opatch fails with "The patch directory area must be a number"

Another problem with opatch, to go with:

spurious space on the end of TRUE

and some others I’ve yet to type up.

opatch failed with the above error.

Again its really a problem with the wetware (i.e. me), but worth typing up as its fairly obscure.

The problem seems to have been that I was logged in as a different user on the server which holds our staging area when I copied the software across. I mapped the drive on the the target server as the Oracle user, but it still seems to have inherited the wrong ownership at some level. I didn’t have much time to investigate so I can’t be 100% sure.