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ORACLE_HOME with symbolic link and postupgrade_fixups

By Franck Pachot

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Here is a quick post you may google into if you got the following error when running postupgrade_fixups.sql after an upgrade:

ERROR - Cannot open the preupgrade_messages.properties file from the directory object preupgrade_dir
DECLARE
*
ERROR at line 1:
ORA-29283: invalid file operation
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_PREUP", line 3300
ORA-06512: at "SYS.UTL_FILE", line 536
ORA-29283: invalid file operation
ORA-06512: at "SYS.UTL_FILE", line 41
ORA-06512: at "SYS.UTL_FILE", line 478
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_PREUP", line 3260
ORA-06512: at "SYS.DBMS_PREUP", line 9739
ORA-06512: at line 11


Before upgrading a database with dbupgrade, you run, on the current version of your database, the preupgrade.jar from the new version (and probably download the lastest one from MOS). This generates a script to run before the upgrade, and one to run after the upgrade. Those scripts are generated under $ORACLE_BASE/cfgtoollogs//preupgrade where you find something like that:

drwxr-xr-x. 3 oracle oinstall 4096 Aug 11 19:36 ..
drwxr-xr-x. 3 oracle oinstall 4096 Aug 11 19:36 oracle
drwxr-xr-x. 3 oracle oinstall 4096 Aug 11 19:36 upgrade
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 14846 Aug 11 20:19 dbms_registry_extended.sql
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 7963 Aug 11 20:19 preupgrade_driver.sql
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 422048 Aug 11 20:19 preupgrade_package.sql
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 14383 Aug 11 20:19 parameters.properties
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 83854 Aug 11 20:19 preupgrade_messages.properties
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 50172 Aug 11 20:19 components.properties
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 2 Aug 11 20:19 checksBuffer.tmp
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 6492 Aug 11 20:20 preupgrade_fixups.sql
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 7575 Aug 11 20:20 postupgrade_fixups.sql
-rw-r--r--. 1 oracle oinstall 5587 Aug 11 20:20 preupgrade.log

Everything is straightforward.

oracle@vmreforatun01:/u00/app/oracle/product/ [DB2] java -jar /u00/app/oracle/product/18EE/rdbms/admin/preupgrade.jar
...
==================
PREUPGRADE SUMMARY
==================
/oracle/u00/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/DB2/preupgrade/preupgrade.log
/oracle/u00/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/DB2/preupgrade/preupgrade_fixups.sql
/oracle/u00/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/DB2/preupgrade/postupgrade_fixups.sql
 
Execute fixup scripts as indicated below:
 
Before upgrade log into the database and execute the preupgrade fixups
@/oracle/u00/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/DB2/preupgrade/preupgrade_fixups.sql
 
After the upgrade:
 
Log into the database and execute the postupgrade fixups
@/oracle/u00/app/oracle/cfgtoollogs/DB2/preupgrade/postupgrade_fixups.sql
 
Preupgrade complete: 2018-08-11T19:37:29
oracle@vmreforatun01:/u00/app/oracle/product/ [DB2]

For a database we have in a lab for our workshops, which I upgraded to 18c, I’ve run the postfix script after the upgrade but got the error mentioned above about UTL_FILE invalid file operation in the preupgrade_dir. I looked at the script. The postupgrade_fixups.sql script creates a directory on $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin and calls preupgrade_package.sql which reads preupgrade_messages.properties.

This is a bit confusing because there’s also the same file in the cfgtoollogs preupgrade subdirectory but my directory looks good:

SQL> select directory_name,directory_path from dba_directories where directory_name='PREUPGRADE_DIR';
 
DIRECTORY_NAME
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DIRECTORY_PATH
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PREUPGRADE_DIR
/u00/app/oracle/product/18SE/rdbms/admin

So, as the “ORA-29283: invalid file operation” is not very detailed, I traced all the system calls on files (strace -fye trace=file) when running sqlplus and got this:

[pid 29974] clock_gettime(CLOCK_MONOTONIC, {17811, 723389136}) = 0
[pid 29974] stat("/u00/app/oracle/product/18SE/rdbms/admin/preupgrade_messages.properties", {st_mode=S_IFREG|0644, st_size=83854, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] stat("/u00/app/oracle/product/18SE/rdbms/admin/", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=65536, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] lstat("/u00", {st_mode=S_IFLNK|0777, st_size=11, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] readlink("/u00", "/oracle/u00", 4095) = 11
[pid 29974] lstat("/oracle", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] lstat("/oracle/u00", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] lstat("/oracle/u00/app", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] lstat("/oracle/u00/app/oracle", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] lstat("/oracle/u00/app/oracle/product", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] lstat("/oracle/u00/app/oracle/product/18SE", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] lstat("/oracle/u00/app/oracle/product/18SE/rdbms", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=4096, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] lstat("/oracle/u00/app/oracle/product/18SE/rdbms/admin", {st_mode=S_IFDIR|0755, st_size=65536, ...}) = 0
[pid 29974] clock_gettime(CLOCK_MONOTONIC, {17811, 724514469}) = 0

Then I realized that the ORACLE_HOME is under a symbolic link. For whatever reason, on this environment, ORACLE_BASE is physically /oracle/u00/app/oracle but there’s a /u00 link to /oracle/u00 and this short one was used to set the environment variables. UTL_FILE, since 11g, and for security reasons, does not accept directories which use a symbolic link. And we can see on the strace above that it was detected (readlink).

So, the solution can be a quick workaround here, changing the postupgrade_fixups.sql to set the physical path instead of the one read from ORACLE_HOME by dbms_system.get_env.

However, if you can restart the instance, then it will be better to set the ORACLE_HOME to the physical path. Symbolic links for the ORACLE_HOME may be misleading. Remember that the ORACLE_HOME text string is part of the instance identification, combined with ORACLE_SID. So, having different values even when resolved to the same path will bring lot of problems. Do not forget to change it everywhere (shell environment, listener.ora) so that you are sure that nobody will use a different one when starting the database.

 

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