Oracle RMAN Backup Using Shell Scripting A Step by Step Guide

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Welcome back to Learnomate Technologies! In our previous video, we discussed how to connect to the SQL Plus utility and check database status using shell scripting. In this video, we will delve into a more advanced topic – connecting to the Oracle RMAN utility and performing a physical backup using shell scripting. Shell scripting is an essential skill for Oracle DBAs as it allows for automation and saves time and resources. So, if you want to enhance your career as an Oracle DBA, learning shell scripting is a must-have skill.

Why Shell Scripting?

Shell scripting is a powerful tool for automating tasks in Oracle database administration. It allows you to write a sequence of commands in a file and execute them as a script. This can be particularly useful when you have repetitive tasks or need to perform multiple commands in a specific sequence. By utilizing shell scripting, you can reduce manual effort, increase efficiency, and save costs.

Getting Started with Shell Scripting

If you’re new to shell scripting, don’t worry! It’s simpler than you might think. To start, open a shell script file and look at the commands written inside it. If some commands are unfamiliar, copy and paste them into a search engine like Google to understand their meaning. With some practice and exploration, you will gain a solid understanding of shell scripting.

Automating RMAN Backups with Shell Scripting

Now let’s dive into the main topic – automating RMAN backups with shell scripting. To begin, you need to connect to the Oracle RMAN utility and ensure that your database is in archive log mode. Only databases in archive log mode can perform online backups. To check the database status, open the SQL Plus utility and enter the command “ARCHIVE LOG LIST”. If the output shows that the database is in archive log mode, you are good to proceed.

Next, create a shell script file to automate the backup process. You can use any text editor to create the file. In the script, define a variable to store the backup location using the format “arm and backup_location = “. This variable will hold the location where your backups will be stored.

Additionally, set the parallelism parameter to determine the number of parallel channels to be used for backup. This parameter affects the speed of the backup process. You can set the parallelism value as per your requirement.

To connect to the RMAN utility, you need to set up the environment variables: Oracle Home, Oracle SID, and Path. These variables define the location and identity of the Oracle database. By exporting these variables, you ensure that the RMAN utility can be accessed. In the shell script, use the following commands to set up the environment:

export ORACLE_HOME=/path/to/oracle_home
export ORACLE_SID=your_database_name

Remember to replace ‘/path/to/oracle_home’ with the actual path to your Oracle Home directory and ‘your_database_name’ with the name of your database.

Performing the Backup

Once the environment is set up, you are ready to perform the backup. Use the RMAN utility by running the command “rman target / @script_name”. Here, “script_name” is the name of your shell script file. The ‘@’ symbol tells RMAN to execute the commands in the script file.

Within the script file, you can specify additional options for the backup. For example, you can set the maximum piece size to control the size of each backup piece. This is particularly useful when dealing with large databases. To set the maximum piece size, use the command “CONFIGURE DEVICE TYPE DISK PARALLELISM 4 MAXSETSIZE = 3G;”. This command sets the maximum piece size to 3GB and the parallelism to 4.

Once the backup is complete, you can check the backup status. This can be done by running the command “list backup summary;”. If the backup is successful, you can proceed confidently. If any issues arise, you can track them in the log file for troubleshooting.


In this article, we have explored the process of automating Oracle RMAN backups using shell scripting. Shell scripting is a valuable skill that can boost your career as an Oracle DBA. By automating backups, you can save time, increase efficiency, and reduce manual effort. Remember to set up the environment variables correctly and customize the backup options as per your needs. With practice and understanding, you will become proficient in shell scripting and gain more control over your Oracle database management.