Well … another post about RU and RUR patches. But after having multiple discussions personally, via web conferences, in conference calls and of course on Twitter I think some clarifications may be helpful. Below you’ll find Oracle Database RU and RUR recommendations and facts. At least some of them …
Oracle Database RU and RUR Recommendations and Facts
First of all, you will find more information in several blog posts about RU (Release Update) and RUR (Release Update Revision) patches:
- PSU or BP? Patch Set Update or Bundle Patch? RUR or RU? (May 12, 2017)
- More Information about RU and RUR patches for Oracle 12.2 (Jul 19, 2017)
- Applying the first RU to Oracle Database 184.108.40.206 (Jul 20, 2017)
- Download Assistant for RUs, RURs, BPs, PSUs, Patch Sets and Releases (Oct 13, 2017)
- Are OJVM patches included in the Oracle 12.2 RU / RUR (Oct 20, 2017)
- Differences between PSU / BP and RU / RUR (Oct 24, 2017)
In addition to these posts I’d like to clarify some interesting facts.
Fact 1 – There MAY be two RURs –
In Differences between PSU / BP and RU / RUR I mentioned already that RURs usually will get released every quarter. USUALLY and QUARTER are the important words regarding RURs.RURs contain the previous RU plus new security fixes and maybe some important regression fixes in addition. They MAY be released every quarter.
Additionally our goal is to release two RURs on top of one RU at the same schedule as RUs. But there’s no guarantee for it. This means, we may release an RUR earlier if something really important happens. We may also release a third RUR on top of an RU if there’s a need for it.
Fact 2 – An RU is a patch – and not an upgrade
I love upgrades. Of course I do as otherwise I wouldn’t do this upgrade and migration job for almost 10 years now in Oracle’s Development organization. But an RU is just a patch bundle. Despite the fact that it will increase the release number on its second digit. Remember that we will change the release numbering as well. Therefore an RU is not an upgrade. See Differences between PSU / BP and RU / RUR and My thoughts about the new Oracle Database Release Schedule.
It’s a patch – not an upgrade.
Fact 3 – RUs are cummulative
It’s the similar to the Bundle Patches for previous releases. If you apply an RU it will contain automatically all previous RUs for this releases. For instance, if you will apply 18.4.0 you’ll automatically have 18.2.0 and 18.3.0 included. See Differences between PSU / BP and RU / RUR for further details.
Fact 4 – Same tasks to apply RU or RUR
I’d just like to point this out: There’s zero difference in work and tasks, regardless if you apply an RU or RUR.
Fact 5 – You can download OJVM patches separately
You can either take an RU and download the OJVM patch separately or you may download the Combo patches containing both in separate subdirectories. See Are OJVM patches included in the RU /RUR? for further details.
Please see this MOS Note explaining the Conditional Install for further clarification and guidance.
Recommendation 1 – Go with RUs
Please use the RUs. RURs are just meant for special cases for customers who want only the security fixes for the next 6 months. Don’t be afraid of Optimizer behavior changes: those are disabled by default in RUs. You will need to enable them. If an RU contains such fixes you’ll find this paragraph in the patches’ readme:
“This patch introduces fix control for one or more fixes contained herein. These fixes are disabled by default and will have to be explicitly enabled via alter session/system commands to persist in pfile/spfile as appropriate”
If this paragraph is not present in the readme, no such fix is included.
Recommendation 2 – Apply RUs every quarter – be agile!
You may now say: “Well Mike, we are happy if we can apply it every 6 months.” And in fact, that’s what many customers tell me for ages. I can see the point of it. Patching is neither fun nor pleasureful work. It’s a tough topic. Especially in cases where you take care on many many database environments at the same time and don’t use Oracle Multitenant.
But please consider three facts:
- RUs are not BPs anymore. Optimizer behavior changing fixes are disabled by default. See Differences between PSU / BP and RU / RUR as well.
- Get the most recent security fixes asap. If not, Google this or that.
- Remember: Our release and patching model will become more agile. You should adopt it. Become more agile as well.
Oracle has released November RU for Linux (only):
Patch 26925392 – Database Release Update 220.127.116.11.171121
Patch 27010638 – Grid Infrastructure Release Update GI RU 18.104.22.168.171121
Aren´t RUs supposed to be released quarterly?
those are called “RU Incremental Drops”. They are labeled RU (and not RUID) and it is not obvious to everybody if they are recommended or not, and how to distinguish them from full RUs (quarterly).
Stay tuned – I will post something useful as soon as I understood the topic by myself.
those are called “RU Incremental Drops” and are meant for Linux only and just for customers who want to patch more often. They are currently not labeled as a separate thing and sail under the name tag “RU” which is misleading.
RUs available for all platforms are still under a quarterly schedule.
I have a question regarding RU’s down the line. One of my team had a bad experience with the Bundle Patches for OEM where the application of BP2 needed to rollback BP1 and then apply BP1/BP2. After several iterations this was taking a really long time (BP7, rollback BP6,5,4,3,2,1 and then apply BP7). I appreciate this could have been a local issue or someone’s incorrect interpretation, but it is causing concern.
What is the process for RU/RURs? Is it just a matter of apply RU3 over RU2 and RU1? Is a rollback necessary before application
no rollback for the binaries is necessary – a rollback usually happens for the SQL changes when you execute “datapatch -verbose”. But this is usually straight forward. I remember that there were issues with 12.1 BPs in the past where specific releases led to the complete deinstall of previous bundles. This shouldn’t be the case anymore (and I applied several RUs for 12.2 already).
Some customers is considering upgrade from 18c to 19c.
Seems that 19c is certified only for OL7.5+ or RHEL7.5. (though 18c was certified for OL6/RHEL6).
This is because 19c is a new version.
But per my understanding, within the RU/RUR, the operating system pre-requisite will not be changed.
If my understanding is wrong, please crrect me.
your understanding is correct. Once Oracle certified the entry level, for instance OL7.4 and RHEL 7.5 as minimum for 19c, all subsequent OS patch levels such as 7.8 are certified automatically. Oracle will not do any certification of following OS patch levels.
And you are right, 18c was the last release you can use on OL6 and RHEL6 (my VMs are on 6.11) – for Oracle 19c you need the minumum OL7.4 and RHEL7.5 (or newer).
Hope you are well and safe!
I just wanted to clarify one statement to make sure it is still the recommended approach due to recent bugs we’ve seen in 19.4 to 19.8 RUs.
“Recommendation 1 – Go with RUs” Are the RUs still the recommended way to go? I’m in the planning phase of an upgrade from 12.2 to 19c and I’d like to the most stable release update we have so far. Should I go to 19.8 RU or 19.7.1 RUR? Or any other lower than those?
19c was supposed to be a stable version, but since 19.4 there were quite a few odd bugs we wouldn’t like to face.
Thank you very much in advance for all the work you’ve done for the community. It really helps!
Bom dia, Franky!
I hope the same for you and your young family 🙂
Yes, it is still highly recommended to go with RUs for several reasons.
1. You will get a ton of fixes otherwise later
2. Getting a one off on top of an RUR is really a hassle. Went through this exercise recently for a RAC customer on 19.6.1 – we ended up with 19.8.0 as this included the fix already. One offs were available for 19.7.0, 19.6.0, 19.5.0 – but not for any RUR.
Cheers and take care please!
Thank you for the kind words Mike!
And thank you for the comments on the way to go. I got your point now and will keep that in mind for the next upgrades. Maybe I’ll even wait for the 19.9 to be released if I can.