Overview of Large Page Support

Large page support is a feature of Oracle Database.

It provides a performance boost for memory-intensive database instances running on Windows Server. By taking advantage of newly introduced operating system support, Oracle Database can now make more efficient use of processor memory addressing resources. Specifically, when large page support is enabled, the CPUs in the system access the Oracle Database buffers in RAM more quickly. Instead of addressing the buffers in 4KB increments, the CPUs are told to use 2 MB page sizes in Physical Address Extension (PAE) mode and 4MB page sizes in non-PAE mode when addressing the database buffers.

This feature is particularly useful when the Oracle buffer cache is several gigabytes. Smaller-sized configurations still see a gain when using large pages, but the gain will not be as great as when the database is accessing large amounts of memory.

If the service is running as a user instead of the default SYSTEM user, then the administrator must grant the "Lock pages in memory" privilege to the user. This privilege is not enabled by default when Windows is installed.

Granting Lock Pages in Memory Privilege

Use this procedure to grant lock pages in memory privilege.

To grantSeLockMemoryPrivilege , perform the following steps:

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel.

    The Control Panel window opens.

  2. Double-click Administrative Tools.

    The Administrative Tools window opens.

  3. Double-click Local Security Policy.

    The Local Security Policy window opens.

  4. In the left pane of the Local Security Policy window, expand Local Policies and select User Rights Assignment.
  5. In the right pane of the Local Security Policy window, double-click Lock pages in memory.

    The Lock pages in memory Properties window opens.

  6. Click Add User or Group.

    The Select Users, Computers, Service Accounts, or Groups dialog box opens.

  7. Enter Oracle Home User name in Enter the object names to select field and click Check Names.
  8. Click OK to close the Select Users, Computers, Service Accounts, or Groups dialog box.
  9. Click OK to close the Lock pages in memory Properties window.

Enabling Large Page Support

To take advantage of large pages, the amount of physical memory must be greater than the amount of System Global Area (SGA) specified in the parameter file.

Large pages might not be allocated always during instance startup. Large pages are supported in 2 modes:

  • Regular mode: All of the SGA is attempted to be allocated in large pages. If the required amount of large pages are not available, then the instance does not come up.

  • Mixed mode: All of the SGA is attempted to be allocated in large pages. If no more large pages are available, then the subsequent allocations are done using regular pages. So the SGA allocation can be a mixed set of large pages and regular pages.

    The mixed mode also supports a time parameter (in msecs). If a large page allocation took more time than the msecs specified by this time parameter, then subsequent allocations are made using regular pages. This parameter is helpful when the database startup time might be too long due to the entire SGA being allocated using large pages.


In regular mode, large page usage locks the entire SGA into physical memory. Physical memory is not released during a shrink operation. In mixed mode, only the large pages from the SGA are locked in physical memory, not released during a shrink operation and regular pages remain pageable.

See Also:

Your operating system documentation for restrictions on allocating large pages

To enable large page support:

  1. Go to the directory ORACLE_HOME\bin\oracle.key.
  2. Open the oracle.key in a text editor and record the value found. It is set by Oracle Universal Installer. The default is:
  3. Start Registry Editor at the command prompt:
    C:\> regedit


    Although Registry Editor lets you view and modify registry keys and parameter values, you usually are not required to do so. In fact, you can render your system useless if you make incorrect changes. Therefore, only advanced users must edit the registry. Back up your system before making any changes in the registry.

    oracle.key file must not be modified or removed. Oracle binaries open it to determine the location in the registry where their variables are stored.

  4. Go to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE file.

    Locate the key corresponding to the value found in the oracle.key file. In the default case, for example, locate:

  5. Create one of the following, depending on where you want to enable large page support:
    • ORA_LPENABLE to enable large page support on all instances. Its value decides the mode of large pages for all Oracle database instances on the computer.

    • ORA_SID_LPENABLE to enable large page support on a specific instance. Its value decides the mode of large pages for the specific database instance.

      Set the value of the above registry entry to 1 for regular mode and 2 for mixed mode.

      The time parameter for mixed mode is optional. To specify this time parameter which is instance specific, create ORA_SID_LPMAXTIME and set the value to the desired number of millisecs.

      When this time parameter is specified for an instance and the large pages allocation takes more than the specified millisecs, then the rest of the SGA is allocated using regular pages.

  6. Exit Registry Editor.

By default, Oracle allocates the minimum available large page size when using large pages. The minimum available large page size, 16 MB, is obtained by using the GetLargePageMinumum function.


Do not set the initialization parameter lock_sga when large pages are enabled. Large page usage locks the entire SGA into physical memory. When used with the parameter lock_sga, database startup fails with an error because the operating system automatically locks. That is, it prevents memory from being paged to disk when large pages are requested. Physical memory is not released during a shrink operation.