opatchauto Odyssey

A couple of days ago a customer asked for assistance in installing the January PSU in their RAC environment. The patch should be applied to two systems, first the test cluster, second the production cluster. Makes sense so far. So we planned the steps that needed to be done:

  • Download the patch
  • copy patch to all nodes and extract it
  • check OPatch version
  • create response file for OCM and copy it to all nodes
  • clear ASM adump directory since this may slow down pre-patch steps
  • “opatchauto” first node
  • “opatchauto” second node
  • run “datapatch” to apply SQL to databases

The whole procedure went fine without any issues on test. We even skipped the last step, running “datapatch” since the “opatchauto” did that for us. This happens in contrast to the Readme which does not tell about that.

So that was easy. But unfortunately the production system went not as smooth as the test system. “opatchauto” shut down the cluster stack and patched the RDBMS home successfully. But during the patch phase of GI, the logfile told us that there are still processes that blocked some files. I checked that and found a handful, one of those processes was the “ocssd”. When killing all the left-over processes I knew immediately that this was not the best idea. The server fenced and rebooted straight away. That left my cluster in a fuzzy state. The cluster stack came up again, but “opatchauto -resume” told me, that I should proceed with some manual steps. So I applied the patches to the GI home which was not done before and run the post-patch script which failed. Starting “opatchauto” in normal mode failed also since the cluster was already in “rolling” mode.

So finally I removed all the applied patches manually, put the cluster back in normal mode following MOS Note 1943498.1 and started the whole patching all over.  Everything went fine this time.


  1. Think before you act. Killing OCSSD is not a good idea at all.
  2. In contrast to the Readme “datapatch” is being executed by “opatchauto” as part of the patching process.
  3. Checking the current cluster status can be done like this:
[oracle@vm101 ~]$ crsctl query crs activeversion -f
Oracle Clusterware active version on the cluster is []. The cluster upgrade state is [NORMAL]. The cluster active patch level is [3467666221].