Sunday, October 05, 2008

Upgrade Experience for Patchkit

The first patchkit for 11g - - came out a few weeks ago, for Linux systems. Unlike most other patchkits, this one contains some new functionalities. Oracle patchkits are usually only bugfixes with al patches regression tested collectively; not added features. This one does have some new (albeit minor) features.

The upgrade was relatively easy but took a long time - about 30 minutes. I encountered one issue and a roadblock. Here is the annoying roadblock

A Very Import Pre-req

Do not forget to check for this pre-requisite. This is the time_zone check, as specified in the patchkit readme file.

SQL> select version from v$timezone_file;


In my case it returned 4, which means no further action is necessary. Had it returned something else, I would have to follow the instructions mentioned in MetaLink Note 568125.1.

Asking for Email for Security Notification

It was interesting to note that the installer asked me to enter my Email address to send me updates on security. Funny; I get that already anyway. So I ignored and clicked "Next". Nope; it popped a little window asking me to confirm that I do not need email. Sure, I confirmed and pressed Next. No, the same issue, it asked me again to confirm and so on. Vicious circle!

There was a little checkbox below that said "track security via MetaLink" and asked my MetaLink password (not "id", which it presumed to be my email). I checked that box and entered my email and password, and it allowed me to go further.

This is a little awkward. Not everyone will want to get the email. And in any case, a mere email will explain little about the security issues. And why would anyone want to embed his/her MetaLink password in a response file?

Cool Feature: The Pre-upgrade Script

Oracle now provides a script utlu111i.sql in the $OH/rdbms/admin directory. Run this script before you shut the database down for upgrade. It will tell a lot about the issues you may need to fix before trying the upgrade.

The Issue

The issue I encountered was while running the catupgrd.sql script. After applyng the patch, I started up with the UPGRADE option and then executed catupgrd.sql script, which promptly failed. From the error message (which, I unfortunately, I couldn't capture), it was clear that the failure was due to the presence of Data Vault feature. I apparently installed Data Vault option while installing the software. The message says it clearly:

Connected to:
Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release - Production
With the Partitioning, Oracle Label Security, OLAP, Data Mining,
Oracle Database Vault and Real Application Testing options

Well, I need to remove it before I can upgrade. It needed a recomp of the Oracle software:

oracle@prolin1$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/lib
oracle@prolin1$ make -f dv_off

Next, I relinked the Oracle software:

oracle@prolin1$ relink oracle

Now the catupgrd.sql script ran successfully as expected. It took about 1 hour to complete.

SQL> select * from v$version
2 /

Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition Release - Production
PL/SQL Release - Production
CORE Production
TNS for Linux: Version - Production
NLSRTL Version - Production


Marco Gralike said...

Funny, I did not have the security email question, maybe because it wasn't allowed to connect to the internet, due to firewall policy restrictions. My update went fine although I didn't use the check script.

The created vanilla database afterward (a demo database install to demo the real-time sql monitor) didn't show any issues, although it only existed for a few days.

Do you know were you can get info about the "new" features involved in this patch.

I know that in equi partitioning for XMLType Object Realtional storage is now officially supported and the DB Console has the fancy real-time sql monitor (, anything else...?

Arup Nanda said...

That's weird. Yes, my database server was connected to the internet; but how did the installer assume that? I don't think that's the reason for asking the email address.

I think the reason is Configuration Repository, which I had configured earlier. Perhaps that prompted the installer to assume that I have MetaLink access and this database is already configured.

About the new features: no, they are not documented anywhere; at least not clearly. I happen to know about the SQL monitor since it was mentioned in the ACE Director meeting.

Anonymous said...

Arup, any particular reason why you call it patchkit as opposed to Oracle's official name of patchset.

Arup Nanda said...

No particular reason. The term patchkit is used sometimes. I don't think "patchset" is offcial. It's just a cnvenient term we use.

Ignacio Ruiz said...

Hi Arup,

I did a vanilla installation for and later the upgrade to I did not setup Configuration Repository at any time; however OUI asked me for the same email+metalink password, which I resolved (not having my machine connected to internet) entering the email, disabling the Metalink password checkbox and that's it... guess this is a hardcoded step within the process. All this reminded me that patchset install, has a step which asks for CSI+Metalink Userid(Email)+Country, which is easily disabled via a general checkbox at the upper left corner, labeled "Enable Configuration Manager Registration".

Arup Nanda said...

To Ignacio - yes, if Config Manager was used, it make sense to collect the email and password. But I was not using CM; so I assume it was a hardcoded step.

Anonymous said...

Hi Arup

Great note!!! Thank you very much..

regards from Chile


Anonymous said...

Hi Arup,

Just found your post via a search and I note that you state that the utlu111i.sql script (pre-upgrade test script) is a welcome new script for This script exists for and also for and above. I do not have a 10.1 install to check here so cannot confirm that it existed for 10.1 as well. I did have a 9iR2 install i could look at and its not there. In 10gR2 the script is called utlu102.sql instead BUT its there.

hope this helps



Arup Nanda said...

Thanks, Pete. Sorry, that probably didn't come out very accurately. I didn't mean to say that the script to check pre-upgrade was new in the patckit. Similar scripts are available in 10.2 as well. In 10.2, the scripts are:

(1) utlu102i - the check script
(2) utlu102x - the same as above; but the display is in XML

skymaster said...

Hi Arup,

Thank you for the useful tips on the patchset. I am actually right now in the middle of planning and performing a large database upgrade from 10g to 11g. I will keep these points in mind.


Amin said...


I just applied the patchset to an existing database on WinXP and WinVista -- both 32 bit.
The WinVista upgrade via DBUA worked fine and the database starts and shuts. On WinXP I get the This is a rerun message and to remove the Welcome_SID.txt file which actually does not exist.
When I tried connecting via the command line, I get Listener can not recognize the service or no listener message. But I have started the listener and even recreated it.

Any ideas short of junking the existing database and starting from scratch?

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