Today, I found the source of why my hard drive space has been mysteriously disappearing.

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bash-3.2$ du -h | tail
1.5G ./oracle/product
1.5G ./oracle
1.9G ./oradata/ora
1.9G ./oradata
268K ./oraInventory/Contents
12K ./oraInventory/ContentsXML
788K ./oraInventory/logs
4.0K ./oraInventory/oui
1.1M ./oraInventory
75G .

That’s my local Oracle 10g installation on my MacBook. Upon further inspection:

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bash-3.2$ pwd
/Users/oracle/admin/ora/bdump

bash-3.2$ du -h
71G .

The directory, /Users/oracle/admin/ora/bdump, contains oracle trace files. The oracle manual describes trace files as:

A trace file is created each time an Oracle instance starts or an unexpected event occurs in a user process or background process.

Apparently, they’re mostly harmless. A quick oracle shutdown immediate and a rm -rf ./bdump; mkdir bdump; chmod 750 bdump did the trick.

I got 71G back. Whew.

Resources:

PS. I had oracle trace enabled, which is why my oracle instance was generating so many trace files.

To turn off trace without a oracle restart:

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SQLPLUS> ALTER SYSTEM SET trace_enabled = FALSE;