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Upgrade to 12c(12.1 /12.2) through RMAN Duplicate using BACKUP LOCATION with NOOPEN clause


Oracle Database – Enterprise Edition – Version to [Release 12.1 to 12.2]
Information in this document applies to any platform.


Method for Duplicating a 12c database using RMAN Backup created by a lower release (i.e 10gR2, 11gR1, 11gR2)


In 12c, the RMAN duplicate command has new “NOOPEN” option which clones the database but does not open the auxiliary.  This feature can be used to duplicate a database to higher version.


Note: This note provides the example for upgrading the database using  “RMAN DUPLICATE using BACKUP LOCATION with NOOPEN clause” and applicable ONLY for said method



When cloning (duplicating) a database to a higher version, traditionally (prior to 12c), you must use restore/recover of an RMAN backup.  This is because the database in the destination must be opened with UPGRADE option.  Therefore, the RMAN duplicate could not be used because RMAN automatically opens the auxiliary database with resetlogs.  This would fail with error ‘ORA-39700: database must be opened with UPGRADE option’.

In RMAN 12c, a new option is available “NOOPEN” requesting RMAN to complete the duplicate activity but NOT open the auxiliary database.    This would allow for the ‘open upgrade’ option to be manually executed when going between versions.

“NOOPEN”:  It specifies that the duplicate database must not be opened after duplicate is completed.

Steps to duplicate a database to 12c:

1)   Execute Preupgrade script (preupgrd.sql) at 11g database. This script will validate 11g database for upgrade and provide recommendations. This script is available in the 12c $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin directory.  Note, both preupgrd.sql and utluppkg.sql (called by preupgrd.sql) must be copied from 12c.

Note: This method performs duplicate using backup. The database backup should be taken after performing pre-upgrade steps of target database version.
Suppose we are going to upgrade to 12.2, then database should be taken after performing pre-upgrade tasks of 12.2 version.

Note: Database upgrade compatible matrix will be applicable for this upgrade.

To upgrade to 12.1 the minimum required version in each release are

Release Minimum require version

To upgrade to 12.2 the minimum required version in each release are

Release Minimum require version
11gR2 /
12c /

2) Once Preupgrade checks are complete, take complete backup of 11g database

RMAN> connect target / catalog <catalog_schema>/<password>@<catalog database>
RMAN> backup database format ‘/u01/source_backup/db_%U’ plus archivelog format ‘/u01/source_backup/arch_%U’;
RMAN> backup current controlfile format ‘/u01/source_backup/cf_%U’;

This will generate a set of backupsets in /u01/source_backup directory.

3) Move these backup and pfile to 12c host:

Using OS command like scp , we can copy the backup pieces to Destination server
Example: scp -p <backup-piece> user@<host>:/u01/dest_backup/

4) Create password file for 12c database. We can choose new name for 12c database using duplicate method

$ORACLE_HOME/bin/orapwd file=orapw<sid> password=<password>

5)  Edit copied pfile and make necessary changes.  Set necessary values like:

db_name =
controfile_name =
db_file_name_convert and log_file_name_convert ( if source and destination locations are different )

6) startup the Auxiliary instance in NOMOUNT

Sql> connect / as sysdba
Sql> startup nomount

7) From RMAN connect this instance as AUXILIARY


$ export ORACLE_SID=<12cdbxxx>
rman > connect auxiliary /

8) Using RMAN 12c, execute the duplicate command.  In this example, ‘/u01/backup’ denotes RMAN backup location on destination.  Note, “NOOPEN” option is specified.


9) Once RMAN completes, the auxiliary database remains in MOUNT mode.  Within sqlplus, you can open the database with UPGRADE option:

 SQL> alter database open resetlogs upgrade;

Ensure the tempfiles have got created.

Select * from v$tempfile ;

Check the files exist physically on disk.

10)Execute Manual upgrade scripts.

In 12c manual upgrade can be done parallel using perl utility

$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin
$ ORACLE_HOME/perl/bin/perl –n 4 –l /u01/upgrade/logs catupgrd.sql


n – number of parallel process to execute catupgrd.sql
l – log location for catupgrd.sql. Based on number of process log files gets created (catupgrd<n-1>.log to catupgrd0.log)

11) Execute post upgrade scripts (please refer Document reference given for 12.1 and 12.2 accordingly)

 $ORACLE_HOME/perl/bin/perl –n 4 –l /u01/upgrade/logs catuppst.sql



For 12.1

Complete Checklist for Manual Upgrades to Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) (Doc ID 1503653.1)

For 12.2 please refer
Complete Checklist for Manual Upgrades to Non-CDB Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2) Document 2173141.1

12) Check the database component status to confirm upgrade completion

Connect as SYS user to the database
col comp_id format a10
col comp_name format a30
col version format a10
col status format a8
select substr(comp_id,1,15) comp_id,substr(comp_name,1,30) comp_name,substr(version,1,10) version,status from dba_registry


NOTE:  If using this method to upgrade an existing database, be aware that once the auxiliary database is created and opened, no further recovery is allowed from the source.
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