

All databases in a Data Guard environment or a database with the specified DB_UNIQUE_NAME

foreignFileSpec

Names of database objects to be recovered and the backup sets that contain these objects

foreignlogRecordSpecifier

A range of foreign archived redo log files

formatSpec

A file name format for a backup or copy

keepOption

A backup or copy is or is not exempt from the current retention policy

listObjList

Items to be displayed by the LIST command

maintQualifier

Additional options for maintenance commands such as DELETE and CHANGE

maintSpec

Files operated on by maintenance commands such as CHANGE, CROSSCHECK, and DELETE

obsOperandList

Backups that are obsolete according to specified criteria

recordSpec

Objects that the maintenance commands operate on

sizeSpec::=

Size of the data

tempfileSpec

A temp file by path or by file number

untilClause

An upper limit by time, SCN, or log sequence number. This clause is usually used to specify the desired point in time for an incomplete recovery