Connecting SQL*Plus in Cloud Shell to an Autonomous Database

Lucas Jellema 4

imageObjective of this article: connect SQL*Plus in Cloud Shell to an Autonomous Database instance (in a free tier – in the same or a different cloud tenancy)

The starting situation: I have an autonomous database instance running somewhere in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. I have Cloud Shell as a versatile management and development environment. Cloud Shell includes SQL*Plus (19.5). I want to connect my SQL*Plus Client in Cloud Shell to the Autonomous Database instance.

Here are the steps for doing that.

Start Autonomous Database – for example in the OCI Console – if it is not currently running.

Then, in the ATP or ADW Console,  click on DB Connection to download credentials files for connecting to the database – in a wallet file.



Click on Download Wallet. I have created a password for the wallet – but frankly I never used it again:


Download the Client Credentials – a zip file with tnsnames.ora and sqlnet.ora files used by SQL*Plus to connect to the database instance. At this point, this zip-file is on my laptop – certainly not yet on Cloud Shell.


I have now uploaded the zip file to OCI Object Storage in the same tenancy as where I am running Cloud Shell.


The file is now in bucket-01 as


I need the file in Cloud Shell. Using OCI CLI I can easily download the file to Cloud Shell:

oci os object get -bn bucket-01 --name --file


At this point, the zip-file is on Cloud Shell. Next I create a directory db and extract the contents of the zip-file into this directory:

unzip -d db


Change into the directory and list the files

cd db
ls -l


Open sqlnet.ora in the vi editor and set the DIRECTORY to refer to the current directory – that holds the tnsnames.ora file. Save the sqlnet.ora file.


Set the TNS_ADMIN environment variable to the directory where the unzipped credentials files are, not to the credentials file itself.


export TNS_ADMIN=/home/jellema/db

Connect using a database user (ADMIN), password, and database TNS name provided in the tnsnames.ora file.

sqlplus admin@labdb_low

then when prompted type the password defined when creating the database user:




The connection is made and SQL*Plus can be used as always – from Cloud Shell to an Autonomous Database somewhere in some cloud.



Documentation Connect Autonomous Data Warehouse Using a Client Application

Documentation Connect with SQL*Plus

4 thoughts on “Connecting SQL*Plus in Cloud Shell to an Autonomous Database

    1. There are a few ways to address this but I get around this ORA-12162 by changing the DIRECTORY value in the WALLET_LOCATION line of the sqlnet.ora

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