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Opatch Faq

Opatch Faq

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Published by UKG

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Published by: UKG on Aug 31, 2010
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OPATCH FAQ [ID 242993.1]
OPatch FAQ :
@<Note to Author: DO NOT DELETE the following Disclaimer>@<Note to Publisher: DELETE the following Disclaimer when you set article to PUBLISHED>***This article is being delivered in Draft form and may containerrors. Please use the MetaLink "Feedback" button to adviseOracle of any issues related to this article.***This document is currently being edited and is still not a final version.
1) What is OPATCH and where can I download it from ?
Opatch is a set of perl scripts and java classes which allow the application and rolling back of interim (one-off) patches currently for the Oracle RDBMS product. The program requires thatthe perl language interpreter version 5.005_03 or greater to run but version 5.6 or greater isrecommended. The main shell of OPatch is called from opatch, which calls other Perl modulesand subsequently java classes as well. Under a normal Oracle home installation the JRE is usedfrom the Oracle home and the Perl installation as well which is installed with the Apachesoftware in $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/perl .The opatch tool for all products can be downloaded from Metalink placeholder bug (Patch6880880
). Note: OPatch is platform specific, so you must select the appropiate Platform. Also,there are 3 versions. Select the appropiate version:1.For all releases of 11.1, select the OPatch version all releases of 10.2, select the OPatch version all releases prior to 10.2 (9.0.4, 9.2, 10.1), select the OPatch version10. more detail, please see NOTE 224346.1,"Opatch - Where Can I Find the Latest Version of  Opatch?"
2) Requirements for OPatch
The primary dependencies for an OPatch installation are-
Perl 5.6 or greater (is recommended) or the one which comes with the Oracle installationin $ORACLE_HOME/Apache/perl directory works too . If installed using the typicaloption with the Apache HTTP server software which in-turn installs perl , OPatch runsout of the box and does not require an external perl interpreter to be installed.-
The inventory which is thecentral inventoryfor storing product information ( pointed to  by /var/opt/oraInst.loc) , thelocal inventoryfor reading the components installed in this specific home($ORACLE_HOME/inventory) . In extreme cases its possible to skip theinventory in case of corruptions but its not recommended as the DBA would need to keeptrack of the patches that were applied manually
The patch stage area which is the location where the patch has been downloaded andunzipped. Note that OPatch is not bundled along with the patch itself (we used to do thiswith patches only) and its highly recommended to download the latest OPatchversion from placeholder bug (Patch 6880880)
as subsequent fixes to the product are merged anduploaded to the latest version under this placeholder. See 
When patching a RAC installation the paths of $ORACLE_HOME/liband$ORACLE_HOME/srvm/libmust be in the user's environment for library searches. i.e.:Under Solaris these should be in LD_LIBRARY_PATH so the extra libraries can be read.If not set then required libraries will not be found and patch will not install.
3) How to apply a patch to an installation and confirm if this was applied correctly ?
The README file that is bundled with eaach patch contains exact patch installation instructions.Usually these instructions are to run "opatch apply" as the Oracle account, from the "un-compressed" patch subdirectory.The opatch tool applies patches to the Oracle home which is specified and set as$ORACLE_HOME. Logs are placed as follows:For opatch version, logs are written into the patch storage area under $ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage/ bug number  and the log in this case starts with "<bugnum>_Apply_<date>.log" For the newer opatch versions for products installed with OUI release 10.2 and after, logs arewritten into the cfgtoollogs/opatch area under $ORACLE_HOME/and the log in this case startswith"opatch<date>.log" In each case, the logs contain the complete sequence of steps followed by opatch which isechoed on the screen with the relevant commands being executed to complete the patchapplication. In case of a patch application failure the logs would be the first place to look.
4) How does the OPatch versioning system work 
As explained in NOTE 224346.1,"Opatch - Where Can I Find the Latest Version of Opatch?", different versions of patch are required for products installed with OUI version 10.2 or after, andfor products installed with OUI versions before 10.2For products installed with OUI versions 10.2 or after, OPatch versioning will match theassociated OUI version, until the 5th digit. for example The last digit is incrementedfor minor changes or fixes which have been added to the opatch tool. When checking the ARU placeholder for OPatch you will find for example "Fixed In Ver:" at the end , .For products installed with OUI versions before 10.2, OPatch versioning is still at version 1 with5 digits separated by dots. for example The last digit is incremented for minor changesor fixes which have been added to the opatch tool. When checking the ARU placeholder for OPatch you will find for example "Fixed In Ver:" at the end , .
5) I get an "unknown error" when trying to apply a patch
An unknown error is basically an unhandled exception for OPatch. This could be caused inseveral different areas of the OPatch code and could be primarily treated as a bug or an existingissue if you are not using the latest versionSome of the common solutions observed for correcting "Unknown error" type errors are asfollows
Check if the patch stage area has appropriate permissions namely "chmod 755 <dir whereunzipped>" and retry
Check the APPLY log and see which stage has caused the exception , normally if this isencountered say in the apply phase of the patch application then check if the "opatchlsinventory" command works or fails in the same manner. Usually from past experiencesthis has been associated with getting an exception from the inventory for which there isno stack trace printed as this is unhandled . Enhancement request has been logged for this-3020660.
Check if skipping the inventory brings you to the first stage namely "Ready to apply the patch?" , if yes then the problem lies with interfacing with the inventory - Search Webivfor known issues and test with the latest version of OPatch.
If there is no additional information in the apply logs please collect the truss output for the opatch command For example on solaris – 
"truss -aefdD -o test.out opatch apply" . Note to follow forks must be included inthe options. Also check for section - "what to provide when logging a new OPatchissue"
6) My inventory is in a different location as compared to the normal location and myoraInst.loc is present in $ORACLE_HOME. How do I install the patch under such cases?
OPatch expects the oraInst.loc file in the standard location namely/var/opt/oracle/oraInst.lochowever there are certain systems where this file is present at other locations. This is overriddenusing the inventory API flag invPtrLoc (note the case) Typically used for Oracle installationsinstalled with./runInstaller -invPtrLoc $ORACLE_HOME/oraInst.loc .For such oracle homes OPatch would error out saying"Unable to access inventory" or errors with"Couldn't find required file liboraInstaller”which can be misleading. Under suchcases when applying a patch you need to specify the same flag for OPatch application , for exampleopatch apply -invPtrLoc $ORACLE_HOME/oraInst.loc .From a supportability point of view this flag would be available as long as the Installer supportsand this would also imply the customer has a non-standard installation hence its not encouraged.
7) Unable to get inventory lock exception encountered when applying a patch using OPatchhow should I proceed here ?
This has been difficult to diagnose ,-
Collect the information required to determine the root cause of the problem under thesection "what to collect when filing a new OPatch issue" .-
We are unable to get an inventory lock (which is a lock for the inventory control area for this oracle home) which is required when trying to store this information in the inventory.This is also taken in an attempt to synchronize the binary

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