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How to Resolve SP2-0158: unknown SHOW option

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SP2-0158

SP2-0158 means that the issued command is not supported by this release of SQL*Plus utility. For example, we use SQL*Plus 11.2.0.4 to connect to a multitenant database like this.

C:\Users\edchen>sqlplus sys/password@orclcdb as sysdba

SQL*Plus: Release 11.2.0.4.0 Production on Wed Feb 3 19:37:44 2019
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Connected to:
Oracle Database 18c Enterprise Edition Release 18.0.0.0.0 - Production

We'd like to know what PDB we have by issuing SHOW PDBS.

SQL> show pdbs;
SP2-0158: unknown SHOW option "pdbs"

Since Oracle multitenant databases starts from 12c, so there's no way to know the new feature for SQL*Plus 11.2.0.4.0.

For the same reason, all multitenant related commands like SHOW CON_NAME cannot be used, either.

Solution

Use higher releases of SQL*Plus or SQL Developer to issue the command. In my opinion, Oracle instant client is the fastest way to make it work.

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