In-order to upgrade a RAC Database from to you need to upgrade

1] The grid infrastructure first.

2] Then, the Oracle Database.

Environment /Setup Details:-

+ 2 Node RAC on Red Hat Linux 5.6 with Dell PowerEdge Servers (R710).

+ Applies to any storage.

Latest OPatch

It is recommended to we use the Latest Version of OPatch. Unzip the zip file and copy OPatch folder to $ORACLE_HOME And $GI_HOME by renaming the earlier OPatch directory. You can refer to how to download and Install OPatch [Metalink ID 274526.1]

Pre- Requisite Patch

First, let’s discuss about the mandatory patches required before upgrading to PSU 12419353& Patch 1253900 is mandatory and downloadable from for information on PSU 12419353, refer to Metalink article ID 12419353.8

Download the patch and unzip it to a stage directory (it can be any directory), once you unzip the downloaded patch, 2 folders will be created. In this example I have unzipped the patch to /patches directory.

Now, let’s see how to patch the $GI_HOME with Patch 12419353.

Before the patch is installed, we need to perform a pre-req check. Let’s see how to do this.

1] [root@rac1 patches]# su – oracle

2] [oracle@rac1 ~]$ cd /opt/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/OPatch/

3] [oracle@rac1 OPatch]$ ./opatch prereq CheckConflictAgainstOHWithDetail -phBaseDir /patches

Invoking OPatch

Oracle Interim Patch Installer version

Copyright (c) 2011, Oracle Corporation.  All rights reserved.

PREREQ session

Oracle Home       : /opt/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1

Central Inventory : /opt/app/oraInventory

 from           : /etc/oraInst.loc

OPatch version    :

OUI version       :

Log file location : /opt/app/oracle/product/11.2.0/dbhome_1/cfgtoollogs/opatch/opatch2011-08-16_19-36-09PM.log

Invoking prereq "checkconflictagainstohwithdetail"

Prereq "checkConflictAgainstOHWithDetail" passed.

OPatch succeeded.

 Patching the $GI_HOME

1] Stop the Instance running on Node1

srvctl stop instance -d upgrade -i upgrade1

 2] As root User run the opatch auto from the $GI_HOME

./opatch auto /patches

Note: The Opatch auto takes care of the patching of both the Grid infrastructure Home and the Oracle Home with the mandatory patch .

Once the patching is done on Node1, start the instance on Node1

3] Starting the Instance on Node1

srvctl start instance -d upgrade -i upgrade1

 Note: Repeat the process of pre-req and patching on Node2

Once the mandatory patch is applied, we can proceed with the upgrade of the grid infrastructure home.

Patches required:  The software/Patch can be downloaded from My Oracle support: patch 10404530. Select for grid infrastructure download. Once downloaded, unzip them.

Upgrading Grid Infrastructure

Unzip the patches downloaded and invoke run Installer from the unzipped grid folder. You will be taken to the welcome screen.

Choose Skip Software updates

Choose Upgrade Gird Infrastructure or Oracle ASM

Choose the Language

The Nodes present are selected by default, Click Next.

Leave the OS groups to Defaults

Choose the New Location where the Grid Infrastructure should be installed

The Pre-Requisite checks are performed, click next

The summary screen appears click next

Click on Install

Run on both the nodes as specified in the screenshot

You can verify if the Clusterware has been upgraded successfully, by the following commands.

To determine software version (binary version of the software on a particular cluster node) use

$crsctl query crs softwareversion

Oracle Clusterware version on node [prod01] is []

For checking active version on cluster, use

$ crsctl query crs activeversion

Oracle Clusterware active version on the cluster is []

Upgrading the Database via In-place upgrade

Patches Required:

The software/Patch can be downloaded from My Oracle support: patch 10404530. Select and for database patch/software download. Once downloaded, unzip them.

In-Place upgrades (Things to do before performing and In-place upgrade)

When performing an in-place upgrade, which uses the same Oracle home location, an error messages appears stating that the installer detects Oracle Database software in the location that you specified.

Message: The installer has detected that the software location you have specified contains Oracle Database software release Oracle recommends that when upgrading to, you perform an out-of-place installation of the software into a new Oracle home and then upgrade the database using the new software binaries.

Cause: The installer has detected that the software location you have specified contains Oracle Database software release

Action: Either perform an in-place upgrade (Steps provided in this section), or perform an out-of-place upgrade

Performing an In-Place Upgrade for an Oracle RAC Database

To perform an in-place upgrade for Oracle RAC Database instances: 

1. Back up the configuration data by backing up the following directories on all cluster nodes:

  • ORACLE_HOME/network/admin
  • ORACLE_HOME/hostname_dbname
  • ORACLE_HOME/oc4j/j2ee/OC4J_DBConsole_hostname_dbname

 2. Run the following command on each of the nodes to detach the Oracle RAC ORACLE_HOME:

ORACLE_HOME/oui/bin/runInstaller -detachHome ORACLE_HOME= software location

3. Rename the Oracle RAC ORACLE_HOME directory on all the nodes to a temporary name.

4. Install release Software Only on all nodes.

 From the unzipped folder, invoke the run Installer from the database folder.

 The welcome screen appears, uncheck the security updates and click next


Choose Skip Software Updates

Select Install Database Software Only and click next

Choose Oracle Real Application Clusters DB Installation and Select the Nodes and click next

Choose the Language and click next

Select Enterprise Edition and click next

Specify the location of the old home, and click next

Provide the Operating System groups and click next

Once the Pre-requisite checks are performed, click next

The summary screen appears, verify the settings and  click next

The installation proceeds

Once the installation is done, run on both the nodes as instructed and click ok.

Now, on all nodes, restore into the ORACLE_HOME software location the backed up configuration data files (from the backups you made of /dbs and network/admin), and also restore the following two directories: /hostname_dbname and /oc4j/j2ee/OC4J_DBConsole_hostname_dbname. Specify the actual name for hostname_dbname.

Database Upgrade using DBUA

Run DBUA from the ORACLE_HOME/bin directory on the local node and select the Oracle RAC database instance to upgrade it to release

The welcome screen appears once you invoke the DBUA, click next to proceed

DBUA Lists the databases that can be upgraded, select the one that you would like to upgrade

You can choose the Degree of parallelism and upgrading the time zone version and click next

Skip this screen by clicking next

The summary screen appears, click on finish for the upgrade to proceed, and the upgrade proceeds.

Once the upgrade is completed a summary of all the components that was upgraded will be displayed.

NOTE: The only time one should use this method (in-place upgrade) is when you lack space on your server. However, you can use this method for your test and development environments to save space. Since this method was the traditional method of doing things,

Since this method is available, I thought it’s worth checking how it works in 11gR2. During the entire upgrade process, I never ran into any issues, apart from the slightly higher downtime in comparison to the out-of place upgrade. However, oracle doesn’t recommend this method. You can refer to the following metalink note 1291682.1.