Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Here is the full error:

PHP Fatal error:  Uncaught exception 'PDOException' with message 'SQLSTATE[08004] SQLConnect: 1033 [unixODBC][Oracle][ODBC][Ora]ORA-01033: ORACLE initialization or shutdown in progress\nProcess ID: 0\nSession ID: 0 Serial number: 0\n'

I am using unixODBC to connect to an oracle 11g database. The database is up and functioning as proof by:

select open_mode from v$database;


read write

The web application of the service is completely functional as well.

and finally, I can run:

isql -v [odbc store] [user] [password]

and query the database just fine that way.

So I am truly at a loss as to why I cannot connect through the ODBC to get what I need. Everything I've read has stated that I should follow a procedure similar to this: link to solve similar problems

Thanks for any input. I'm really at my wits end here.

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

My suggestion is that, instead of using unixODBC, you check out a native instantclient for 11g (download it from Oracle website) and PHP Oracle Call Interfaces. I've been using these for a long time and so far I've never had any problems with it.

Here is a guide on how to setup PHP OCI:

Oracle Instantclient:

share|improve this answer
I think that is ultimately what I did. I only used the UnixODBC because I used that once before and remembered it as easy and simple. – lilott8 Aug 15 '13 at 15:24

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.