I need to upgrade a RAC 9.0.X database to RAC 9.2.X. The 9.2 upgrade guide doesn't seem to have the info I need for using the Database Upgrade Assistant for RAC databases. When I start DBUA and select the db to be upgraded, I get an "ORA-01034: Oracle not available" error. The RAC db is up and running and the /etc/oratab seems to be in order. I think it's looking for the ORACLE_SID value in oratab instead of the RAC db name. I could cheat and put the instance names in oratab but I'm not sure how that would mess up DBUA.

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Starting with Oracle 9.2, the DBUA should support the upgrading of RAC databases. I am curious to know whether you get the same message if you start the DBUA on one of the other nodes of your RAC database. If you are able to start the DBUA on another node, review the permissions of the oracle executable between the nodes. There is a documented problem with the permissions for this executable not getting propagated to the remote node when RAC is first configured. This problem, however, seems to apply specifically to Oracle 10g on Linux but it may assist with your problem.

This was first published in May 2006

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