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TNS_ADMIN Environment Variable in Oracle

If you have multiple Oracle homes on a servers, I'm pretty sure that you must have multiple listener.ora file and tnsnames.ora files in their respective Oracle Homes. Is there a better way to maintain only one copy of listener.ora and tnsnames.ora files so that all Oracle Homes can refer to one location? Yes, we can achieve this using TNS_ADMIN parameter in Oracle.

Create TNS_ADMIN Location

First we create a directory which will act as a central location for listener.ora & tnsnames.ora. Preferably keep it outside any specific ORACLE_HOME

mkdir -p $ORACLE_BASE/network

Copy listener.ora file and tnsnames.ora file into above new folder. You may have to re-create listener.ora file to accept connections for multiple ORACLE_HOMEs.

At this stage, you can delete any listener.ora & tnsnames.ora files from all the $ORACLE_HOEM/network/admin locations

Set TNS_ADMIN Parameter

It's a good idea to set this parameter inside the .bash_profile and add below line

export TNS_ADMIN=$ORACLE_BASE/network

Great, no matter which ORACLE_HOME you are connected to, the lsnrctl utility will ready listener.ora file from TNS_ADMIN location. Also, any tns connections will be using tnsnames.ora file placed inside TNS_ADMIN location!

Enjoy 😅

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