The preferred option is to separate your non-production database from production databases so they reside on separate servers. This, then, makes it possible for you to test database upgrades and patches without affecting your production systems. But I will assume that this is not a viable option, so, in theory, you could rename the oraInst.loc file or change the value in it. You would probably also want to rename the oraInventory directory so that it is not overwritten.
Before installing and patching the new binaries, be sure that you define a new ORACLE_HOME so that the existing binaries are not overwritten. A big word of caution here: before you attempt to upgrade or patch the existing binaries (or install any new Oracle components), you will have to change the oraInst.loc file back to what it was and also restore the previous oraInventory directory. Note that this approach is not supported by Oracle and I do not recommend it either as it is quite risky. Oracle supports only one central inventory per server. In the long run, it would be best to separate your environments.
Dig Deeper on Oracle database installation, upgrades and patches
Related Q&A from Maria Anderson
Can I use /var/opt/oracle/oratab to specify listener information? Continue Reading
We would like to migrate our database from Oracle 8.1.7 to Oracle 10g. We would like to know the impact for our application developed using Delphi ... Continue Reading
I have been trying to install Oracle 8.1.7 on SUSE Linux 9.0 and got the error: "Error in invoking target install of makefile /opt/oracle/...../*.mk." Continue Reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.