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Cannot connect to Oracle with OCI

If the connection to Oracle database with OCI cannot be established, try the following to resolve the problem:

  1. Make sure the versions are compatible.

  2. Check the files and environment.

Check the compatibility of versions

Installation on separate machines

When the Oracle Instant Client is installed on a separate machine, versions of the Oracle Instant Client and Oracle Server may differ. For example, Oracle Client 19.x can successfully connect to Oracle server 11.2. But the JDBC driver must have the same version as the Oracle Instant Client. Otherwise, you will see errors like Native library cannot be loaded or Incompatible version of libocijdbc.

For example, consider the following Oracle setup:

  • Oracle Database 12c Enterprise Edition Release - 64bit Production

  • Oracle Instant Client

If we use the Oracle driver, we are going to get Incompatible version of libocijdbc. But if we switch to Oracle driver, the connection will be successful. Consider the following animation.

Incompatible version of libocijdbc

Installation on the same machine

When the Oracle Instant Client is installed on the machine with the Oracle server, the JDBC driver uses the native library to connect to the Oracle server. And this native library is a part of Oracle server software. So, the JDBC driver must have the same version as the Oracle server.

Summary table

Separate machines

Same machine

Versions of Oracle Instant client and Server

May differ

Will be the same (as the Oracle Instant Client is a part of Oracle server software)

Version of the JDBC driver

Same as the Oracle Instant client

Same version as the Oracle server

Check the versions

  1. To find the JDBC driver version in DataGrip, do the following:

    1. In the Data Sources and Drivers dialog (Ctrl+Alt+Shift+S) , select the data source and click the Driver list and select Go to Driver to access the Drivers tab of the dialog.

    2. In the Drivers tab, find the JDBC driver version in the Driver Files pane.

    For more information about how to configure the driver, refer to Configure a JDBC driver for an existing data source.

  2. Check the versions of Oracle Instant client and Server.

Files and environment variables


The following OCI packages are required:

  1. Basic Package

  2. SQL*Plus Package

  3. JDBC Supplement Package

Packages for your operating system can be downloaded from the Oracle Instant Client Downloads page at

Step 1. Check the extracted files

All the files from downloaded packages must be extracted in the same directory.

  • Find the directory with extracted Instant Client files (for example, ~/Oracle/instantclient_19_8/) and make sure that none of them are missing.

  1. Find the directory with Instant Client files (for example, ~/Oracle/instantclient_19_8/).

  2. Make sure that none of the files are missing.

  3. Make sure that the oraclepki.jar is in that directory.

  4. Make sure that the wallet files are in the wallet directory inside the network directory. The path to wallet files might look as follows: ~/Oracle/instantclient_19_8/network/wallet.

    path to wallet files

Step 2. (Optional) Check environment variables

This is optional. With the environment variables being set, you can connect to your Oracle instance with the sqlplus tool. Note that these settings work only for the current session of the command prompt.

  • Check the following environment variables:

    export ORACLE_HOME=~/Oracle/instantclient_19_8
    export TNS_ADMIN=$ORACLE_HOME/network/admin
    export NLS_LANG=English_America.UTF8
    set ORACLE_HOME=C:\Oracle\instantclient_19_8
    set TNS_ADMIN=%ORACLE_HOME%\network\admin
    set NLS_LANG=English_America.UTF8

Step 3. Verify the ORA files configuration

Make sure that the tnsnames.ora file is composed by using the following approach:

  1. The file's location should look as follows: <directory_with_extracted_files>/network/admin, the directory_with_extracted_files is checked on Step 1.

    For example, ~/Oracle/instantclient_19_8/network/admin.

  2. The tnsnames.ora file should have the following structure:


    Consider the following example of the file:

    # tnsnames.ora Network Configuration File: /Users/jetbrains/Oracle/instantclient_19_8/network/admin/tnsnames.ora # Generated by Oracle configuration tools. MyTNSAlias = (DESCRIPTION = (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP) HOST = (PORT = 1521)) (CONNECT_DATA = (SERVER = DEDICATED) (SERVICE_NAME = ) ) AnotherAlias = (DESCRIPTION = (ADDRESS = (PROTOCOL = TCP) (HOST = (PORT = 1521))

The tnsnames.ora and sqlnet.ora files are included in a ZIP archive with wallet files. For more information about downloading a wallet, refer to Download Client Credentials (Wallets) at

  1. The files location should look as follows ~/Oracle/instantclient_19_8/network/admin.

  2. Open the sqlnet.ora file from the admin directory in the text editor, and make sure that the value of the DIRECTORY attribute is the path to your wallet. In our case, the path looks as follows:

    WALLET_LOCATION = (SOURCE = (METHOD = file) (METHOD_DATA = (DIRECTORY="/Users/jetbrains/Oracle/instantclient_19_8/network/wallet"))) SSL_SERVER_DN_MATCH=yes

    Consider the following screenshot of the admin directory and configuration files.

    Configuring TNS files
Last modified: 26 May 2024