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PHP : Function Reference : Oracle Functions

Oracle Functions


These functions allow you to access Oracle 10, Oracle 9, Oracle 8 and Oracle 7 databases using the Oracle Call Interface (OCI). They support binding of PHP variables to Oracle placeholders, have full LOB, FILE and ROWID support, and allow you to use user-supplied define variables.


You will need the Oracle client libraries to use this extension. Windows users will need libraries with version at least 10 to use the php_oci8.dll.

The most convenient way to install all the required files is to use Oracle Instant Client, which is available from here: » to work with oci8 module "basic" version of Oracle Instant Client is enough. Instant Client does not need ORACLE_SID or ORACLE_HOME environment variables set. You still may need to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH and NLS_LANG, though.

Before using this extension, make sure that you have set up your Oracle environment variables properly for the Oracle user, as well as your web daemon user. These variables should be set up before you start your web-server. The variables you might need to set are as follows:


For less frequently used Oracle environment variables such as TNS_ADMIN, TWO_TASK, ORA_TZFILE, and the various Oracle globalization settings like ORA_NLS33, ORA_NLS10 and the NLS_* variables refer to Oracle documentation.

After setting up the environment variables for your web server user, be sure to also add the web server user (nobody, www) to the oracle group.

If your web server doesn't start or crashes at startup:

Check that Apache is linked with the pthread library:

# ldd /www/apache/bin/httpd => /lib/ (0x4001c000) => /lib/ (0x4002f000) => /lib/ (0x4004c000) => /lib/ (0x4007a000) => /lib/ (0x4007e000)
   /lib/ => /lib/ (0x40000000)

If the libpthread is not listed you have to reinstall Apache:

# cd /usr/src/apache_1.3.xx
# make clean
# LIBS=-lpthread ./config.status
# make
# make install

Please note that on some systems, like UnixWare it is libthread instead of libpthread. PHP and Apache have to be configured with EXTRA_LIBS=-lthread.

Runtime Configuration

The behaviour of these functions is affected by settings in php.ini.

Table 225. OCI8 Configuration Options

Name Default Changeable Changelog
oci8.privileged_connect "0" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 5.1.2.
oci8.max_persistent "-1" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 5.1.2.
oci8.persistent_timeout "-1" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 5.1.2.
oci8.ping_interval "60" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 5.1.2.
oci8.statement_cache_size "20" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 5.1.2.
oci8.default_prefetch "10" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 5.1.2.
oci8.old_oci_close_semantics "0" PHP_INI_SYSTEM Available since PHP 5.1.2.

Here's a short explanation of the configuration directives.

oci8.privileged_connect boolean

This option enables privileged connections using external credentials (OCI_SYSOPER, OCI_SYSDBA).

oci8.max_persistent int

The maximum number of persistent OCI8 connections per process. Setting this option to -1 means that there is no limit.

oci8.persistent_timeout int

The maximum length of time (in seconds) that a given process is allowed to maintain an idle persistent connection. Setting this option to -1 means that idle persistent connections will be maintained forever.

oci8.ping_interval int

The length of time (in seconds) that must pass before issuing a ping during oci_pconnect(). When set to 0, persistent connections will be pinged every time they are reused. To disable pings completely, set this option to -1.


Disabling pings will cause oci_pconnect() calls to operate at the highest efficiency, but may cause PHP to not detect faulty connections, such as those caused by network partitions, or if the Oracle server has gone down since PHP connected, until later in the script. Consult the oci_pconnect() documentation for more information.

oci8.statement_cache_size int

This option enables statement caching, and specifies how many statements to cache. To disable statement caching just set this option to 0.


A larger cache can result in improved performance, at the cost of increased memory usage.

oci8.default_prefetch int

This option enables statement prefetching and sets the default number of rows that will be fetched automatically after statement execution.


A larger prefetch can result in improved performance, at the cost of increased memory usage.

oci8.old_oci_close_semantics boolean

This option controls oci_close() behaviour. Enabling it means that oci_close() will do nothing; the connection will not be closed until the end of the script. This is for backward compatibility only. If you find that you need to enable this setting, you are strongly encouraged to remove the oci_close() calls from your application instead of enabling this option.

Predefined Constants

The constants below are defined by this extension, and will only be available when the extension has either been compiled into PHP or dynamically loaded at runtime.

OCI_DEFAULT (integer)
Statement execution mode. Statement is not committed automatically when using this mode.
Statement execution mode. Use this mode if you don't want to execute the query, but get the select-list's description.
Statement execution mode. Statement is automatically committed after oci_execute() call.
Statement fetch mode. Used when the application knows in advance exactly how many rows it will be fetching. This mode turns prefetching off for Oracle release 8 or later mode. Cursor is cancelled after the desired rows are fetched and may result in reduced server-side resource usage.
OCI_SYSDATE (integer)
OCI_B_BFILE (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() when binding BFILEs.
OCI_B_CFILEE (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() when binding CFILEs.
OCI_B_CLOB (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() when binding CLOBs.
OCI_B_BLOB (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() when binding BLOBs.
OCI_B_ROWID (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() when binding ROWIDs.
OCI_B_CURSOR (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() when binding cursors, previously allocated with oci_new_descriptor().
OCI_B_NTY (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() when binding named data types. Note: in PHP < 5.0 it was called OCI_B_SQLT_NTY.
OCI_B_BIN (integer)
SQLT_BFILEE (integer)
The same as OCI_B_BFILE.
SQLT_CFILEE (integer)
The same as OCI_B_CFILEE.
SQLT_CLOB (integer)
The same as OCI_B_CLOB.
SQLT_BLOB (integer)
The same as OCI_B_BLOB.
SQLT_RDD (integer)
The same as OCI_B_ROWID.
SQLT_NTY (integer)
The same as OCI_B_NTY.
SQLT_LNG (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() to bind LONG values.
SQLT_LBI (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() to bind LONG RAW values.
SQLT_BIN (integer)
Used with oci_bind_by_name() to bind RAW values.
SQLT_NUM (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of NUMBER.
SQLT_INT (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of INTEGER.
SQLT_AFC (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of CHAR.
SQLT_CHR (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of VARCHAR2. Also used with oci_bind_by_name().
SQLT_VCS (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of VARCHAR.
SQLT_AVC (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of CHARZ.
SQLT_STR (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of STRING.
SQLT_LVC (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of LONG VARCHAR.
SQLT_FLT (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of FLOAT.
SQLT_ODT (integer)
Used with oci_bind_array_by_name() to bind arrays of LONG.
SQLT_BDOUBLE (integer)
SQLT_BFLOAT (integer)
Default mode of oci_fetch_all().
Alternative mode of oci_fetch_all().
OCI_ASSOC (integer)
Used with oci_fetch_all() and oci_fetch_array() to get an associative array as a result.
OCI_NUM (integer)
Used with oci_fetch_all() and oci_fetch_array() to get an enumerated array as a result.
OCI_BOTH (integer)
Used with oci_fetch_all() and oci_fetch_array() to get an array with both associative and number indices.
Used with oci_fetch_array() to get empty array elements if field's value is NULL.
Used with oci_fetch_array() to get value of LOB instead of the descriptor.
OCI_DTYPE_FILE (integer)
This flag tells oci_new_descriptor() to initialize new FILE descriptor.
OCI_DTYPE_LOB (integer)
This flag tells oci_new_descriptor() to initialize new LOB descriptor.
This flag tells oci_new_descriptor() to initialize new ROWID descriptor.
OCI_D_FILE (integer)
The same as OCI_DTYPE_FILE.
OCI_D_LOB (integer)
The same as OCI_DTYPE_LOB.
OCI_D_ROWID (integer)
The same as OCI_DTYPE_ROWID.
OCI_SYSOPER (integer)
Used with oci_connect() to connect as SYSOPER using external credentials (oci8.privileged_connect should be enabled for this).
OCI_SYSDBA (integer)
Used with oci_connect() to connect as SYSDBA using external credentials (oci8.privileged_connect should be enabled for this).
Used with OCI-Lob->flush to free buffers used.
OCI_TEMP_CLOB (integer)
Used with OCI-Lob->writeTemporary to indicate explicilty that temporary CLOB should be created.
OCI_TEMP_BLOB (integer)
Used with OCI-Lob->writeTemporary to indicate explicilty that temporary BLOB should be created.


Example 1628. Basic query


= oci_connect('hr', 'hr', 'orcl');
 if (!
$conn) {
$e = oci_error();


$stid = oci_parse($conn, $query);
 if (!
$stid) {
$e = oci_error($conn);

$r = oci_execute($stid, OCI_DEFAULT);
 if (!
$r) {
$e = oci_error($stid);

'<table border="1">';
 while (
$row = oci_fetch_array($stid, OCI_RETURN_NULLS)) {
      foreach (
$row as $item) {


Example 1629. Insert with bind variables


// Before running, create the table:

$conn = oci_connect('scott', 'tiger', 'orcl');

$query = 'INSERT INTO MYTABLE VALUES(:myid, :mydata)';

$stid = oci_parse($conn, $query);

$id = 60;
$data = 'Some data';

oci_bind_by_name($stid, ':myid', $id);
oci_bind_by_name($stid, ':mydata', $data);

$r = oci_execute($stid);

 if (
"One row inserted";



Example 1630. Inserting data into a CLOB column


// Before running, create the table:
//     CREATE TABLE MYTABLE (mykey NUMBER, myclob CLOB);

$conn = oci_connect('scott', 'tiger', 'orcl');

$mykey = 12343;  // arbitrary key for this example;

$sql = "INSERT INTO mytable (mykey, myclob)
       VALUES (:mykey, EMPTY_CLOB())
       RETURNING myclob INTO :myclob"

$stid = oci_parse($conn, $sql);
$clob = oci_new_descriptor($conn, OCI_D_LOB);
oci_bind_by_name($stid, ":mykey", $mykey, 5);
oci_bind_by_name($stid, ":myclob", $clob, -1, OCI_B_CLOB);
oci_execute($stid, OCI_DEFAULT);
$clob->save("A very long string");


// Fetching CLOB data

$query = 'SELECT myclob FROM mytable WHERE mykey = :mykey';

$stid = oci_parse ($conn, $query);
oci_bind_by_name($stid, ":mykey", $mykey, 5);
oci_execute($stid, OCI_DEFAULT);

'<table border="1">';
while (
$row = oci_fetch_array($stid, OCI_ASSOC)) {
$result = $row['MYCLOB']->load();


You can easily access stored procedures in the same way as you would from the command line.

Example 1631. Using Stored Procedures

// by webmaster at remoterealty dot com
$sth = oci_parse($dbh, "begin sp_newaddress( :address_id, '$firstname',
'$lastname', '$company', '$address1', '$address2', '$city', '$state',
'$postalcode', '$country', :error_code );end;"

// This calls stored procedure sp_newaddress, with :address_id being an
// in/out variable and :error_code being an out variable.
// Then you do the binding:

oci_bind_by_name($sth, ":address_id", $addr_id, 10);
oci_bind_by_name($sth, ":error_code", $errorcode, 10);


Connecting Handling

The oci8 extension provides you with 3 different functions for connecting to Oracle. It is up to you to use the most appropriate function for your application, and the information in this section is intended to help you make an informed choice.

Connecting to an Oracle server is a reasonably expensive operation, in terms of the time that it takes to complete. The oci_pconnect() function uses a persistent cache of connections that can be re-used across different script requests. This means that you will typically only incur the connection overhead once per php process (or apache child).

If your application connects to Oracle using a different set of credentials for each web user, the persistent cache employed by oci_pconnect() will become less useful as the number of concurrent users increases, to the point where it may start to adversely affect the overall performance of your Oracle server due to maintaining too many idle connections. If your application is structured in this way, it is recommended that you either tune your application using the oci8.max_persistent and oci8.persistent_timeout configuration settings (these will give you control over the persistent connection cache size and lifetime) or use oci_connect() instead.

Both oci_connect() and oci_pconnect() employ a connection cache; if you make multiple calls to oci_connect(), using the same parameters, in a given script, the second and subsequent calls return the existing connection handle. The cache used by oci_connect() is cleaned up at the end of the script run, or when you explicitly close the connection handle. oci_pconnect() has similar behaviour, although its cache is maintained separately and survives between requests.

This caching feature is important to remember, because it gives the appearance that the two handles are not transactionally isolated (they are in fact the same connection handle, so there is no isolation of any kind). If your application needs two separate, transactionally isolated connections, you should use oci_new_connect().

oci_new_connect() always creates a new connection to the Oracle server, regardless of what other connections might already exist. High traffic web applications should try to avoid using oci_new_connect(), especially in the busiest sections of the application.

Datatypes supported by the driver

Table 226. The driver supports the following types when binding parameters using oci_bind_by_name() function:

Type Mapping
SQLT_NTY Maps a native collection type from a PHP collection object, such as those created by oci_new_collection().
SQLT_BFILEE Maps a native descriptor, such as those created by oci_new_descriptor().
SQLT_CFILEE Maps a native descriptor, such as those created by oci_new_descriptor().
SQLT_CLOB Maps a native descriptor, such as those created by oci_new_descriptor().
SQLT_BLOB Maps a native descriptor, such as those created by oci_new_descriptor().
SQLT_RDD Maps a native descriptor, such as those created by oci_new_descriptor().
SQLT_NUM Converts the PHP parameter to a 'C' long type, and binds to that value.
SQLT_RSET Maps a native statement handle, such as those created by oci_parse() or those retrieved from other OCI queries.
SQLT_CHR and any other type Converts the PHP parameter to a string type and binds as a string.

Table 227. The following types are supported when retrieving columns from a result set:

Type Mapping
SQLT_RSET Creates an oci statement resource to represent the the cursor.
SQLT_RDD Creates a ROWID object.
SQLT_BLOB Creates a LOB object.
SQLT_CLOB Creates a LOB object.
SQLT_BFILE Creates a LOB object.
SQLT_LNG Bound as SQLT_CHR, returned as a string
SQLT_LBI Bound as SQLT_BIN, returned as a string
Any other type Bound as SQLT_CHR, returned as a string

Table of Contents

oci_bind_array_by_name — Binds PHP array to Oracle PL/SQL array by name
oci_bind_by_name — Binds the PHP variable to the Oracle placeholder
oci_cancel — Cancels reading from cursor
oci_close — Closes Oracle connection
OCI-Collection->append — Appends element to the collection
OCI-Collection->assign — Assigns a value to the collection from another existing collection
OCI-Collection->assignElem — Assigns a value to the element of the collection
OCI-Collection->free — Frees the resources associated with the collection object
OCI-Collection->getElem — Returns value of the element
OCI-Collection->max — Returns the maximum number of elements in the collection
OCI-Collection->size — Returns size of the collection
OCI-Collection->trim — Trims elements from the end of the collection
oci_commit — Commits outstanding statements
oci_connect — Establishes a connection to the Oracle server
oci_define_by_name — Uses a PHP variable for the define-step during a SELECT
oci_error — Returns the last error found
oci_execute — Executes a statement
oci_fetch_all — Fetches all rows of result data into an array
oci_fetch_array — Returns the next row from the result data as an associative or numeric array, or both
oci_fetch_assoc — Returns the next row from the result data as an associative array
oci_fetch_object — Returns the next row from the result data as an object
oci_fetch_row — Returns the next row from the result data as a numeric array
oci_fetch — Fetches the next row into result-buffer
oci_field_is_null — Checks if the field is NULL
oci_field_name — Returns the name of a field from the statement
oci_field_precision — Tell the precision of a field
oci_field_scale — Tell the scale of the field
oci_field_size — Returns field's size
oci_field_type_raw — Tell the raw Oracle data type of the field
oci_field_type — Returns field's data type
oci_free_statement — Frees all resources associated with statement or cursor
oci_internal_debug — Enables or disables internal debug output
OCI-Lob->append — Appends data from the large object to another large object
OCI-Lob->close — Closes LOB descriptor
oci_lob_copy — Copies large object
OCI-Lob->eof — Tests for end-of-file on a large object's descriptor
OCI-Lob->erase — Erases a specified portion of the internal LOB data
OCI-Lob->export — Exports LOB's contents to a file
OCI-Lob->flush — Flushes/writes buffer of the LOB to the server
OCI-Lob->free — Frees resources associated with the LOB descriptor
OCI-Lob->getBuffering — Returns current state of buffering for the large object
OCI-Lob->import — Imports file data to the LOB
oci_lob_is_equal — Compares two LOB/FILE locators for equality
OCI-Lob->load — Returns large object's contents
OCI-Lob->read — Reads part of the large object
OCI-Lob->rewind — Moves the internal pointer to the beginning of the large object
OCI-Lob->save — Saves data to the large object
OCI-Lob->saveFile — Alias of oci_lob_import()
OCI-Lob->seek — Sets the internal pointer of the large object
OCI-Lob->setBuffering — Changes current state of buffering for the large object
OCI-Lob->size — Returns size of large object
OCI-Lob->tell — Returns current position of internal pointer of large object
OCI-Lob->truncate — Truncates large object
OCI-Lob->write — Writes data to the large object
OCI-Lob->writeTemporary — Writes temporary large object
OCI-Lob->writeToFile — Alias of oci_lob_export()
oci_new_collection — Allocates new collection object
oci_new_connect — Establishes a new connection to the Oracle server
oci_new_cursor — Allocates and returns a new cursor (statement handle)
oci_new_descriptor — Initializes a new empty LOB or FILE descriptor
oci_num_fields — Returns the number of result columns in a statement
oci_num_rows — Returns number of rows affected during statement execution
oci_parse — Prepares Oracle statement for execution
oci_password_change — Changes password of Oracle's user
oci_pconnect — Connect to an Oracle database using a persistent connection
oci_result — Returns field's value from the fetched row
oci_rollback — Rolls back outstanding transaction
oci_server_version — Returns server version
oci_set_prefetch — Sets number of rows to be prefetched
oci_statement_type — Returns the type of an OCI statement
ocibindbyname — Alias of oci_bind_by_name()
ocicancel — Alias of oci_cancel()
ocicloselob — Alias of OCI-Lob->close
ocicollappend — Alias of OCI-Collection->append
ocicollassign — Alias of OCI-Collection->assign
ocicollassignelem — Alias of OCI-Collection->assignElem
ocicollgetelem — Alias of OCI-Collection->getElem
ocicollmax — Alias of OCI-Collection->max
ocicollsize — Alias of OCI-Collection->size
ocicolltrim — Alias of OCI-Collection->trim
ocicolumnisnull — Alias of oci_field_is_null()
ocicolumnname — Alias of oci_field_name()
ocicolumnprecision — Alias of oci_field_precision()
ocicolumnscale — Alias of oci_field_scale()
ocicolumnsize — Alias of oci_field_size()
ocicolumntype — Alias of oci_field_type()
ocicolumntyperaw — Alias of oci_field_type_raw()
ocicommit — Alias of oci_commit()
ocidefinebyname — Alias of oci_define_by_name()
ocierror — Alias of oci_error()
ociexecute — Alias of oci_execute()
ocifetch — Alias of oci_fetch()
ocifetchinto — Fetches the next row into an array (deprecated)
ocifetchstatement — Alias of oci_fetch_all()
ocifreecollection — Alias of OCI-Collection->free
ocifreecursor — Alias of oci_free_statement()
ocifreedesc — Alias of OCI-Lob->free
ocifreestatement — Alias of oci_free_statement()
ociinternaldebug — Alias of oci_internal_debug()
ociloadlob — Alias of OCI-Lob->load
ocilogoff — Alias of oci_close()
ocilogon — Alias of oci_connect()
ocinewcollection — Alias of oci_new_collection()
ocinewcursor — Alias of oci_new_cursor()
ocinewdescriptor — Alias of oci_new_descriptor()
ocinlogon — Alias of oci_new_connect()
ocinumcols — Alias of oci_num_fields()
ociparse — Alias of oci_parse()
ociplogon — Alias of oci_pconnect()
ociresult — Alias of oci_result()
ocirollback — Alias of oci_rollback()
ocirowcount — Alias of oci_num_rows()
ocisavelob — Alias of OCI-Lob->save
ocisavelobfile — Alias of OCI-Lob->import
ociserverversion — Alias of oci_server_version()
ocisetprefetch — Alias of oci_set_prefetch()
ocistatementtype — Alias of oci_statement_type()
ociwritelobtofile — Alias of OCI-Lob->export
ociwritetemporarylob — Alias of OCI-Lob->writeTemporary

Code Examples / Notes » ref.oci8

jakob dot jellbauer

Yes, i`ve made it !
Installing PHP 5.0.3 and the Oracle 10g Instant Client on Linux .
There is no need to have a full Oracle Installation on the Webserver, you only need the client.
The patches provided from Oracle are for PHP Versions 4.3.9 or 4.3.10.
Here is the handmade patch for PHP 5.0.3 :
patch -u php-5.0.3/ext/oci8/config.m4 php5_ociclient.patch
cd php-5.0.3
rm -rf autom4te.cache config.cache
./buildconf --force
Download the Patch here:
Have fun,
Feel free to ask me if there are any questions


When using PHP4 in CGI-mode with Windows NT or Windows 2000 with IIS or Apache, make sure that the TNSNAMES.ORA and the SQLNET.ORA do not contain DOS/Windows CR/LF line endings.
Instead, they must have UNIX (only LF) endings. Otherwise, you will get an ORA-12154 error (TNS cannot resolve service name) when connecting to a remote database.
This all does not matter if you use the ISAPI mode.


When fetching associative arrays, use uppercase string indices. It appears the PHP OCI Library is less lenient with the field names returned by Oracle.
echo $row['field1']; // This won't return anything.
as opposed to:
echo $row['FIELD1'];

estoreic dot list

We were having performance issues caused by Segmentation Faults on pages using Oracle.
An example of the Seg faults appearing in Apache's error log is:
*** glibc detected *** free(): invalid next size (fast): 0x0969ef30 ***
[Mon May 08 09:41:51 2006] [notice] child pid 3065 exit signal Aborted (6)
[Mon May 08 09:48:58 2006] [notice] child pid 4747 exit signal Segmentation fault (11)
Our issue was due to a problem with OCI8 module in PHP (latest version 4.4.2).
Our solution involved recompiling PHP with the latest PECL OCI8 extension which can be downloaded from:
All segmentation faults and performance issues stopped once PHP was recompiled with OCI8 1.2.1.
If you are experience performance issues and/or seg faults I would recommend recompiling PHP with the latest stable OCI8 extension.


VERY IMPORTANT!  OCIPLogon only keeps a persistent connection if you are running PHP as a module.  This is particularly important to Windows users who are used to running PHP as a CGI.


Using OCI8 it seems putenv() doesn't seem to work for oracle environment (at least with Linux/Apache) variables, but once you get connected try issuing the sql stament:
ALTER SESSION SET NLS_whatever = value;
Seems to overide any default NLS parameters.


To install this in gentoo linux you will need to do some weird stuff:
-  Make sure you have this use flags set: "dba cli pcre xml zlib oci8-instant-client"
- Unmask PHP (5.1.1) by placing "dev-lang/php ~x86" in /etc/portage/package.keywords
- Unmask oracle-instantclient-basic ( by placing "dev-db/oracle-instantclient-basic ~x86"
- Download oracle files from " oci/instantclient/htdocs/linuxsoft.html" (You have to make an account and login, in order to download the packages:
- Place the downloaded packages in "/usr/portage/distfiles"
- "emerge apache dev-lang/php5" (If you done right, the build for the instantclient will be selected automaticly.
- Configure your "/etc/conf.d/apache2" to make sure you have "-D PHP5" in your "APACHE_OPTS"


To fsegtrop at estiem dot org:
Thank you for the note about the DOS/Unix line-endings.  My boss gave me his copy of tnsnames.ora from his Windows machine for my use on my Linux workstation.  I spent three hours trying to figure out why, and researching Oracle connections.
A simple dos2unix command on my tnsnames.ora file fixed the problem.

f dot kheiri

To compile PHP 4.4.2 with OCI8 / Oracle 9i / AIX 5.2 (64-bit) / GCC
PHP will automatically compile against the Oracle 64-bit libraries, which PHP being a 32-bit app, will cause "make" to fail (though it will configure fine). Here's how to avoid this:
1. replace your PHP's ext/oci8 directory with the latest ext/oci8 directory downloadable from PECL - then remove the old directory entirely
2. rebuild configure by running:
./buildconf --force PHP's root directory. This will rebuild the configure script.
3. using a tool like sed, in your configure file replace all instances of /path/to/oracle/lib with /path/to/oracle/lib32 - note, this may require GNU's autoconf, m4 and gnumake.
4. export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/path/to/oracle/lib32
5. ./configure --with-oci-8=/path/to/oracle (and any other options)
Then, the usual make and make install.

christopher dot jones

There are several good books on PHP and Oracle available - search your favorite bookstore.  There is also a free book from Oracle "The Underground PHP and Oracle Manual" that covers the OCI8 extension:
(free registration for OTN required, IIRC). Disclaimer: I'm one of its authors.


The error message "There is something wrong with your system - please check that ORACLE_HOME is set and points to the right directory" is somewhat deceptive in that it can be emitted even when ORACLE_HOME is correctly set, but that there is a connection failure when the OCI8 extension uses the Oracle OCI API.  This API requires access to several files in the Oracle distribution which, at least in the 10g release 2 distribution, are not available to 'others'.  It seems this may be the reason that we are directed to give oracle 'oinstall' group access to the apache user.  For those who do not consider this a good idea, the solution is to grant 'other' access to the files.
I used the following script (YMMV) ....
export ORACLE_HOME=<your-Oracle-home-here>
chmod o=x $ORACLE_HOME/network
chmod o=x $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin
chmod o=r $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/tnsnames.ora
chmod o=r $ORACLE_HOME/nls
chmod o=r $ORACLE_HOME/nls/data
chmod o=r $ORACLE_HOME/nls/data/*
chmod o=x $ORACLE_HOME/oracore
chmod o=x $ORACLE_HOME/oracore/zoneinfo
chmod o=r $ORACLE_HOME/oracore/zoneinfo/timezlrg.dat
chmod o=r $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms
chmod o=r $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/mesg
chmod o=r $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/mesg/*
The ORACLE_HOME environment variable *IS* required, but I found no need to set the others (again, YMMV).
To discover the files referenced by your OCI8 scripts, you can open the security by giving apache group access to the Oracle directories, touching some temp file and using 'find' to discover the files which have been accessed.  Try using...
find . -anewer <my-touched-temp-file> -print


Sometimes Oracle doesn't cleanup shadow processes when accessed from PHP. To avoid that, check your
$ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/tnsnames.ora file in your Oracle Client directory and remove the (SERVER=DEDICATED) token if is set.
To let Oracle delete shadow process on timeouts, add the following line in your $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/sqlnet.ora
found in your ORACLE Server directory:
Where 'n' is the number of minutes to let connection idle befor shutting them out.


Running Oracle 9i on a
Solaris 9 (64 bit) platform with a Sun Server E250:
Apache version 1.3.27
PHP version 4.3.1
I was first getting "...wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64.."
while doing a ./configure with the --with-oci8 and --with-oracle parameters.
After some unsuccessfull searched I renamed the $ORACLE_HOME/lib to $ORACLE_HOME/ and then renamed the
Thereafter it went passed this config, but now failed on
not being able to find a file which was in the
$ORACLE_HOME/lib directory  (this message was displayed in the debug.log in the php source directory).
After setting the Environment variable:
I was able to compile without any errors and 'make' and 'make install' ran smoothly.
I only had to add the php type in the httpd.conf (in your apache conf directory eg. /usr/local/apache/conf)..
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
to get the php to work again...
I had to then reverse the $ORACLE_HOME/lib swop on top since php was now having problems with the 32 bit version of the switched it back to 64 and my php script worked....
Hope this helps some out there with similar problems..


Regarding issues with glibc "double free or corruption" or "free(): invalid next size" errors in error_log with PHP4 (PHP 4.4.7 is still afftected by this issue), and in addition to Rainer Klier´s notes below, if you´re using autoconf 2.5 (default on Redhat ES/CentOS 4.4 and 5, for example), you must delete PHP´s "configure" script before running "buildconf --force", or it will do nothing.
After that, you´ll need to use PHP 5 oci8 syntax with configure:
Only after this you´ll be able to compile PHP, but it´s a guaranteed fix - and, just to enforce Rainer´s point (as opposed to what has been said in other places), no need to rise memory limit and edit Makefile on x86-32. Good luck. ;)


Regarding compiling with the recently updated OCI8 Extension (
I ran into problems when statically compiling, such as numerous "undefined reference to `zif_oci_***'" errors.  Since I likely won't be the only one to run into this problem, here's some helpful hints:
If you've previously compiled your php installation, first: make clean
Then replace the existing php-x.x.x/ext/oci8 directory with the latest package from:
./buildconf --force
./config ..


ReCompiling PHP4 to have oracle 8 support (oci8) on Debian Linux, using the Oracle 10g client libraries. Log in as root.
php4 (source files)
php4 module (might not be required, but it's what i had installed at the time)
Oracle Client Libraries (i used Oracle 10g Server, but you should be able to use, as has been previously said, any set of the oracle client libraries from 8i onwards).
* make sure this is installed before recompiling php4.
- export ORACLE_HOME=[where u installed the oracle client]
- export (the version number at the end will correspond to the oracle version you previously installed. in my case, 10g is 10.1).
- vi /etc/ and add $ORACLE_HOME/lib to the list of paths.
then * run ldconfig to reload those changes to the system * (p.s. make sure it's the full path, and not using any environment variables. e.g. /u01/app/oracle/product/10gRDBMS is my ORACLE_HOME).
- cd /usr/src/[PHP4 Version]
in my case, [PHP4 Version] = php4-4.3.8, so path was
- vi debian/rules
these are the default compilation rules for php4. Find section labeled COMMON_CONFIG = [...] and add --with-oci8 (it should be near the top of the file).
- debchange -i (allows you to edit the change log for the versions of php. btw - you should be in the php4 source code directory). give the version id something obviously unique. don't forget to add a comment.
when all is in readyness, then you should be able to go debian/rules binary to build the debian packages required.
the deb packages are built into the /usr/src directory. and depending on the default compilation options u choose, there should be a few. find the deb package that corresponds to the main php4 module (php4_4.3.8-4.mark.1_i386.deb for me), and run dpkg -i [package name] to install it.
- vi /etc/init.d/apache and add exports for $ORACLE_HOME, $LD_PRELOAD and $LD_LIBRARY_PATH
* don't forget to restart apache /etc/init.d/apache to reload the php4 module. *
if you get an error saying something about apache cannot load, file not found, check the environment variables, for both the user, and in /etc/init.d/apache and also check to make sure the $ORACLE_HOME/lib path is in there, and has been reloaded (with ldconfig).
editing was the part that finally got it working for me.
as you should be able to tell, the steps are pretty much the same as for all oracle versions 8i onwards, and all linux OS's. but with a few debian specific paths and commands thrown in.


Re: ora-12154 errors with PHP 4.2.3, Apache 1.3.27, and Oracle 9i (client only) I had two identical set ups, one on SuSE 8.0 and one on RedHat 8.0, the SuSE worked and RedHat errored with ora-12154! For some reason, having the apache user in the oracle group worked for SuSE but did not for RedHat, I had to run the Apache service as oracle user (the one used to install oracle client). Just wanted to share this little tidbit with anyone who might be pulling their hair out like me :-). Other key things were setting the ORACLE_HOME env variable before starting Apache (I did this in the profile file).

james vl

re: Andrei Kubar
I was using Oracle Instant Client on Windows XP, and was getting the
PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\php\ext\php_oci8.dll' - The specified module could not be found.
error at startup, even though I had done all (most?) of the PHP and Oracle setup routines.
For me it wasn't the lack of mfc*.dll files, but a simple PATH issue: in addition to defining the environment variable TNS_ADMIN, I had to include my instant client directory in my PATH.


Problems compiling 5.0.4 with Oracle Instant Client 10? (i.e. cannot find -lirc)
Remove the "-lirc" from sdk/demo/sysliblist and rerun configure.

denis dot delamarre

php5 + Apache 2 + solaris 2.10 + oracle9i (64bits)
'./configure' '--with-oracle=/prod/dba/oraeve/ora9i' '--with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache2/bin/apxs' '--with-zlib' '--with-gd' '--without-mysql' '--with-oci8=/prod/dba/oraeve/ora9i'
fail with :
ld: fatal : fichier : wrong elf class : ELFCLASS64
the solution is between ./configure and make command to edit Makefile and replace /ora9i/lib  with  /ora9i/lib32
all it's ok


PHP Oracle -- Compiling Oracle Support into PHP, Apache 2
Apache 2.0.48,   Php 4.3.4,  Red Hat Linux 9.0,  Debian 3.0,  Oracle 9i R2
Dave Darden – 1/17/04 --
First install Apache 2 from source.  Instructions are at  
I used a --prefix=/usr/local/apache on the install.  
Install Oracle.  There is a very good Oracle install to RedHat 9.0 white paper at that goes step by step through the problems (Oracle is not supported on RedHat 9.  Oracle only supports installation on paid versions of Red Hat).  
If only an Oracle client is installed on the web server (if the database is on another machine in a multi-tier configuration) then you must install both the client and the Oracle Call Interface (OCI).  I think SQLPlus also needs to be installed.  Oracle Network Utilities and Installation Common Files were also installed.  If you cannot configure/make php because of missing Oracle library errors during configure/make, then investigate whether you have installed enough of the “client” pieces of Oracle on the web server machine.  
I also included a link from   to   in the $ORACLE_HOME/lib directory.   Some internet posts suggested it to prevent errors in php configure/make.   A later experience moving from RedHat to Debian confirms that it is necessary to avoid a make error on a missing lclntsh file.  
In transferring the client software from a Red Hat 9.0 web server installation to a Debian 3.0 (kernel 2.4.18) web server installation I was able to simply copy over the Oracle /u01 directory tree without rerunning the Oracle client installation.   This must be done before php is configured and compiled on the Debian machine so the oci8 libraries are available.   And of course the tips on libclntsh and environment variables must be observed as well.  
Get the php source.  This php configure line worked for me, creating an Apache 2 module, and keeping mysql and gd support.  Add other options if you need them for a given site.  For some reason, even though gd is included with php now, zlib was needed to successfully configure and make php from source when including gd.   You will need to substitute appropriate directory locations for your install of Apache, zlib, and Oracle.
./configure --with-apxs2=/usr/local/apache/bin/apxs \
--with-mysql --with-gd \
--with-zlib-dir=/usr/local \
--with-config-file-path=/etc \
--enable-force-cgi-redirect --disable-cgi \
--with-oci8=/u01/app/oracle/9i --enable-sigchild
Use an absolute path on   -–with-oci8=/u01/app/oracle/9i  
(Do not use the $ORACLE_HOME path variable in the configure statement.  For some reason it does not work even when it is set properly.)
Also, set the environment variables in
/usr/local/apache/bin/envvars like so (your env var values should vary):
export ORACLE_SID="lx92"
export ORACLE_HOME="/u01/app/oracle/9i"
export TNS_ADMIN="/u01/app/oracle/9i/network/admin"
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/u01/app/oracle/9i/lib"
export TNS_ADMIN="/u01/app/oracle/9i/network/admin/tnsnames.ora"
export TWO_TASK="/u01/app/oracle/9i/network/admin/tnsnames.ora"
export NLS_LANG="English_America.WE8ISO8859P1"
export ORACLE_BASE="/u01/app/oracle"


PHP 5.1.2 was the first PHP release to ship the "re-factored" OCI8 1.1 driver.
The configuration options for the re-factored driver have changed, particularly for building with Oracle Instant Client. Some older articles and documentation are now obsolete.   Run ./configure --help to see the new syntax.
User's of PHP prior to 5.1.2 can install the re-factored driver from or


PHP 5.0.3 + Solaris 9 (UltraSPARC) + Apache 2.0.51 + Oracle 10g Instant Client
Thanks to Jakob's patch I got this combination working.  Here are some things that helped me:
1. After getting this:
ld: fatal: file /opt/oracle/instantclient/ wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64
I realized that PHP is a 32-bit application and that all 3rd-party libraries need to be 32-bit as well.  You need to download the 32-bit version of Instant Client (basic + sdk), even if you are running the 64-bit Solaris OS.
2. My patch command syntax was a little different:
patch -p0 -i php5_ociclient.patch config.m4
Thanks again to Jakob for porting the patch over to PHP 5.


Passing CLOB to stored procedure and retrieve CLOB too (function lobinout(a in clob) return clob)
$conn = OCILogon('batdtd', 'batdtd', 'batxml');

$lobin = OCINewDescriptor($conn, OCI_D_LOB);
$lobout = OCINewDescriptor($conn, OCI_D_LOB);

$stmt = OCIParse($conn, "declare rs clob; begin :rs := lobinout(:par); end;");
$lob_data = 'abcdefgh';

echo "binding lobin...";
OCIBindByName($stmt, ':par', $lobin, -1, OCI_B_CLOB);

echo "done
binding rs...";

OCIBindByName($stmt, ':rs', $lobout, -1, OCI_B_CLOB);

echo "done
writing temp lob...";
            // here we pass data to func
$lobin -> WriteTemporary($lob_data);
echo "done

OCIExecute($stmt, OCI_DEFAULT);
            // here we load data returned from func
echo "done
rs = ".$lobout->load();
$lobin -> free();
$lobout -> free();


On RHEL for PHP4 or 5...
For Oracle 9i before you compile PHP but after you install Oracle, you need to make the following symlinks:
ln -s $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/public/nzerror.h  $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/demo/nzerror.h
ln -s $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/public/nzt.h $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/demo/nzt.h
ln -s $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/public/ociextp.h $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/demo/ociextp.h
ln -s $ORACLE_HOME/lib/ $ORACLE_HOME/lib/
ln -s $ORACLE_HOME/oui/bin/linux/
With 10g you need to make the first three and then this one:
ln -s $ORACLE_HOME/lib/ $ORACLE_HOME/lib/


keywords: NLS_LANG, NLS_CHARACTERSET,SetEnv,putenv()
If you have tried setting the environment variables -- especially NLS_LANG -- in PHP with putenv(), and perhaps also in Apache with SetEnv, and you are still having trouble with PHP+Oracle and foriegn character sets (you get e.g. 'd' for 'ä'), try setting the environment variables in your PROFILE (e.g. under bash) BEFORE starting the Apache server once more. This finally stopped the problems we were having. For reference, set the following variables:
An example would be:
Then restart Apache (see below for important note).
Our system was Sun SPARC 5.8, running Apache 1.3.26 with PHP 4.2.2, and the OCI8 API for Oracle.
One further note: restart Apache with:
 apachectl stop
 apachectl start
rather than
 apachectl restart
otherwise your environment may not be reset.
Hope this helps someone!


If you're using OCI calls from apache/mod_php, and getting ORA-12514 errors, it's important to make sure your ORACLE_HOME environment variable is defined when you start apache.  If you use /etc/rc.d/init.d/httpd to start apache, simply put the environment variable definition in there.
This ORA-12514 error is baffling, because there isn't any such error code.  It actually should be ORA-12154 (but there's an error-code transposition somewhere in Oracle, on Linux).


If you're compiling php 5.1.2, and using the oracle instant client, the appropriate configure option is:
which is a change from the configure option for php 5.1.1, which was:
If you use the old one with php 5.1.2, it just silently ignores this option and the resulting php build doesn't have oracle support.

andrei kubar

If you try to use it with Oracle Instant Client on Windows 2003 Server, you might be getting the
PHP Startup: Unable to load dynamic library 'C:\php\ext\php_oci8.dll' - The specified module could not be found.
error at startup, even though you had all done corresponding to PHP and Oracle setup routines.
reason for this may be the lack of
<b>mfc71.dll , msvcrt.dll and msvcr71.dll</b>
libraries on the system. Particularly the msvcr71.dll was the one which I missed and which caused the startup problem.
It is also a good idea to install the Patch 9 for the instant client (patch number 5604010 in metalink), it contains updated oci8.dll and oraociei10.dll versions.


If you still have ORA-12154 failed with Apache PHP on oracle8i
1.edit httpd.conf the apache starter user should the same user(and group) who install oracle(oracle:oinstall)
2.make apache starter .bash_profile the same with user who install oracle
3.and restart apache and php
4.make sure
$c2 = ocilogon("scott","tiger",$db);
the $db should the same with /etc/oratab  SID
taht's all


if you feel like you have too many oracle statements clouding up your php, i came up with a function to open a connection (if necessary), parse your sql statement, and return the executed query.  after you call the function, you can do whatever needs to be done.  makes like so much simpler: (do whatever you want with the errors)
function execute_query($query, &$connected) {
   if(!$connected) {
       $connected = @OCIPLogon($ORACLE_USER, $ORACLE_PASS,  $ORACLE_SID);
       if($error = OCIError()) {
           die("<font color=red>ERROR!! Couldn't connect to server!</font>");
   $stmt = @OCIParse($connected, $query);
   if($error = OCIError($cn)) {
       die("<font color=red>ERROR!! Statement syntax error!</font>");
   if($error = OCIError($stmt)) {
       die("<font color=red>ERROR!! Could not execute statement!</font>");
   return $stmt;

francesco dot marsan

If you experience Apache crashes on a Windows platform with PHP 5.1.2 while trying to access Oracle, try exchanging the php_oci8.dll that comes with the distribution, with the one that is on After much trouble while trying many install options this finally solved my issues and worked fine.


If you are getting the nasty ORA-12154 errors, try adding your http daemon user (listed in you httpd.conf file as "User" & "Group") to the same group as the Oracle Owner user, then be sure that the ORACLE_HOME environment variable is set to the Oracle Home Path, when you start apache.


I spent several hours tracking down error ORA 24374, which would result from only *SOME* of my select statements.  This error would be caused if I made a query that would return any non-numerical value.  I am running an Apache 1.3.x webserver and PHP 4.2.1.
The fix is to add entries in your httpd.conf file that would export your environment settings.  I added these three lines and everything worked like a charm!
SetEnv ORACLE_HOME  /path/to/oracle/home
SetEnv ORA_NLS33  /path/to/oracle/home/ocommon/nls/admin/data
Obviously, if your NLS_LANG is different, you should set it to whatever your NLS_LANG actually is.  Ask your friendly DB admin for this information.
Hope this helps someone who treads down the path that I just followed!


I had trouble with norwegian characters using oracle 8.7.1 / php 4something and Apache 2.
The only trouble was that '?' appeared instead of the norwegian characters.
The solution to it all was to add this to the apachectl script:
export NLS_LANG="norwegian_norway.WE8ISO8859P1"
export ORACLE_BASE="/home/oracle"
export ORA_NLS33="/home/oracle/ocommon/nls/admin/data"
export ORACLE_TERM="ansi"
export ORACLE_HOME="/home/oracle"
export LANG="no_NO"
I'm not sure if all of these are necessary, but I took no change, and it works now :)


I had big problems to get an Oracle 7 server working with the OCI8 client and PHP under Linux, while connection to an Oracle 8 server worked great (In fact I got an ORA-01005 when connecting to Oracle 7). I see that more people have this problem, so here is the solution:
1. Make sure the NLS files are in your ORACLE_HOME subtree under $ORACLE_HOME/ocommon/nls/admin/data.
2. Make sure the ORA_NLS33 parameter is unset or alternatively pointing to the above directory ($ORACLE_HOME/ocommon/nls/admin/data).
3. Add "export ORACLE_HOME=/usr/local/oracle" (for example) to your apache startup script. This is important!! Adding this variabele in the httpd.conf OR in your PHP script will _NOT_ solve the problem: the directory has to be known before the Oracle library is loaded.
Thanks to Ron Reidy for helping to tackle this problem.

david dot reynoldsat

I had a problem loading php_oci8.dll with php 5.2, Apache, and windows XP - a module not loaded error, on every apache restart.
I eventually found that I had to add the oracle instantclient library path to the %PATH% under SYSTEM and not under USER.  Doing that, and then rebooting, fixed the error - as Apache is starting as a service (outside the user setup).


Here's a little snipet that shows how to insert multiple clob fields. Worked for me.
$dbh = OCILogon($dst_user_name, $dst_password, $dst_db_name);
for($i = 0; $i < $src_rec_cnt; $i++) {
$query = "insert into bid (id,time,resume,experience,comments) values ('$id[$i]','$time[$i]',empty_clob(),empty_clob(),empty_clob()) returning  resume,experience,comments into :resume,:experience,:comments";
$stmt = OCIParse($dbh, $query);
$clob1 = OCINewDescriptor($dbh, OCI_D_LOB);
$clob2 = OCINewDescriptor($dbh, OCI_D_LOB);
$clob3 = OCINewDescriptor($dbh, OCI_D_LOB);

OCIBindByName ($stmt, ":resume", &$clob1, -1, OCI_B_CLOB);
OCIBindByName ($stmt, ":experience", &$clob2, -1, OCI_B_CLOB);
OCIBindByName ($stmt, ":comments", &$clob3, -1, OCI_B_CLOB);
OCIExecute($stmt, OCI_DEFAULT);

@$clob1->save ($resume[$i]);
@$clob2->save ($experience[$i]);
@$clob3->save ($comments[$i]);



Here's a clue about rowid.
Don't forget about the oracle functions:
"rowidtochar" and "chartorowid"
"select rowidtochar(rowid) as FOO from table ...."
When you want to pass the rowid in a form or link, that's
the only way to go.


Here are some tips on getting the instant client to work with php:
I am using Fedora Core 3 and php-5.1.2 on x86.
Configuring php:
./configure --with-oci8=instantclient,/usr/lib/oracle/
This path will change if you unzip it isntead of using the rpms. Make sure it points to where is installed.
Configuring apache:
The following lines need to be in your .../apache/bin/envvars file:
LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/usr/lib/oracle/ /opt/apache2/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH"
You will need to modify the paths to the oracle instantclient libs and to apache. In addition, the language will need to be modified if not US English.
TNS Names and Oracle:
Put the tnsnames.ora and sqlnet.ora files into the same directory as
Restart apache and you should be able to connect.


Hello once again.
This time I present details on how to get Oracle Instant Client 10g ( ), PHP 5.0.3 and Apache 2.0.52 running together on Linux (I've used fedora core 1 but I can't see why this will not work for any other distro )
*Note* This is not a guide on compiling php and httpd there are plenty of guides around to do that. This just covers compiling and using the oci8 module with php.
1. Set-up and install apache-2.0.52 as per normal
2. Unpack the Oracle 10g Instant Client ( SDK + Basic, I also use the sqlplus pack to test the connection outside of apache / php )
 rpm -ivh oracle-instantclient-basic-  oracle-instantclient-devel-  oracle-instantclient-sqlplus-
3. Set env ORACLE_HOME to the clients path in the current shell your shell command may vary (this is bash )
 export ORACLE_HOME=/usr/lib/oracle/; export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/oracle/;
(if you want to test if you can now get a connection to oracle using sqlplus see item 10 below.)
4. Unpack php-5.0.3 as per normal add in  --with-oci8  to the configure options. If the ORACLE_HOME is set previously then adding the directory as per "--with-oci8=$ORACLE_HOME" should not be necessary. Do this to be safe though.
5. Run the ./configure program in php source directory. Don't make it just yet though.
6. The compiler needs to find the includes oci.h + others so, from the default client install dirs, I needed to edit the php Makefile after it was configured. Open it up and look for "EXTRA_INCLUDES" and add to end of line
-I/usr/include/oracle/  (thats a capital i ) save the Makefile, then finish off compiling and installing php.  Please note im sure this will be changed in php's configure so it finds these by default in the not too distant future.
7. Create a directory /etc/oracle and place your tnsnames.ora file in there, (VERY IMPORTANT make sure you chmod your tnsnames.ora to ensure that whatever username your httpd server runs under can read the file (1.5 hours of frustration later i figured this out). I just did "chmod 0644 tnsnames.ora" it doesn't matter where you put this as long as you set the env  TNS_ADMIN to it. (IMPORTANT  TNS_ADMIN points to a directory not the actual tnsnames.ora file )
8. My system uses a /etc/init.d/httpd script to start up httpd so in that file I exported the ORACLE_HOME & TNS_ADMIN env vars before the httpd is run, oh you will need to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH as well if you not added the path to
 export ORACLE_HOME=/usr/lib/oracle/; export TNS_ADMIN=/etc/oracle
9. start httpd and bobs your uncle....
10. You can test connection once the instant client rpm's are installed by using   sqlplus.   set  ORACLE_HOME as above,  TNS_ADMIN as above, LD_LIBRARY_PATH as above and if necessary.  Then  sqlplus <username>/<password>@<sid or service_name as per tns_admin file>  use sqlplus here as you would normally
PS: Thanks Oracle for the SDK,  about time !


Great Solaris patch!  Finally built.  Here's some tips on connecting:
Just made this on solaris8 32bit, actually works.
1) put everything in one directory
2) unsetenv ORACLE_HOME
3) set the env vars LD_LIBRARY_PATH and SQLPATH and TNS_ADMIN(if you have it) to that directory.
4) use one of the other easy connection notations here
These env vars worked when put at the top of apachectl script as well.
To build you may have to fake it out with an ORACLE_HOME var,  but unset it later.  You may also have to fake out the build by putting header files where it is looking for them,  e.g. in the rdbms/demo directory or some such other place.
When running though,  make sure you have only the files required in only one directory.
Oracle has not put up a link to the 32bit solaris sqlplus--you have to guess it--it's there though:
...and don't forget to add ".world" on to the end of your SID. It's very common to have to specify DBNAME.WORLD to connect.


For those trying to use the Oracle Instant Client 10g in a win32 environment, heres a nice easy howto. If you fully read the docs properly and understand what your reading you will be able to set it up, but if like me you want a quick easy fix, heres how I did it.
1. Download and install the Oracle Instant Client to where ever (lets say  c:\ora\client  )
2. Add your connect info, copy a previously created or provided tnsnames.ora file to the above directory.
3. Change Path in the Environment Variables area to add this directory to the path. ie.  c:\ora\client;%SystemRoot%;<and so on>
4. Open regedit and add a Key called ORACLE to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE
5. To the ORACLE key add a string value called TNS_ADMIN and assign it the directory above (ie. c:\ora\client )  So you end up with KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\ORACLE\TNS_ADMIN = c:\ora\client
6. Set php to use Oci8 extension and bobs your uncle
7. Reboot.
Option 7 was required as the oci8 extension or php wouldn't pick up the path change. Also my problem was how to use other programs like sqlplus without creating extra Environment Variables etc the TNS_ADMIN / tnsnames.ora part makes that simpler and allows you to call things the same as you would before.
PS: This should apply to all the Instant Clients. I haven't tried it with any others but 10g though.
Hope this helps.


For those of you running Oracle on Linux, and running a remote box also on Linux, here's an easy way to get OCI8 working without having to install the whole Oracle DB just to get your client working.
[PS -- For the life of me, installing client libraries for Oracle really shouldn't be this hard, but it really truly is.]
Step 1.  Copy the following directories from your ORACLE_HOME directory where Oracle is installed (the database server) to your remote client server/machine:
    lib, network, ocommon, plsql, rdbms, oracore
  These contain all of the files/folders/libraries you'll need to compile OCI8 into PHP.  I put this in /home/beckman/oracle and set ORACLE_HOME as that dir.
Step 2.  Compile PHP with --with-oci8=/home/beckman/oracle (obviously using your directory, not mine).  Install, (re)start apache.
Step 3. Remove plsql and rdbms directories from ORACLE_HOME on your remote server, leaving you with lib, network, ocommon and oracore.
Step 4. Read:
NOTE: This will only help you if you (a) have Oracle successfully running on Linux (was RH Enterprise 3 for me) and your client box is running the same OS.  I'm not sure it will work on earlier versions, but it may.  Your results should be posted here methinks!


For installation and enabling support of OCI8, I highly recommend Zend Core for Oracle from Zend.  I had almost a month's worth of trouble trying to get OCI8 working until I found that, and it was a piece of cake with that.

rainer dot klier

estoreic (note from 15-May-2006 10:54) is right.
there seems to be a problem with the oci8-api-functions in php 4.4.x.
there are error-messages like these in the error_log:
child pid 22297 exit signal Segmentation fault (11)
*** glibc detected *** double free or corruption (out): 0x00000000019f4730 ***
*** glibc detected *** double free or corruption (!prev): 0x0000000001111d90 ***
*** glibc detected *** corrupted double-linked list: 0x0000000001111d50 ***
using php 4.4.x with oracle 10.x is impossible, until you do the following:
1. download latest oci8-package from
2. extract package somewhere
3. go to php-4.4.x-source directory
4. rm -rf ext/oci8
5. cp extraceted oci8-1.2.x directory to/as ext/oci8
6. make distclean
7. ./buildconf --force
8. ./.configure (with the options you need)
9. make
10. only for x86_64:
create pear-install.ini:
memory_limit = 128M      ; Maximum amount of memory a script may consume (8MB)
11. edit Makefile:
PEAR_INSTALL_FLAGS = -n -dshort_open_tag=0 -dsafe_mode=0
PEAR_INSTALL_FLAGS = -cpear-install.ini -dshort_open_tag=0 -dsafe_mode=0
12. make install
have fun!
oracle connections will work now!

terry dot greenlaw

Dropping support for Oracle 9i clients on Windows is a huge mistake! Most people in production environments can't just slap another oracle_home on their box just for php traffic.
The Instant Client is aimed at desktop users, not servers, and is the last thing an experienced Oracle person would be installing.
The code works fine in 5.1.3RC2, so I guess we're stuck on that version until the issue is addressed properly.


Debian / Apache / PHP oci8 / Oracle
I just wanna tell my experience compiling the oci8 support from php debian sources. It gave me a lot of headache and I think it might be useful for others who use debian.
This is for debian woody (3.0), php 4.1.2, apache 1.3.24, oracle 8.1.7
(of course, it might be useful for other versions)
The Debian packages have not oci8 compiled in, so you must get the sources. Then I edited the debian/rules file and added the following:
on top:
to the COMMON_CONFIG variable:
to the modules variable, just bellow the above:
(like ... mhash, mysql, oci8, odbc ...)
The "shared" keyword was the key for me. Before using it I was getting "ld: cannot find -lclntsh" on the compile time.
This way the compiling with dpkg-buildpackage went fine. If does not show up in the modules directory after install, look php-source-path/apache-build/ext/oci8/.libs - it's there.
If this still fails, look also to the oracle-stubs problem. Oracle is compiled against glibc 2.1 and woody comes with 2.2. But oracle gives some stubs libs for work-around the problem. I don't know if this is necessary for the client libs, but I suggest trying. Look at Oracle docs.
Now things goes terribly fine here.
Diego Morales,
Porto Alegre - Brazil.


couple of notes about startup/shutdown on linux:  (redhat, maybe others)
export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/
Caused the start/stop script to fail to stop the httpd process.  
The LD_PRELOAD environment var caused the 'ps' command to core dump.  I went bald figuring that out.
Easiest fix I could think of was to move all the oracle/php varialble exports so they are only set in the start section of the httpd script.
Never thought setting those vars globally in the script would cause problems.  That's what I get for thinking...
One other note:  Make sure the httpd process is shutdown before Oracle.
Lingering connections to oracle may cause shutdown to take forever.
gl & hf

09-dec-2002 09:53

Configuring/Compiling PHP as a DSO with Oracle support from source on a Sun Solaris 8 box.  We had already installed Oracle 9.2.0 client tools.
1. Make sure the following tools are installed

They can be downloaded from

2.  Make sure Apache is installed with DSO support.  We ran the Apache configure/compile like so:
LIBS=-lpthread ./configure \
--prefix=/usr/local/apache \
--enable-module=most \

make install

3.  If you haven't already, install the Oracle client tools.
4.  Make sure the following environment variables are set correctly and are accessible by all users.  We set them in /etc/profile.

(technically, only $ORACLE_HOME is required, but you'll want to set the rest in order to make sure things run smoothly afterward)

5.  Make sure '/usr/ccs/bin' is in your path.  If not, add it.
6.  Unpack PHP source (php-4.2.3):
gunzip php-4.2.3.tar.gz
tar xvf php-4.2.3.tar
cd php-4.2.3

7.  Run PHP configure like so :
CC=gcc ./configure --with-apxs=/usr/local/apache/bin/apxs \
--with-config-file-path=/etc \
--with-mysql \
--enable-ftp \
--with-oci8=/path/to/ORACLE_HOME \
--with-oracle=/path/to/ORACLE_HOME \

8.  Run make:  make
9.  Run this as root:  make install
10.  Change the LoadModule line in httpd.conf to include the fully qualified path.  For us:
LoadModule php4_module        /usr/local/apache/libexec/

11.  Make sure the PHP files types are recognized in your httpd.conf file:
AddType application/x-httpd-php .php
AddType application/x-httpd-php-source .phps

12.  Test the configuration:
/usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl configtest

It should return "Syntax OK"

13.  Bounce Apache:
/usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl restart

14.  Here's a simple PHP script to test the setup.  If you don't have access to the default tables Oracle provides, change the connections/tablenames/fields to match your setup:
$db_conn = ocilogon("scott", "tiger");
$cmdstr = "select ename, sal from emp";
$parsed = ociparse($db_conn, $cmdstr);
$nrows = ocifetchstatement($parsed, $results);
echo "Found: $nrows results
echo "<table border=1 cellspacing='0' width='50%'>\n";
echo "<tr>\n";
echo "<td><b>Name</b></td>\n";
echo "<td><b>Salary</b></td>\n";
echo "</tr>\n";
for ($i = 0; $i < $nrows; $i++ ) {
  echo "<tr>\n";
  echo "<td>" . $results["ENAME"][$i] . "</td>";
  echo "<td>$ " . number_format($results["SAL"][$i], 2). "</td>";
  echo "</tr>\n";
echo "</table>\n";


Can't compile php with Oracle 9i and apache on Solaris8?
Sun 280R
Using some of the tips below I had to add this:
(static build)
cd php-4.x.x/
./configure --with-oci8=$ORACLE_HOME --with-apache=/path/to/apache_src ..etc
make intsall
cd apache_src
(make sure environment variable is still set)
./configure  "--prefix=/usr/apache" "--enable-module=so" \
"--activate-module=src/modules/php4/libphp4.a"  ...etc
make install
Having the gcc compilier build php against oracle 32 bit libraries was the key, but without setting LDFLAGS the compiler defaults to using the 64-bit oracle libraries which cause the famous
"...wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64.." on startup.
The only diffenece here was I didn't have to do play musical directories for it to work. The below post was instrumental in helping me to get this fixed. Thanks to "lore_giver at lycos dot co dot uk"


Apache 1.3, Oracle 9.2, PHP 5.1.2 on Windows XP Pro.
Very weird behavior with php_oci8.dll coming with the full windows build (I downloaded yesterday...). Couldn't get any of the examples to work, it appears Apache crashes on oci_parse, but not so if I program "C style":
 while this doesn't work:
     $db_conn = oci_connect("scott","tiger");
     $parsed = oci_parse($db_conn,"select * from emp"); <-- Apache crashes on execution of this statement
     // etc...
 this does:
     function main($connection)
       $parsed = oci_parse($connection,"select * from emp");
       $r = oci_execute($parsed, OCI_DEFAULT);
       // etc...
     $db_conn = oci_connect("scott","tiger");
Took me the whole day, then I found Francesco Marsan's note (THANKS!) dated February 9th, 2006... and indeed, downloading from solved the problem instantly.


// offset and limit feature for oracle 8 database selects
$conn = OCILogon("user","pw","");
 type c_type is ref cursor;
 c_data c_type;
 c_null tab.row_id%type;
 open :c_data for
   select row_id from tab order by row_id;
 while :c_data%rowcount < :c_init loop
   fetch :c_data into c_null;
 end loop;
$stmt=OCIParse($conn, $sql);
$offset=100; // dont fetch the first 100 rows
$limit=10; // we want exactly 10 rows
for ($i=0;$i<$limit&&OCIFetchinto($curs,$cols,OCI_ASSOC);$i++)
 print $cols[ROW_ID]."\n";

25-apr-2006 11:29

# here's what it took to get it going for me on rhel4 on x86_64 w/ 10gr2 and php5.0.5
# hopefully this will save someone a little grief
# first you must install the 10.2 full client in /app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1
# follow all the instructions. This part will be a bitch.
# install the instantclient basic and sdk like this
mkdir -p /usr/lib/oracle/
unzip -jd /usr/lib/oracle/
mkdir -p /usr/include/oracle/
unzip -jd /usr/lib/oracle/
ln -s /usr/lib/oracle/ /usr/lib/oracle/
# make the full client use instantclient's files
cd /app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1
mv lib oldlib
ln -s /usr/lib/oracle/ lib
ln -s /usr/include/oracle/ include
php configure line is: --with-oci8=/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1/

jay dot couture

# Here's what it took to get it going for me on Red Hat on
# x86_32 w/ 10gr2 and php5.1.2
# I sincerely appreciate all of the other poster's notes.
# It was a combination of a few
# of them to get mine configured. My note should reflect this:
# install the instantclient basic and sdk like this
# note: the original poster had you install into a lib subdirectory,
# but when I tried this it couldn't find the sdk files. So I moved
# the files in lib into the parent directory as
# shown below. Actually I copied them, YMMV
mkdir -p /usr/lib/oracle/
unzip -jd /usr/lib/oracle/
mkdir -p /usr/include/oracle/
unzip -jd /usr/lib/oracle/
ln -s /usr/lib/oracle/
# make the full client use instantclient's files
cd /app/oracle/product/10.2.0/db_1
mv lib oldlib
ln -s /usr/lib/oracle/ lib
ln -s /usr/include/oracle/ include
#php configure line is:
./configure --with-oci8=instantclient,/usr/lib/oracle/
# I had to do this, or the OCI8 would not compile when
# I ran make on PHP5.1.2 I did not do this originally when I
# had the files in the lib sudirectory (see my note above) so
# that may be the true issue.
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/lib/oracle/$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
make install
#In apache2 edit the envvars and add
#Restart Apache

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