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ORA-01019: unable to allocate memory in the user side

ORA-01019: unable to allocate memory in the user side

One of the in-house developed tools which connects to the database to allow a 

user to perform configuration updates was throwing an error:

ORA-01019: unable to allocate memory in the user side

Most of the docs that I could find online told me the same thing, namely:

Cause: The user side memory allocator returned error

Action: Increase the processes heap size or switch to the old set of calls

However, sometimes the Oracle errors that you receive don’t seem to be that 

helpful in actually determining what the problem is. The ORA-01019 error is 

no exception in this case…You will find numerous forums online which tell you

 to fix the ORA-01019 error by “increasing the processes heap size” on the 

client and that it’s not to do with any configuration, just resource. I have 

found differently.


So, what you need to check is whether or not you have multiple ORACLE_HOMES 

installed on the client machine. The reason I say this is because in our case

 we did. We had an old Oracle 10g client and a new 11g client. We found that the 

default client was still the 10g one, so when the client was attempting to connect 

to the database it was using executables and dlls which we didn’t expect or want 

it to use.

The way to resolve your ORA-01019: unable to allocate memory in the user side is

 to ensure that you have the correct default path for the Oracle client. The 

client was running on Windows so if you type PATH from a command prompt it will 

show you what the default one is.

Change the PATH

You can update this in My Computer -> Properties -> Advanced -> Environment 

Variables -> then scroll to the System Variables window at the bottom until you see PATH and edit that. Put the path to the Oracle home that you want to use first 

before any other Oracle home in the list order.

I have some more details about how to change the PATH environment variable in another 

post if you would like to see some screenshots of where to go and change it.


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