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Status of Oracle Process

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Frequent Advisor

Status of Oracle Process

Dear All,

we are working on HP-UX 11i with oracle 9i
when we run ps -ef | grep pmon the output is as follows ---

# ps -ef | grep pmon
oracle 26419 1 0 Oct 1 ? 8:46 ora_pmon_aaaa
oracle 7653 1 0 Nov 10 ? 3:25 ora_pmon_bbbbb
oracle 28014 1 0 Oct 1 ? 9:01 ora_pmon_ccccc
oraias 25396 1 0 Sep 23 ? 10:46 ora_pmon_dddd
root 24074 23924 1 11:14:55 pts/1 0:00 grep pmon

We want to know what does the Question Mark signifies. Will it or is it causing some pb.

All the DBs are running on Archive Mode
SQL> archive log list
Database log mode Archive Mode
Automatic archival Enabled
Archive destination /abd/sadf/archive
Oldest online log sequence 11363
Next log sequence to archive 11365
Current log sequence 11365

Thanks in Adv

Honored Contributor

Re: Status of Oracle Process

We want to know what does the Question Mark signifies. Will it or is it causing some pb.


No it is not. It is denoting the terminal which controlling that process. If it is having that information then gives that. If it is running in schedular's or scripts then it will take that ? mark.

see ps man page for TTY

Easy to suggest when don't know about the problem!
Honored Contributor

Re: Status of Oracle Process

The ? mark implies that those processes have no controlling terminal. The "pmon" processes are background processes that need to run constantly as daemons providing essential services for user sessions connected to the Oracle DB so you will always see a ? in the tty field of those processes. Other examples are dbwr/arc/ckpt/smon.

Joseph Loo
Honored Contributor

Re: Status of Oracle Process


the processes with ? r actually backup processes which requires no terminal, i.e. tty. run "ps -ef" and u will know what i mean.

please also do something abt your assignment of points.

what you do not see does not mean you should not believe
Indira Aramandla
Honored Contributor

Re: Status of Oracle Process

Hi Wish,

When you run ps -ef | grep pmon the output shown where you have the ? is the terminal that is controlling the background process.

Oracle background processes manage the Oracle RDBMS. Some must always be running for the server to be available, others are optional on all platforms, and some are optional and specific to certain platforms.

A separate operating system process is created to run each of the background functions listed above.

These background process do not require a terminal to run. So you see the ? as others also mentioned. And it is of no harm. You database is fine and is running in archivelog mode.

Attached is a text that lists the various background process and their requirements. In Oracle 10g there are few more than the earlier relaeases.

Indira A

Never give up, Keep Trying
Indira Aramandla
Honored Contributor

Re: Status of Oracle Process

Sorry about the previous rtf document. Here is the attachment looks a lot better.


Never give up, Keep Trying
Frank de Vries
Respected Contributor

Re: Status of Oracle Process

You can confirm that also
whith the following query

select process, machine, terminal from v$session where type = 'BACKGROUND';

process, machine, terminal,
19876 orasrv2 UNKNOWN

So that confirms is is a background
job without a terminal and that is okay.


Look before you leap