1.5 About Database Administrator Security and Privileges

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To perform the administrative tasks of an Oracle Database DBA, you need specific privileges within the database and possibly in the operating system of the server on which the database runs. Ensure that access to a database administrator's account is tightly controlled

The Database Administrator's Operating System Account

To perform many of the administrative duties for a database, you must be able to execute operating system commands.

Depending on the operating system on which Oracle Database is running, you might need an operating system account or ID to gain access to the operating system. If so, your operating system account might require operating system privileges or access rights that other database users do not require (for example, to perform Oracle Database software installation). Although you do not need the Oracle Database files to be stored in your account, you should have access to them.

See Also: Your operating system-specific Oracle documentation. The method of creating the account of the database administrator is specific to the operating system.

Administrative User Accounts

Oracle Database provides several administrative user accounts that are associated with administrative privileges.

About Administrative User Accounts.

Administrative user accounts have special privileges required to administer areas of the database, such as the CREATE ANY TABLE or ALTER SESSION privilege, or EXECUTE privileges on packages owned by the SYS schema.

The following administrative user accounts are automatically created when Oracle Database is installed:

  • SYS

Note: Both Oracle Universal Installer (OUI) and Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) now prompt for SYS and SYSTEM passwords and do not accept the default passwords "change_on_install" or "manager", respectively.

If you create the database manually, Oracle strongly recommends that you specify passwords for SYS and SYSTEM at database creation time, rather than using these default passwords. See "Protecting Your Database: Specifying Passwords for Users SYS and SYSTEM" for more information.

Create at least one additional administrative user and grant to that user an appropriate administrative role to use when performing daily administrative tasks. Do not use SYS and SYSTEM for these purposes.

Note: In this release of Oracle Database and in subsequent releases, several enhancements are being made to ensure the security of default database user accounts. You can find a security checklist for this release in Oracle Database Security Guide. Oracle recommends that you read this checklist and configure your database accordingly.


When you create an Oracle database, the user SYS is automatically created and granted the DBA role.

All of the base tables and views for the database data dictionary are stored in the schema SYS. These base tables and views are critical for the operation of Oracle Database. To maintain the integrity of the data dictionary, tables in the SYS schema are manipulated only by the database. They should never be modified by any user or database administrator, and no one should create any tables in the schema of user SYS. (However, you can change the storage parameters of the data dictionary settings if necessary.)

Ensure that most database users are never able to connect to Oracle Database using the SYS account.


When you create an Oracle database, the user SYSTEM is also automatically created and granted the DBA role.

The SYSTEM user name is used to create additional tables and views that display administrative information, and internal tables and views used by various Oracle Database options and tools. Never use the SYSTEM schema to store tables of interest to non-administrative users.


When you create an Oracle database, the following users are automatically created to facilitate separation of duties for database administrators: SYSBACKUP, SYSDG, and SYSKM.

These users separate duties in the following ways:

  • SYSBACKUP facilitates Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) backup and recovery operations either from RMAN or SQL*Plus.
  • SYSDG facilitates Data Guard operations. The user can perform operations either with Data Guard Broker or with the DGMGRL command-line interface.
  • SYSKM facilitates Transparent Data Encryption keystore operations.

Each of these accounts provides a designated user for the new administrative privilege with the same name. Specifically, the SYSBACKUP account provides a designated user for the SYSBACKUP administrative privilege. The SYSDG account provides a designated user for the SYSDG administrative privilege. The SYSKM account provides a designated user for the SYSKM administrative privilege.

Create a user and grant to that user an appropriate administrative privilege to use when performing daily administrative tasks. Doing so enables you to manage each user account separately, and each user account can have a distinct password. Do not use the SYSBACKUP, SYSDG, or SYSKM user account for these purposes. These accounts are locked by default and should remain locked.

To use one of these administrative privileges, a user must exercise the privilege when connecting by specifying AS SYSBACKUP, AS SYSDG, or AS SYSKM. If the authentication succeeds, the user is connected with a session in which the administrative privilege is enabled. In this case, the session user is the corresponding administrative user account. For example, if user bradmin connects with the AS SYSBACKUP administrative privilege, then the session user is SYSBACKUP.

Note: The SYSBACKUP, SYSDG, or SYSKM user accounts cannot be dropped.

The DBA Role

A predefined DBA role is automatically created with every Oracle Database installation. This role contains most database system privileges. Therefore, the DBA role should be granted only to actual database administrators.

Note: The DBA role does not include the SYSDBA, SYSOPER, SYSBACKUP, SYSDG, or SYSKM system privileges. These are special administrative privileges that allow an administrator to perform basic database administration tasks, such as creating the database and instance startup and shutdown. These administrative privileges are discussed in "Administrative Privileges".

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