How to View Backup Information in Oracle 12c - dummies

How to View Backup Information in Oracle 12c

By Chris Ruel, Michael Wessler

Periodically you may want to view your Oracle 12c databases you have backed up to ensure that everything is in order and as expected. Use the LIST command to see what backups you have stored. You can list the following:

  • All your backups

  • Backups for certain tablespaces

  • Backups of certain data files as well as archive logs and copies

You have different outputs to choose from:

  • See a short listing called a summary.

  • See a fully detailed listing with the VERBOSE option.

The LIST command is very powerful. Use it to show small bits of information about your backups, or all the information stored about your backups. Try some of the following examples to get a feel for how the command works:

  • To see a summary list of the backups that contain the tablespace users, type this:

    < list backup of tablespace users summary;>
  • To see a summary of all your backups, type this:

    <list backup summary;>
  • To see a verbose list of all your backups with the tag database_full_backup, type this:

<list backup tag=database_full_backup;>

The LIST command is a little different if you want to see copies: You use the COPY keyword.

  • To see copies of your database, type this:

    <list copy of database;>
  • To see what data files copies you have for tablespace users, type this:

<list copy of tablespace users;>

You can find a lot of information in a VERBOSE listing. This is what the output may look like if you list the backups of the tablespace users.


If you take a closer look, you’ll discover the following:

  • BS Key is a backup set key. Every backup must have a backup set key, an ever-increasing unique identifier for each backup.

  • Type tells you more about what type of backup was taken, such as a full or an incremental backup.

  • LV is short for level. When you’re doing incremental backups, they can have multiple levels.

  • Size is the size for that particular backup.

  • Device Type indicates disk or tape for each backup set.

  • Elapsed Time is how long the backup set took to run.

  • Completion Time pretty much explains itself.

  • BP Key is the backup piece key. If you break the backup into multiple pieces, each piece gets a unique identifier.

  • Status tells you if a backup is available for RMAN to immediately use. You can make a backup unavailable if you remove the backup files (for example, if you take the tape out of the drive and put in storage).

  • Compressed tells whether or not the backup was compressed.

  • Tag is your backup’s name.

  • Piece Name is the actual file that is created to store the backup.