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Oracle patch tracking & patch management

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonJanuary 16,  2015

Question:  How do I find out which patches was installed on Oracle?  I need a tool for Oracle patch tracking and patch management, what tools does Oracle offer for patching?

Answer:   First, there are many types of Oracle patch deliveries:

  1. One-off patches (e.g. a bug fix)
  2. Critical Patch Update (CPU)
  3. Upgrade patches (bug fix bundle)
  4. Patch Set Update (PSU)
  5. Bundled patches (For Windows and Exadata only)

Oracle provides the OPATCH utility for patch management and tracking.  Oracle patches have a many-to-many relationship to other patches, and any given patch can have prerequisite patches, and at the same time be a prerequisite for another patch.

To track applied patches, you have these patch management options, but not all of them work properly.  The only 100% guaranteed way to track patches (and their prerequisites and co-requisites is using a manual spreadsheet.  Here are the most common Oracle patch tracking options:

  • manual - track patches in a spreadsheet
  • root> opatch lsinventory
  • See at the patch log file at $ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage/patch_logfile
  • The dba_registry view, which isn't a 100% indicator of patches
  • Oracle OEM Grid control patch management

The Oracle OEM docs note that applying patches to multiple nodes in a Grid environment is especially problematic, and OEM offers a direct-connect to MOSC interface for patch management and application:

"By correlating the available patches with the specific systems and software running on a particular site, administrators are notified of only applicable patches.

When querying MOSC directly, patches can be found either in the context of a specific target or, if desired, the administrator can query for a specific patch.

Once the necessary patch is located, Grid Control can download and deploy it.

Optionally, Grid Control can execute an end-user provided script to install the patch to all systems that require it. Each of these steps allows for quicker application of patches across the customer's enterprise. Grid Control extends this valuable patch management functionality to include support for OS patches—a critical component of systems maintenance and the biggest impediment preventing the installation of important software for system repair."

Here is a sample of patch tracking with the OPATCH command:

oracle@server:/usr/oracle/product/10.2.0/db/OPatch$ opatch lsinventory
Invoking OPatch 10.2.0.3.0

Oracle interim Patch Installer version 10.2.0.3.0
Copyright (c) 2005, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved..


Oracle Home       : /usr/oracle/product/10.2.0/db
Central Inventory : /usr/oracle/product/oraInventory
   from           : /etc/oraInst.loc
OPatch version    : 10.2.0.3.0
OUI version       : 10.2.0.3.0
OUI location      : /usr/oracle/product/10.2.0/db/oui
Log file location : /usr/oracle/product/10.2.0/db/cfgtoollogs/opatch/opatch2009-01-16_11-50-19AM.log

Lsinventory Output file location : /usr/oracle/product/10.2.0/db/cfgtoollogs/opatch/lsinv/lsinventory2009-01-16_11-50-19AM.txt

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Installed Top-level Products (3):

Oracle Database 10g                                                  10.2.0.1.0
Oracle Database 10g Products                                         10.2.0.1.0
Oracle Database 10g Release 2 Patch Set 2                            10.2.0.3.0
There are 3 products installed in this Oracle Home.


Interim patches (14) :

Patch  5363584      : applied on Fri Nov 30 16:35:53 CST 2015
   Created on 2 Aug 2015, 18:17:03 hrs PST8PDT
   Bugs fixed:
     5363584

Patch  5746875      : applied on Tue Nov 20 18:08:46 CST 2015
   Created on 28 Feb 2015, 07:19:02 hrs US/Eastern
   Bugs fixed:
     5126270, 5726033, 5746875

Patch  5865568      : applied on Tue Nov 20 18:08:00 CST 2015
   Created on 15 Feb 2015, 20:01:44 hrs PST8PDT
   Bugs fixed:
     5865568


 

 

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