Oracle – how to purge old RMAN backups

Oracle runs on Linux, therefore I must be an Oracle expert (so goes management thinking). Here’s how to correctly purge old RMAN backups when storage runs out of space (thanks Nakrob):

Do not use rm to remove files. You must do it via RMAN.


$ rman target / NOCATALOG

RMAN > crosscheck backupset;
This command will verify whether backup file is still on media.
If it is unavailable, RMAN will mark it as UNAVAILABLE or EXPIRED.

RAMN > delete expired backupset;
RMAN > delete expired backup;

Note : If you manually rename or zip RMAN backup files, you must manually remove it from disk since RMAN
does not recognize them.

RMAN > report obsolete;
The command lists all backups rendered obsolete based on rentention policy.
Current Retention Policy is 'Recovery WINDOW OF 30 DAYS'.

RMAN > delete obsolete;

RMAN > list backup summary;
It will show all backupset info kept in RMAN repository.
If you want to see what RMAN keeps in each backupset, run 'list backupset N' where N is Backupset ID.

RMAN > delete backupset N;
RMAN > delete backupset; (to delete all backups)

Once fair amount of space is reclaimed, do full backup.
Not sure how much full back space is needed but not less than 20G.

RMAN > backup database;

RMAN > list backup;
Full backup may have more than one backupset.
Look for last backupsets. It will list backup db files.

RMAN > delete obsolete;
Rerun this command to delete unwanted existing backupsets (if have) after completed full backup.

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9 Responses to Oracle – how to purge old RMAN backups

  1. Wonderful, just found everything I needed.

    Also, if you’re running in archivelog mode:
    crosscheck archivelog;
    delete archivelog all;

  2. […] Filed under: Oracle — Sonia @ 11:59 More notes on Oracle RMAN backups, see also Oracle – how to purge old RMAN backups. Thanks Raoul for your […]

  3. what about if catalog option is used?

  4. Hi,

    Excellent.Nice article thanks for sharing.

  5. krishnamohanreddy

    Excellent article. It has all required information about delete backup

  6. Great help.

  7. is deleting the expired(crosscheck) backupsets solve the error ORA-27101 shared realm does not exist??????

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