Upgrading Oracle RAC Database to (Grid + DB)

A new patchset for Oracle 11.2 has been released. This patchset is a full installation of the Oracle Database software. So you don’t need to install before installing You can read the complete list of new features of from here:


I downloaded the patchset and wanted to upgrade my 2-node RAC database. It’s just a test database running on VirtualBox. Latest PSU and GI PSU (12419331 and 12419353) are already applied. Before I upgrade the database, I have also applied patch 12539000. Installer checks if this patch is applied. It seems it’s an important patch because it fixes a bug directly related with upgrade process (Bug 12539000 – 11203:ASM UPGRADE FAILED ON FIRST NODE WITH ORA-03113).

The patchset contains 7 zip files but we need only the first 3 zip files to upgrade our grid and database.

First I’ll upgrade the grid infrastructure, then I’ll update the DB. Before you upgrade your database, I recommend you to read “Master Note For Oracle Database Upgrades and Migrations” MOS ID 1152016.1.

As you know, starting from oracle 11gR2, the Oracle DB and grid upgrades are done via the “out of place upgrade”. So I switch to root user, create a new directory for the Oracle software:

Then I switch back to oracle and unzip the file (it creates folder named “grid”). Then I start the installer by oracle user:

I’ll use graphical interface during the upgrade process.

My RAC has no internet connection so I select “skip software updates” and click next.

I’ll upgrade my grid and ASM.

Select the language you product will run and click next.

You can test SSH connectivity but because it’s an already working grid, just click next.

The installer will probably select the correct groups, check them, select according to your system and click next.

Enter the software location, click next. If you satisfied all prerequisites, the installer should advance to the summary screen.

Click “install” button to continue.

Wait until the installer ask you to run the root scripts…

You have to run the root script on first node and wait until it completed successfully before running it on other nodes. After you run the root scripts on all nodes, click OK to continue.

Wait until installer updated the Oracle inventory and check the report of the cluster verify utility. Let’s check the version of Grid:

Now we’re ready for upgrading the database. I’ll install the new database in “/u02” but Grid controller changed the ownership of this folder, so I’ll create a folder in /u02 by root user and then give its ownership to oracle. I highly recommend you not to do it! Use separate folders for grid and database installations!

Let’s unzip the files and run the installer:

The security comes first, but as I said there’s no internet connection, so I just leave them blank and click next.

I will skip the software updates.

Select upgrade an existing DB, and click next.

Select the RAC DB, make sure all nodes selected and click next.

Select the product language and click next

Select the correct edition for your DB, then click next.

Enter the installation folder, click next.

Select the OS groups, and click next.

Click “install” button to continue.

Execute the root scripts on each node.

Now the installer will run DBUA (database upgrade assistant) to upgrade our database.

Select the database which will be upgraded.

Read the warning, gather data dictionary statistics if you haven’t done yet then click next.

I recommend you to mark the “turn off archiving” option and set the parallel degree according to the total number of processors in the cluster. I wanted to go with archiving to see how much redo will be generated. Upgrade process generated about 1.7G archivelogs for my RAC database. It’s an Enterprise version with default options.

Set the size of flash recovery area and click next.

This is the last step. DBUA will now restart the database and start upgrading. The DB will not be available for general use. Check the summary page and click “finish” when you are ready.

Wait until upgrade process completed.

Upgrading DB is completed, check the report. Now your DB is ready for general use. Do not forget to update your bash profile to use new Oracle Home.

It was a very smooth process. DBUA did its job well as expected.

Please share

AWS Big Data Specialist. Oracle Certified Professional (OCP) for EBS R12, Oracle 10g and 11g. Co-author of "Expert Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c" book published by Apress. Awarded as Oracle ACE (in 2011) and Oracle ACE Director (in 2016) for the continuous contributions to the Oracle users community. Founding member, and vice president of Turkish Oracle User Group (TROUG). Presented at various international conferences including Oracle Open World.


  1. Paul Meethers

    Something I’m not clear on. Is this example a rolling upgrade? We have a similar 2 node setup but need to ensure minimal downtime. Does this example just apply to one node?

  2. ganga

    Any idea how much time it will take to upgrade Cluster & ASM of 10 database on 2 Node RAC. Please advice.

    • Gokhan Atil

      It depends very much on the performance of the storage system, an educated guess would be about 1 hour.

  3. Mahesh

    The post is very informative. I have the following queries. Please clarify –
    1. Do we have to run any SQL scripts after opening the database for the first time post upgrade?
    2. Do we have to shutdown the database during the entire activity. If not, please specify till which step we can leave it running.
    3. Is it necessary to backup ORACLE_HOME directory if you’re installing on a separate directory, just in case.
    4. I need to upgrade a single instance running on to with ASM. Do I still need to apply the Patch 12539000?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Gokhan Atil

      1) No we don’t.
      2) DBUA (database upgrade assistant) will shutdown and open the database, you don’t need to shutdown database.
      3) It’s an out of place upgrade, so you don’t need to backup ORACLE_HOME directory but be sure that you backup your database!
      4) Patching is good! 🙂

  4. zebob

    I’m trying to do the same with a rac on Windows 2008 to, any considerations? couldn’t find anything on metalink.

    • Gokhan Atil

      I don’t install/run Oracle on Windows but the process should be very similar.

  5. Sal

    Did you have to unset environment variables (ORACLE_HOME, ORACLE_SID, LD_LIBRARY_PATH, ORA_CRS_HOME, etc) for grid user before running grid installer? I have read this as a prerequisite in other how to upgrade articles.

    Also, is this actually a rolling upgrade? From oracle docs,

    “In contrast with releases prior to Oracle Clusterware 11g release 2, all upgrades are rolling upgrades, even if you select all nodes for the upgrade.”

    Thank you!

    • Gokhan Atil

      Sal, I use oraenv to set environment variables. I do not use profile scripts to set them automatically. So when I open a terminal, these environment variables are not set.

      In this post, I described how to upgrade both clusterware and database. Clusterware upgrade is a rolling upgrade, but the database upgrade is not.

  6. Mike

    It’s a really nice article.

    Have you done upgrade with 2 different RAC databases on the same cluster using DBUA? Or any thoughts?

    Another question: do we have the option to set new Oracle_Base and Oracle_Home for 11gR2 when doing upgrade from 11gR1?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Gokhan Atil

      You can use DBUA to upgrade 2 different RAC Databases one by one, and yes you need to set new ORACLE_HOME when upgrading. By the way, sorry for late reply, somehow I missed your comment.

  7. Kannan

    Its very good article. However i have some questions. I’m trying to upgrade RAC 11gR1 to R2. Current setup is having ASM owner and CRS owner as two separate owners. Oracle recommends to change the ASM owner to CRS owner. Is it mandatory? What is the work around. Also first time when i choose option 3 upgrade oracle GI or ASM. but when i ran again OUI im not able to get ASM instance. its says ASMCA detected pre 11gR2 ASM, but it does not have a local instance configured on this node. If you want to upgrade ASM to 11gR2, you need to run ASMCA on a node where pre 11gR2 ASM instance is configured. Do i need to invoke through ASM user? ASM should be up and running?


  8. Hi;

    Its good  post.I’am a bit confused.You said that : it’s clusterware rolling upgrade but database not.How to upgrade my database with rolling fashion , by using dbua  or manual…I am looking forward for response.

  9. Yousuf

    Thanks for nice article..

    Please request to let us know what will be rollback plan for both GI & RDBMS Home? if in case of rollback required.



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