This Bug Brought To You By The Letter “U”

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One silly bug. Ah ah ah ah!

Bugs come in all shapes and sizes. Big bugs, little bugs, bugs that crash your database, bugs that make a query run oddly. Some believe there are even bugs in human existence.

There is a running joke that has been around forever regarding bugs vs. features. I think this picture explains it better than I ever could (artist unknown):

Bug vs. Feature

My Bug Story

So I was working with a client running Oracle on Windows 2003. He informed me that he was having trouble getting DB Control to work. I logged in, took a look, and saw that even though the EM service started, and ’emctl status dbconsole’ returned successfully, the page was not viewable.

I went through the usual litany. I checked out listeners, looked at IE security settings, made sure it was using a static IP instead of DHCP, tried to telnet to the port, no help at all. I re-configured using EMCA a couple times with different settings, and still, no EM.

Suffice it to say, this was a bit unusual. And so I turned to Metalink. The search terms were tough (’em no workie’?), but I stumbled upon this gem:

Note: 342916.1
Subject: Problem: Startup: Db Control Fails To Start when the hostname begins with the letter “u”

No, I’m not kidding.

It turns out that there is a problem with backslashes in the file “$ORACLE_HOME\host_SID\sysman\config\” when using a hostname beginning with the letter “U” for omsRecvDir . To fix the issue, all I had to do was configure EM (emca -config dbcontrol db), wait for the error that the service could not start, and change, substituting forward slashes (‘/’) for backslashes (‘\’) in the omsRecvDir variable.

And behold, EM started and worked fine!

If you have any funny bug stories of your own, please feel free to share.

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  1. Steve,

    I just couldn’t resist commenting on your cartoon. I drew one almost exactly like yours in the mid 80’s. Oddly enough it was for a presentation on Oracle for a Users Group Meeting – I think it was Forms 2.3 or something. It was back in the day when we used clear sheets of plastic stuff and put them on these big projector thingies. Anyway, your artwork is a little more polished than mine was but the similarity is striking. I wish I knew where my original was but I’m sure it’s been trashed (I’ve moved offices 3 times and homes twice since then).


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