Category Archives: 11gR2

Posts related to Oracle 11g Release 2

Oracle Patchset released

Oracle has released the patchset for Oracle 11g Release 2. The current patchset is as well as the other 11g R2 patchsets a full installation. This means you will have to download quite a bit from Metalink, altogether 7 files. On My Oracle Support search for patchset 13390677 or follow the link to reach the download page.

So far the patch set is only available for Linux (x86 and x86-64bit), Oracle Solaris on SPARC (32bit and 64bit) and Oracle Solaris on x86 and x86-64bit. The Metalink Note Patch Set – Availability and Known Issues [1562139.1] or the generic ALERT for Oracle 11g Release 2 ALERT: Oracle 11g Release 2 (11.2) Support Status and Alerts [880782.1] will list the patch set for other platforms as soon as they are available. The first Metalink Note is currently still under construction :-) .

List of Bugfixes

In the Metalink Note 1562142.1 you find a hell of a long list with bugs fixed in this patchset. But also this document is currently under construction. I think you would be well advised to test the patchset before installing on production. According to Metalink Note 1562139.1 there are up to now only two notable fixes with potential change in behavior but no new issues introduced in this patchset. So check the Metalink Note on updates.

New Features

Compared with previous patch set this one does not include all too many new features. Below a you find a list of the new features included in this patch set.

  • Oracle Data Redaction
  • Trace File Analyzer and Collector
  • RACcheck – The Oracle RAC Configuration Audit Tool
  • Database Replay Support for Database Consolidation
  • Dynamic Statistics
  • Optimization for Flashback Data Archive History
  • New sqlnet.ora Parameter SSL_EXTENDED_KEY_USAGE
  • New PrimaryLostWriteAction Property

Features like Oracle Data Redaction are backported from Oracle 12c R1 (See Oracle 12c New Security Features). Details on these new feature are available in the Oracle documentation Oracle Database 11g Release 2 ( New Features.


A collection of a few important Metalink Notes, readme and other links related to Patchset

  • README for 13390677
  • ALERT: Oracle 11g Release 2 (11.2) Support Status and Alerts [880782.1]
  • Patch Set – Availability and Known Issues [1562139.1]
  • Patch Set – List of Bug Fixes by Problem Type [1562142.1]
  • Quick Reference to Patchset Patch Numbers [753736.1]
  • Important Changes to Oracle Database Patch Sets Starting With [1189783.1]
  • Information on installing the patch set must be taken from the documentation (Installing and Upgrading) or the Metaling Note: Complete checklist for out-of-place manual upgrade from to [ID 1276368.1] (old only used as reference)

How to find latest oracle database patchset

It is sometimes a bit of a hassle, to have the latest patch name or number on hand, when you need them. Ok, you may search on My Oracle Support and save it as custom search. But it may happen that the search is inaccurate and the required patch is not found. A much easier way is to use the Oracle Metalink Notes, which have been available for a while. These MOS Notes are updated regularly with the latest patch information. My favorite is definitely the Quick Reference to Patch Numbers for Database PSU, SPU(CPU), Bundle Patches and Patchsets [1454618.1]. But there are more interesting MOS notes.

Which Patch’s are available?

MOS notes about patches, patch sets, PSU, SRU and bundle patches :

  • Introduction to Oracle Recommended Patches [756388.1]
    This MOS notes is the main entry to the Oracle recommended patches. It includes further links to Oracle Database, Oracle Enterprise Manager, Oracle Fusion Middleware and other products.
  • Oracle Recommended Patches — Oracle Database [756671.1]
    This notes includes the links for the latest recommended patches of Oracle Databases on Unix and Linux since Oracle
  • Oracle Database, Networking and Grid Agent Patches for Microsoft Platforms [161549.1]
    As the name says, this note contains further links for recommended patches of Oracle Databases on Microsoft Windows
  • Quick Reference to Patch Numbers for Database PSU, SPU(CPU), Bundle Patches and Patchsets [1454618.1]
    This MOS note is some kind of a master note for any PSU, CPU, Bundle Patches and Patchset. Here you’ll find any patch number without struggling yourself first through all the Oracle recommendations :-)
  • Release Schedule of Current Database Releases [742060.1]
    On this MOS Note you do not really find any patch numbers or names but you’ll find the release schedules of upcoming patch set. Ok you do not see an exact date. But at least the quarter of the year.

Which Patch has been installed?

The easies way to list the installed patches in the current ORACLE_HOME is to use the patch utility.

List of installed patches:

$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory

Grep on the patch description:

$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory|grep "Patch description"
Patch description:  "Database Patch Set Update : (16619892)"

A more verbose list on the installed patches:

$ORACLE_HOME/OPatch/opatch lsinventory -details

Which Patch has been applied?

The table REGISTRY$HISTORY does contain information on applied patches respectively PSU, SRU or CPU. SinceSince I use this query regularly during the tests of the Critical Patch Update, I have it packed in a handy script ( cpui.sql).

SET linesize 200 pagesize 200
col action_time FOR a28
col version FOR a10
col comments FOR a35
col action FOR a25
col namespace FOR a12
SELECT * FROM registry$history;

Oracle database binaries with perl

Perl and Oracle has not always an easy past. Depending on the OS type and Oracle Version it can be quite nerve racking to compile DBI and DBD::Oracle. In addition to DBD::Oracle there are also other binary Perl modules that are not so easy to compile. On operating systems such as Microsoft Windows it is necessary to invest a little more effort to compile Perl. Alternatively one can use precompiled packages like Active Perl or Strawberry Perl. But this is basically not necessary at all if Oracle is already installed. Since Oracle 10g Perl is part of the Oracle binaries for the client and Database server. Oracle does use it for various tools itself. This allows it to easily create and execute custom perl scripts even on an Oracle Client installation. I do this regularly when I create Oracle Database security reviews. Instead of manually collecting all sorts of information, I’m running a few Perl scripts. This also works if I only have access to an Oracle client installation.

Available Perl Versions

Consequently, the different Oracle versions contains different versions of Perl. With the latest Oracle Database 12c Release 1 it just got update.

  • Oracle 10g Release 2 contains Perl 5.8.3
  • Oracle 10g Release 2 contains Perl 5.10.0
  • Oracle 12c Release 1 contains Perl 5.14.1

As you see this are not realy the latest stable version of Perl. The following Picture show’s the latest release for each branch of Perl.


Depending on what you want to do with Perl, this is generally not a problem. Nevertheless, it is useful to check what is supported in the corresponding release or not.

With perldoc you’ll get all kind of perl documentation. For instance the user contributed perl modules aka additional perl modules

$ORACLE_HOME/perl/bin/perldoc perllocal

With corelist you’ll get information on core perl modules perl.

$ORACLE_HOME/perl/bin/corelist -a utf8

utf8 was first released with perl 5.006
5.006 undef
5.006001 undef
5.006002 undef
5.007003 1.00
5.008 1.00
5.008001 1.02
5.008002 1.02
5.008003 1.02
5.008004 1.03
5.008005 1.04
5.008006 1.04
5.008007 1.05
5.008008 1.06
5.009 1.02
5.009001 1.02
5.009002 1.04
5.009003 1.06
5.009004 1.06
5.009005 1.07
5.01 1.07


But before you start to develop your big perl applications be aware, that you shouldn’t relay on it. According to the Oracle Metalink Note 342754.1 You should not use it for your own applications.

Note:- Perl and other 3rd party tools such as the Sun JRE are provided in the ORACLE_HOME for Oracle tool usage only. PERL libraries which are part of the Oracle RDBMS CD (Client / Database) are not meant for PERL custom application development, but they are used by various Oracle tools that are shipped along with Oracle RDBMS software such as EM DB Console etc.,

Using it for just a bunch of admin and reports scripts it shouldn’t be a big issues. Especially because you save quite some time when you not have to install Perl and DBD::Oracle yourself.

How tu use it

A few example how to use it will follow later on…


Some links related to this post.

  • Perl Source Readme on CPAN with information on the latest version on each branch of Perl
  • DBI – Database independent interface for Perl
  • DBD::Oracle Oracle database driver for the DBI module
  • Oracle Support of PHP, Perl, DBD/DBI and other 3rd party products [342754.1]
  • Active Perl from ActiveState
  • Strawberry Perl

Query alert log from sqlplus

It is not really a novum that you can directly query the alertlog from SQLPlus. Tanel Poder and others already have discussed this a while ago. Somehow I can never remember the name of the X$ view when I need it. So it is time to sum up the information a little bit.

    Name                         NULL?    TYPE
    ---------------------------- -------- ---------------------------
 1  ADDR                                  RAW(8)
 2  INDX                                  NUMBER
 3  INST_ID                               NUMBER
 4  CON_ID                                NUMBER
 7  ORGANIZATION_ID                       VARCHAR2(64)
 8  COMPONENT_ID                          VARCHAR2(64)
 9  HOST_ID                               VARCHAR2(64)
10  HOST_ADDRESS                          VARCHAR2(46)
11  MESSAGE_TYPE                          NUMBER
12  MESSAGE_LEVEL                         NUMBER
13  MESSAGE_ID                            VARCHAR2(64)
14  MESSAGE_GROUP                         VARCHAR2(64)
15  CLIENT_ID                             VARCHAR2(64)
16  MODULE_ID                             VARCHAR2(64)
17  PROCESS_ID                            VARCHAR2(32)
18  THREAD_ID                             VARCHAR2(64)
19  USER_ID                               VARCHAR2(64)
20  INSTANCE_ID                           VARCHAR2(64)
21  DETAILED_LOCATION                     VARCHAR2(160)
22  PROBLEM_KEY                           VARCHAR2(550)
23  UPSTREAM_COMP_ID                      VARCHAR2(100)
24  DOWNSTREAM_COMP_ID                    VARCHAR2(100)
25  EXECUTION_CONTEXT_ID                  VARCHAR2(100)
27  ERROR_INSTANCE_ID                     NUMBER
29  VERSION                               NUMBER
30  MESSAGE_TEXT                          VARCHAR2(2048)
31  MESSAGE_ARGUMENTS                     VARCHAR2(512)
33  SUPPLEMENTAL_DETAILS                  VARCHAR2(4000)
34  PARTITION                             NUMBER
35  RECORD_ID                             NUMBER

A simple query to get the alert log messages and timestamp would look like.

SET linesize 160 pagesize 200
col RECORD_ID FOR 9999999 head ID
col MESSAGE_TEXT FOR a120 head Message

    to_char(originating_timestamp,'DD.MM.YYYY HH24:MI:SS'),

For daily use I’ve put together two scripts.

  •  tal.sql list all or some alert log messages. Messages will be filtered by the parameter
  •  taln.sql list the last n numbers of rows in an alert log.

Write into the alertlog

The procedure kdswrt in dbms_system package allows us to write own messages in the alert log / trace files or both. It receives two parameters:

  • A number that indicates where do we want to write our message
    1. Writing to a TRACE file
    2. Writing to the Alert.log file
    3. Writing to both of them
  • A text string (the message itself).
EXEC dbms_system.ksdwrt(2, 'ORA-00042: Test message in alert log.');

Query the Alertlog

List the last 10 lines in the alert log.

SQL> @taln 10

SQL> @taln 10

      ID DATE                 Message
-------- -------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    4333 23.07.2013 22:00:47  Thread 1 advanced TO log SEQUENCE 94 (LGWR switch)
    4334 23.07.2013 22:00:47    CURRENT log# 1 seq# 94 mem# 0: /u00/oradata/TDB01/redog1m1TDB01.dbf
    4335 23.07.2013 22:00:47    CURRENT log# 1 seq# 94 mem# 1: /u01/oradata/TDB01/redog1m2TDB01.dbf
    4336 23.07.2013 22:00:47  Archived Log entry 111 added FOR thread 1 SEQUENCE 93 ID 0xa3d43dfa...
    4337 24.07.2013 02:00:00  Closing scheduler window
    4338 24.07.2013 02:00:00  Closing Resource Manager plan via scheduler window
    4339 24.07.2013 02:00:00  Clearing Resource Manager plan via parameter
    4340 24.07.2013 03:38:21  VKTM detected a TIME drift. Please CHECK trace file FOR more details.
    4341 24.07.2013 09:18:38  VKTM detected a TIME drift. Please CHECK trace file FOR more details.
    4342 24.07.2013 14:50:05  ORA-00042: Test Message IN alert log

10 ROWS selected.

Query the alert log string ORA-00042.

SQL> @tal ORA-00042

      ID DATE                 Message
-------- -------------------- -------------------------------------------
    4342 24.07.2013 14:50:05  ORA-00042: Test Message IN alert log

FILTER ON alert log message => ORA-00042

Other fixed tables

There are bunch of other X$ Fixed Tables. At lease the following are somehow related to the ADR

  • X$DBGDIREXT list all file and directory names under diagnostic_dest/diag directory. Will be quite a lot on a shared DB server
  • X$DBGRICX list of ADR Incidents


Some links related to this post.

Oracle released CPU / PSU July 2013

About a week ago Oracle has released the July Critical Patch Updates. Overall this CPU contains 89 new security fixes across several Oracle products like Database Server, MySQL Server, Sun Product Suite, WebLogic Server etc. For Oracle Database Server it does contain 6 fixes, but none of them is for client-only installation. 1 of these vulnerabilities may be remotely exploitable without authentication. According the Database risk matrix all supported versions are affected. Since the critical patch update does mainly fix vulnerabilities in the core RDBMS and Oracle executables, it is worth to have a closer look. I’ll test the critical patch update on my test systems as usual. But I do not expect problems, since MOS Note 1546428.1 does not yet list any known issues. Be aware that Critical Patch Update (CPU) are usually cumulative and do contain previous security fixes. If you do not regularly apply Critical Patch Updates, it is essential to check previous patch notes.

First Testing

The Critical Patch Update could easily be installed on Linux x86-64bit, but opatch does fail with a few warnings. None of them prevents a successful installation. According to the Known Issues section in the Patch ReadMe and the two Metalink Notes 1448337.1 and 854711.1 the output can be safely ignored.

First Findings

After installing the patch and run catbundle I could identify a few changes on the hidden parameters. The following hidden parameters have been updated on my test system

SQL> @hip _db_flash_cache_keep_limit

Parameter                  SESSION Instance   S I D Description
-------------------------- ------- ---------- - - - --------------------------------------------------
_db_flash_cache_keep_limit         217751120        Flash cache keep buffer UPPER LIMIT IN percentage

SQL> @hip _fastpin_enable

Parameter                 SESSION Instance   S I D Description
------------------------- ------- ---------- - - - --------------------------------------------------
_fastpin_enable                   217827585        enable reference COUNT based fast pins

The following hidden parameter has been removed

SQL> @hip _db_flash_cache_keep_limit

Parameter                   SESSION Instance   S I D Description
--------------------------- ------- ---------- - - - --------------------------------------------------
_thirteenth_spare_parameter                          thirteenth spare parameter - string

But the strange thing is, the following new hidden parameters.

SQL> @hip _july2013_cpu_admin_user_fix

Parameter                    SESSION Instance   S I D Description
---------------------------- ------- ---------- - - - --------------------------------------------------
_july2013_cpu_admin_user_fix                          july2013 cpu admin USER fix

So far I could not figure out the purpose of _july2013_cpu_admin_user_fix parameter. It look’s somehow like a temporary fix for something. I assume it will disappear in the next Critical Patch Update on october 2014.

CPU Release Dates

The next four Critical Patch Updates will be released at the following dates:

  • 15 October 2013
  • 14 January 2014
  • 15 April 2014
  • 15 July 2014


Links all around Critical Patch Update:

  • Oracle Critical Patch Update Advisory – July 2013
  • Patch Set Update and Critical Patch Update July 2013 Availability Document [1548709.1]
  • Critical Patch Update July 2013 Database Known Issues [1546428.1]
  • Opatch warning: overriding commands for target xxxx [1448337.1]
  • Oracle Critical Patch Update July 2013 Documentation Map [1563067.1]
  • Use of Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) by Oracle [394487.1]
  • Risk Matrix Glossary — terms and definitions for Critical Patch Update risk matrices [394486.1]
  • Oracle Critical Patch Updates and Security Alerts on OTN including links to Critical Patch Update since january 2005

Pivot query on Automatic Workload Repository

I’ve just tried to get a few information from the Automatic Workload Repository (AWR). I actually wanted to put together an overview of various system metrics from DBA_HIST_SYSMETRIC_SUMMARY to create a chart. Unfortunately the data is stored as name/value pairs and not in columns. So it’s time again to convert rows to columns. There are several more or less difficult solutions for any kind of oracle release. Enclosed I’ll show a simple variant for Oracle 11g with PIVOT.

In my query I’m interested in the metrics Current Logons Count, Process Limit Usage (%) and Session Limit Usage (%). A description of these and other metrics can be found in the EM 12c online documentation Database-Related Metrics Reference Manual. The AWR view DBA_HIST_SYSMETRIC_SUMMARY is explained in the Oracle Database Reference.

Simple query with name / value pairs.

ALTER SESSION SET nls_date_format='DD.MM.YYYY HH24:MI:SS';
    METRIC_NAME IN ('Current Logons Count','Process Limit %','Session Limit %')
   SNAP_ID END_TIME            METRIC_NAME                   MAXVAL
---------- ------------------- ------------------------- ----------
       589 03.06.2013 00:21:44 Process Limit %           31,7142857
       589 03.06.2013 00:21:44 Current Logons Count             110
       589 03.06.2013 00:21:44 Session Limit %           22,2222222
       590 03.06.2013 01:20:44 Process Limit %           14,8571429
       590 03.06.2013 01:20:44 Current Logons Count              51
       590 03.06.2013 01:20:44 Session Limit %           11,8055556
       591 03.06.2013 02:21:44 Session Limit %           11,6319444
       591 03.06.2013 02:21:44 Process Limit %           14,2857143
       591 03.06.2013 02:21:44 Current Logons Count              49
       592 03.06.2013 03:20:44 Current Logons Count              47
       592 03.06.2013 03:20:44 Process Limit %           13,7142857
       592 03.06.2013 03:20:44 Session Limit %           11,1111111

Lets query the same data with a PIVOT query.

   FOR METRIC_NAME IN ('Current Logons Count' ,'Process Limit %','Session Limit %'))
   SNAP_ID END_TIME            'Current Logons Count' 'Process Limit %' 'Session Limit %'
---------- ------------------- ---------------------- ----------------- -----------------
       589 03.06.2013 00:21:44                    110        31,7142857        22,2222222
       590 03.06.2013 01:20:44                     51        14,8571429        11,8055556
       591 03.06.2013 02:21:44                     49        14,2857143        11,6319444
       592 03.06.2013 03:20:44                     47        13,7142857        11,1111111
       593 03.06.2013 04:21:44                     47        13,7142857           10,9375
       594 03.06.2013 05:21:44                     49        14,2857143        11,2847222
       595 03.06.2013 06:21:44                     48                14        11,2847222
       596 03.06.2013 07:21:44                     49        14,2857143        11,2847222
       597 03.06.2013 08:21:44                     48                14        11,2847222
       598 03.06.2013 09:21:45                     49        14,2857143        11,2847222
       599 03.06.2013 10:21:45                     47        13,7142857           10,9375

Et voilà, the result can now be used to create a fancy excel chart.

Other solutions with DECODE, CASE or SYS_CONNECT_BY_PATH are also possible. These would even run on older Oracle releases.

Fast lane to ORA-00600 service requests

There are several way’s to find information on internal oracle errors like ORA-00600 and ORA-07445. Looking up google is one of them, but not in any case the best one. If you are using Oracle Metalink you may just search for the ORA-00600 and the error code of first argument or use the ORA-600/ORA-7445/ORA-700 Error Look-up Tool [153788.1], which is available since several years. But sometimes you do not get the expected results and you have to open an Oracle service request to get more information, bug fix, workaround, justification that you really haft this issue, etc. It is then a bit cumbersome to add all kind of information and upload files to create the SR. Since a while Oracle provides simple troubleshooting tools in My Oracle Support. Rather than searching for the error you just have to upload the IPS package created with Oracle adrci. Based on the information in the IPS package, Oracle suggests possible causes / solutions. Optional one has the possibility to open an SR based directly on the IPS package. The troubleshooting tool can directly be accessed ORA-00600 or will be opened if you add ORA-00600 in the error message field when creating an SR. At the end your problem and you SR is probably not solved faster, but at least it is a bit easier to open an SR. :-)

Similar troubleshooting tools are also available for ORA-07445, ORA-04030 and ORA-04031

Build the Package

Start ADRCI and set the proper ADR home

oracle@urania:~/[TDB01] adrci

ADRCI: Release - Production on Mon Jun 3 10:54:39 2013

Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

ADR base = "/u00/app/oracle"
adrci> show home
ADR Homes:
adrci> set home diag/rdbms/tdb01/TDB01

List the last 5 incidents

adrci> show incident -last 5

ADR Home = /u00/app/oracle/diag/rdbms/tdb01/TDB01:
----------- --------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------
2995358 ORA 700 [dbghmo_read_msgobj_mt_bygrpid] 2013-06-01 23:32:03.985000 +02:00
2932162 ORA 600 [3619] 2013-06-01 21:05:10.287000 +02:00
2911681 ORA 600 [3619] 2013-06-01 20:27:38.752000 +02:00
2891200 ORA 600 [3619] 2013-06-01 20:25:49.517000 +02:00
2851271 ORA 700 [dbghmo_read_msgobj_mt_bygrpid] 2013-06-01 18:23:27.147000 +02:00
First 5 rows fetched (*** more available ***)

For an Oracle SR we need a physical package of the incident. This can be generated with just a simple command.

adrci> IPS PACK INCIDENT 2932162 IN /tmp
Generated package 6 in file /tmp/, mode complete


More information on ADR, Incidents and ORA-00600 troubleshooting can be found in the following MOS notes:


  • 11g Understanding Automatic Diagnostic Repository [ID 422893.1]
  • Database 11g: Quick Steps to Package and Send Critical Error Diagnostic Information to Support [ID 443529.1]
  • ADR Different Methods to Create IPS Package [ID 411.1]
  • 11g How to Unpack a Package in to ADR [ID 745960.1]
  • How to use the ADRCI interface to generate a SQL test case for an incident [ID 1330207.1]
  • Retention Policy for ADR [ID 564269.1]
  • 11g How To Find Out Trace Files Relevant To A Critical Error [ID 443536.1]

ORA-600/7445 Internal Errors