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Don Burleson Blog 







RMAN COPY Command Tips

Oracle Database Tips by Burleson Consulting

June 4, 2015

Question:  What is the proper syntax for the RMAN COPY command?

Answer:  As of Oracle 10g the RMAN COPY command has been deprecated. 

The current preferred syntax is to use the BACKUP as COPY command.  The reasoning behind this change was that when you create a backup with the COPY command you had to use RMAN to extract individual datafiles from a given backup set. 

The BACKUP AS COPY command creates image copies and removes the need to extract them from a backup set.  This BACKUP AS COPY command allows you to copy a database, tablespaces, datafiles, archived redo logs as well as control files.

One great use of the BACKUP AS COPY command is in the creation of an image of the controlfile.  The following command can be used:

 RMAN> backup as copy current controlfile format 'c:\bkp_controlfile.ctl';  

This creates the following: c:\bkp_controlfile.ctl

This is actually a binary copy of the current controlfile.  In the event all controlfiles are lost, this file can be used directly without RMAN restoration.

The following example from the Rampant TechPress book Oracle Backup and Recovery by Kamran Agayev shows the creation of the image copy of the controlfile and how the database can be recovered from the loss of all controlfiles using this image file:

C:\>rman target \
RMAN> backup as copy current controlfile format 'c:\control.ctl';  

#We take image copy of current control file
<....... output omitted .......>

output filename=C:\control.ctl tag=tag20090819t134500 recid=1 stamp=695310300
RMAN> exit

Recovery Manager complete.  

C:\>sqlplus "/ as sysdba"
shutdown immediate
C:\>cd c:\oracle\product\10.2.0\oradata\test

#Below, after shutting down the database, we delete all control files and copy newly created image copy of control file to original destination

C:\oracle\product\10.2.0\oradata\test>del *.ctl
C:\>copy control.ctl

1 file(s) copied.

SQL> startup nomount
SQL> alter system set control_files='c:\oracle\product\10.2.0\oradata\test\control.ctl' scope=spfile;  

System altered.

#Above, in startup nomount mode, we change control_files parameter in spfile and indicate newly create image copy of control file. Then shutdown the database and bring it to mount mode.  

SQL> shutdown immediate
SQL> startup mount
database open;
alter database open

Error at line 1: ORA-01589: must use resetlogs or noresetlogs option for database open

#Now, we do not need to open database in resetlogs mode, or we lose data in redo log files. So we connect to RMAN and recover the database. RMAN automatically finds proper redo log file and apply all changes to datafiles

C:\>rman target /  

RMAN> recover database;  

<....... output omitted .......>

archive log thread 1 sequence 2 is already on disk as file C:\oracle\product\10.2.0\oradata\test\redo01.log
archive log
filename=C:\oracle\product\10.2.0\oradata\test\redo01.log thread=1

media recovery complete, elapsed time: 00:00:01
Finished recover at 19-AUG-09  

#Now, we can easily open the database using resetlogs option  

RMAN> alter database open resetlogs;  

database opened

 An RMAN backup set can be made from the control file created above.  To do that, use the backup controlfilecopy command as shown below:  

RMAN> backup as copy current controlfile format 'c:\control.ctl';
RMAN> backup controlfilecopy 'c:\control.ctl';  

channel ora_disk_1: starting full datafile backupset
input control file copy name=C:\control.ctl

The syntax of the BACKUP AS COPY command looks like the following for tablespace users, datafile, spfile and archivelogs:

RMAN> backup as copy tablespace users format 'c:\users01.dbf';
RMAN> backup as copy datafile 4 format 'c:\datafile4.dbf';
RMAN> backup as copy spfile format 'c:\image_copy_spfile.ora';
RMAN> backup as copy archivelog all format 'c:\arch_%U.arc';


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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

Errata?  Oracle technology is changing and we strive to update our BC Oracle support information.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback.  Just  e-mail:  and include the URL for the page.


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