Oracle Multitenant and custom DBCA templates

Today I’ve encountered an annoying issue while adapting a few scripts for automatic database creation. I track it here so hopefully it may save a few hours of troubleshooting to someone…

I’ve used the DBCA to prepare a new template:


Then continued by customizing other options, including init parameters and datafile/logfile paths. Finally, I’ve saved it as a new template instead of creating the database.

I’ve checked the resulting .dbc and seen that there was, as expected, the parameter “enable_pluggable_database”=”true”.

Then I’ve moved the template file to my $HOME directory and tested the silent database creation with the option “-createAsContainerDatabase true”:

The database configuration has completed successfully, without errors. I’ve accessed my new container, and I’ve been surprised by seing:

In fact, there were no pdb$seed datafiles:

After little investigation, I’ve found these lines in the dbca trace.log:


Then I’ve struggled with dbca and templates a few times before finding that, actually, the magic “enable pluggable database” is done by dbca only if the template file name is not customized.

Running the same exact command with the very same template file but renamed to $ORACLE_HOME/assistants/dbca/templates/General_Purpose.dbc actually works (notice the diff at the first line):



I’ve also tried to cheat and use a symlink to my previous custom template, and surprisingly, it still works:

In the dbca trace log the message saying that the DB will be NON-CDB disappears:

So the problem is really caused by the different filename/location of the template.

IMHO it’s a kind of bug, the decision between a CDB and NON-CDB should not be taken by DBCA.  Moreover, it’s not based on the content of the template, which would be logic. But today I’m late and lazy, I will not open a SR for this.


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Principal Product Manager at Oracle
Ludovico is a member of the Oracle Database High Availability (HA), Scalability & Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) Product Management team in Oracle. He focuses on Fleet Patching and Provisioning (FPP), MAA-optimized database lifecycle management, Cloud MAA and Online Reorganization.

4 thoughts on “Oracle Multitenant and custom DBCA templates

  1. Pingback: Oracle Multitenant and custom DBCA templates - Ludovico Caldara - Blogs - triBLOG

  2. Thank you for such a wonderful article.

    I got a quick question, can we convert a container database in Oracle12c R2 to non-container database by first dropping a container database and re-create a non-container database via DBCA .

  3. Probably not… converting a PDB back to non-CDB is not a task that comes out of the box with multitenant.
    Why do you need it BTW? Multitenant architecture will be the only option in 20c

  4. Hello,

    Just curious if I can change the controlfile path, redo path in the database template?


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