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.


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: http://www.php.net/manual/en/oci8.installation.php

Oracle Instantclient: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/features/instant-client/index-097480.html

  • 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

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