Oracle SQL Developer: Changing Connection Passwords Massively

I tend to use Oracle SQL Developer as my main fornt-end for Oracle databases, and it works quite well after all.
However, by time to time, I’m forced to change my personal passwords by enterprise policies, and this has always been a tedious task because I have to manually edit the connection properties for every single connection and update the old password with the new one.

And then, this morning, after a strong coffee, I was enlightned. I do use proxy accounts to pretty much all my databases, ops, schemas as they are called in Oracle terminology. This means my connection username is something like luca[db] or luca[db2]: the square brackets include the schema name, and the prefix is my own username· This is really useful because it allows my user to connect with the very same credentials to different schemas without having to know the schema password.
On the other hand, this means that SQL Developer stores the same password for all the proxy based connections I’ve defined. Well, not really true: SQL Developer stores a cryptogrphic hash of the same password for all the above connections.
Do you see when I’m going? If I can tell the new cryptographic hash for a new password, I can quickly perform a substitute-all of all the occurencies in the connection configuration file.
Unluckily, I’m not aware of a way of getting a new encrypted hash starting from a password (while I’m aware of how to decrypt an existing hash). So here follows what I did to keep my idea as massive as possible.

First Step: Analyze the Connection Properties

SQL Developer stores the connection properties into an XML file named connections.xml that is, in turn, within the user home directory under the .sqldeveloper path, in a folder named system<something> and a subfolder named after the connections string. On my system it is something as:


In the above connections.xml file, there are different sections, one per connection, each with a password section:

 <StringRefAddr addrType="password">

The Contents is the password hash for that connection.
The hash is computed using a key that is based on the current host, so you cannot use the same password hash across different machines.
But guess what: who cares!
Just esnure that all the password hash for the connections you are going to edit are the same string, that means the same password.

Second Step: Obtain a New Password Hash

Let SQL Developer do the heavy job: launch it and change only one connection among yours with the new password. Then save the connection and close the SQL Developer.

Last Step: Do the Substitution

Now open the connections.xml file with you default editor (and that should be Emacs!). Find out the connection you have already updated with the new password, grab the password hash and perform a replace-all of the old password hash with the new one.
Save the file and launch SQL Developer again, and you are done!

The article Oracle SQL Developer: Changing Connection Passwords Massively has been posted by Luca Ferrari on January 27, 2021