Error 5 Initializing SQL*Plus. NLS Initialization Error (Doc ID 344759.1)

Last updated on MAY 31, 2017

Applies to:

Oracle Database - Enterprise Edition - Version 9.2.0.7 to 12.1.0.2 [Release 9.2 to 12.1]
SQL*Plus - Version 8.1.7.0 to 12.1.0.2 [Release 8.1.7 to 12.1]
Information in this document applies to any platform.

Symptoms

Trying to connect to database with sqlplus as below:

$ sqlplus "/as sysdba"
$ sqlplus /nolog

and getting following error:

Error 5 initializing SQL*Plus
NLS initialization error


Even executables which call sqlplus hang, such as:

$svrmgrl
$sqlldr 

Cause

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