Monthly Archives: August 2023

Opatch now obfuscates its own backups – the new “opatch util Obfuscate” option explained

With OPatch version for databases (and version for Middleware), a new utility was included: obfuscate.

This utility was released to workaround the increased security needed around databases servers. We cannot escape having vulnerability scanners to run there. These vulnerability scanners sometimes do not distinguish between used and unused files.

When patching a database, backup copy of the modified files are kept in $ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage. Their hash sometime trigger the vulnerability scanners and says – 🚨server not patched ⚠️. Which is misleading.

Starting with OPatch, released together with the January 2023 Release Update, the backup of patch files are automatically obfuscated.

The new “opatch util obfuscate” allows to do the same for older patches. Let’s see how it works.

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New “OPatch util DeleteInactivePatches” tool for reducing the $ORACLE_HOME size

When you are a sensible person, you patch regularly your Oracle database. After a few years, maybe you noticed that the $ORACLE_HOME increased size from new ~7 GB to …. 26 GB!

$ du -hs /u00/app/oracle/product/19.18.0
26G     /u00/app/oracle/product/19.18.0

Looking better, you find the culprit is the hidden directory $ORACLE_HOME/.patch_storage :

$ du -hs /u00/app/oracle/product/19.18.0/.patch_storage
17G     /u00/app/oracle/product/19.18.0/.patch_storage

Today I show how a new option from OPatch allowed me to regain 11 GB of disk space in a couple of minutes. In a supported way.

Last year I had already presented other options to recover space from Oracle Patching. Below I remind them, but todays post is about the latest and improved way that OPatch tool has to keep only the usual needed patch backups.

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