Automatic Graceful Shutdown and Consistent Startup Method for Oracle DB on Linux

Hi all,

This is quite a common question whenever I arrive on any new company. The things is, there are more then one way to implement this depending on your environment, licensing and version.

So I decided to compile here some sort of summary for this:

1. Prefer to use Oracle Restart
This is the automated and validated method provided by Oracle, however it can be a bit confusing in some items which can lead us to think it’s not working. Here is a summary of the the configuration I recommend:

a) Configure database management to AUTOMATIC on SRVCTL

srvctl modify database -y AUTOMATIC
  • If AUTOMATIC (the default), the database is automatically restored to its previous running condition (started or stopped) upon restart of the database host computer.
  • If MANUAL, the database is never automatically restarted upon restart of the database host computer.


b) Set AUTO_START=always on CRSCTL

crsctl modify resource ora.grepora.db -attr AUTO_START=always
  • ALWAYS: Restarts the resource when the server restarts regardless of the state of the resource when the server stopped.
  • RESTORE: Restores the resource to the same state that it was in when the server stopped. Oracle Clusterware attempts to restart the resource if the value of TARGET was ONLINE before the server stopped.
  • NEVER: Oracle Clusterware never restarts the resource regardless of the state of the resource when the server stopped.

NOTE: On Oracle 11.2, the database auto start policy in the clusterware is restore, which means that clusterware will remember the last state of the database. As well as database, Oracle 11.2 comes by default with several important resources with attribute AUTO_START=restore in the profile.

NOTE2: 12c on you might need to use the flag “-unsupported” on command above (crsctl modify resource ora.grepora.db -attr AUTO_START=always – unsupported).


Observation: This is recommended for all the required components managed by those tools, like databases, asm, listener, diskgroups, etc.
I wrote an article about it with an script that I made by my own and can help you:

A common problem: “I set the SRVCTL to Automatic, but databases still not starting automatically’.”
Explanation: When database Management policy is configured as AUTOMATIC and the resource of the database parameter AUTO_START is configured as restore, the cluster will restore its last state, because the cluster level is the first in the chain of commands, it overrides the database.

c) Save desired state of Pluggable Databases in case of Multitenant:
With the PDB in desired state, save it with command below:


When the CDB start, it will bring the pdbs to it saved states.

2. As second Option, Oracle Provided Scripts

Oracle has some scripts to automate it in a standard and supported way. This is documented for 12.1 in Stopping and Starting Oracle Software.


  • Oracle 11gR2 documentation states the use of the dbstart and dbshut scripts are deprecated. It’s supposed to be replaced by Oracle Restart.
  • The Oracle 12c documentation has no mention of the deprecation of dbstart and dbshut and has reinstated the documentation about them (as I linked above). So, feel free to use dbstart and dbshut in a supported manner for all versions of the database.

I also wrote an article about those, with some info and scripts:

Observation: Item 1.c is still recommended here.

3. Community proven scripts

As a third option, we would have some community scripts, which are usually proven and doesn’t require us to remember or to code everything. I’d use some additional time reviewing and testing them though, as they are not Oracle provided/supported.

In general, I’d recommend the material produced by Tim Hall (Oracle Base):

He has additional articles that may help for other versions:

  • Automating Shutdown and Startup (12.2)
  • Automating Shutdown and Startup (12.1)
  • Automating Shutdown and Startup (11.2)
  • Automating Shutdown and Startup (10.2)
  • Automating Startup and Shutdown (10.1)
  • Automating Database Startup and Shutdown (9.2)
  • Linux Services (systemd, systemctl)


Some Additional Twists:

  • The Oracle Restart configuration assume the CRS is left “enabled”. Disabling it means we don’t want it to start automatically. So, if you want the CRS to start with your server, it need to be enabled. After this, to start targets, depend on configurations as per mentioned on my previous post.
  •  Oracle will no execute any rpm change or relink automatically, as this is not part of any “restart” process. It may be required due any configuration change or corruption, and it cannot be automated.
  • Regarding gracefulness, it depends on the configuration you have on your SRVCTL too. It’s configured using stop and start option, as per example below:
srvctl modify database -d [db_unique_name] -s [start_options] -t [stop_options]
  • So for your case, it seems to me a complete command containing what was recommended on my previous post PLUS gracefulness, it would be:
srvctl modify database -d [db_unique_name] -s OPEN -t IMMEDIATE -y automatic

(Note the SRVCTL syntax can very on the versions. This one is valid for 11.2).

I hope this helps you on understanding the process.

See you next time!

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