Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Documentation

Patching a DB System


This topic is not applicable to Exadata DB systems.

This topic explains how to perform patching operations on bare metal and virtual machine DB systems and database homes by using the Console, API, or the database CLI (DBCLI).

Currently, the following patches are available:

Version DB System Patch Database Patch January 2020 January 2020, October 2019, July 2019, April 2019 January 2020 January 2020, October 2019, July 2019, April 2019 January 2020 January 2020, October 2019, July 2019, April 2019 January 2020 January 2020, October 2019, July 2019, April 2019 Not applicable January 2020, October 2019, July 2019, April 2019

For information about operating system updates, see OS Updates.

Required IAM Policy

To use Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, you must be given the required type of access in a policy  written by an administrator, whether you're using the Console or the REST API with an SDK, CLI, or other tool. If you try to perform an action and get a message that you don’t have permission or are unauthorized, confirm with your administrator the type of access you've been granted and which compartment  you should work in.

For administrators: The policy in Let database admins manage DB systems lets the specified group do everything with databases and related Database resources.

If you're new to policies, see Getting Started with Policies and Common Policies. If you want to dig deeper into writing policies for databases, see Details for the Database Service.

About Patching DB Systems

Because patching a system requires a reboot, plan to run the operations at a time when they will have minimal impact on users. To avoid system interruption, consider implementing a high availability strategy such as Oracle Data Guard. For more information, see Using Oracle Data Guard with the Database CLI.

Oracle recommends that you back up your database and test the patch on a test system before you apply the patch. For information about backing up the databases, see Backing Up a Database.

You must patch a DB system before you patch the databases within that system.


The DB system requires access to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage service, including connectivity to the applicable Swift endpoint for Object Storage. Oracle recommends using a service gateway with the VCN to enable this access. For more information, see these topics:


In addition to the prerequisites listed, ensure that the following conditions are met to avoid patching failures:

  • The /u01 directory on the database host file system has at least 15 GB of free space for the execution of patching processes.
  • The Oracle Clusterware is up and running on the DB system.
  • All nodes of the DB system are up and running.

See Patching Failures on Bare Metal and Virtual Machine DB Systems for details on problems that can result from not following these guidelines.

Using the Console

You can use the Console to view the history of patch operations on a DB system or an individual database, apply patches, and monitor the status of an operation.

Oracle recommends that you use the pre-check action to ensure your DB system or database home has met the requirements for the patch you want to apply.

Performing Patch Operations

To perform a patch operation on a DB system
To perform a patch operation on a database

Viewing Patch History

Each patch history entry represents an attempted patch operation and indicates whether the operation was successful or failed. You can retry a failed patch operation. Repeating an operation results in a new patch history entry.

Patch history views in the Console do not show patches that were applied by using command line tools like DBCLI or the Opatch utility.

To view the patch history of a DB system
To view the patch history of a database

Using the API

For information about using the API and signing requests, see REST APIs and Security Credentials. For information about SDKs, see Software Development Kits and Command Line Interface.

Use these API operations to manage patching DB systems and databases.

DB systems:


For the complete list of APIs for the Database service, see Database Service API.

Using the Database CLI

This topic explains how to use the command line interface on the DB system to patch a DB system. Patches are available from the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Object Storage service. You'll use the dbcli commands to download and apply patches to some or all of the components in your system.


For connecting to the DB system via SSH, you'll need the path to private key associated with the public key used when the DB system was launched.

You also need the public or private IP address of the DB system. Use the private IP address to connect to the DB system from your on-premises network, or from within the virtual cloud network (VCN). This includes connecting from a host located on-premises connecting through a VPN or FastConnect to your VCN, or from another host in the same VCN. Use the DB System's public IP address to connect to the system from outside the cloud (with no VPN). You can find the IP addresses in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Console on the Database page.

To update the CLI with the latest commands
To check for installed and available patches
To patch server components
To patch database home components

Applying Interim Patches


This topic applies only to database homes in 1-node and 2-node RAC DB systems.

If you are required to apply an interim patch (previously known as a "one-off" patch) to fix a specific defect, follow the procedure in this section. You use the Opatch utility to apply an interim patch to a database home.

In the procedure example, the database home directory is /u02/app/oracle/product/ and the patch number is 26543344.

To apply an interim patch to a database home