On January 28th 2020 I reported to Oracle on a Severy 1 SR that the latest OPatch version tries to delete system files from /etc, /bin, /lib :
I wrote in the SR the use case, provided the logs. On my case, the opatch cleanup command “just” deleted the configuration files of my backup client in /etc (opatch deletes files that are writable by the user who calls the command – ‘oracle’/’grid’ in most of the cases).
The location from where ‘opatch cleanup util’ tries to delete files depends from where you call it! So, if you call from / or from $ORACLE_BASE or from $ORACLE_HOME/OPatch you’ll get different behaviours!
It took two months until I got an answer to that SR, saying a bug was created and it will be fixed on the next version of OPatch:
Today there was a release of April 2020 Security patches, the latest Oracle Patch Bundles. To my surprise, for Oracle versions 12.2, 18c and 19c, there is the requirement of using OPatch 18.104.22.168.19 version, the exact same version that has this dangerous bug!
The bug reported end of January was not yet fixed! At least, on OPatch readme there is now a warning:
So, be careful until then and do not use ‘opatch util cleanup’. Anyway, this command is not anymore needed, as a cleanup (without deleting any wrong file) of the $ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage directory is automatically done at the end of the patching.