Installing Oracle on Linux (Debian 2.1)

By: Brian E. Lavender (

July 14, 1999

Oracle Linux system requirements:
glibc 2.0.7
Minimum kernel: 2.0.34

This article is the handout I gave at my presentation describing how to install Oracle on Linux at the Sacramento Linux Users Group on Wednesday, July 14, 1999.

Download Oracle8.0.5 server (805ship.tgz) from . Do a basic system install with Debian 2.1 (SLINK). It's the one that is approximately 140 megabytes. Add the tcl8.0-dev package. If you must have XFree86 make sure you grab the packages for SLINK. See for the packages. The Oracle tar ball 805ship.tgz contains the document 805ig.pdf in the unixdoc/server.805 directory. There is also a website describing installation of Oracle on Red Hat . This site deals with glibc 2.1 issues faced with using Red Hat 6.0. along with various issues faced here too. Debian 2.1 contains glibc 2.0.7 along with the 2.0.36 kernel, so Oracle 8.0.5 is directly compatible.

The installation process is broken into three major phases: Pre-Install, Main Install, and Post Install. For each phase, tasks are performed by root and the oracle user.


Add the group dba. Make the user oracle a member of this group

# cat /etc/group

Add the user oracle. His default group is dba

# cat /etc/passwd
oracle:x:1001:101:Oracle User,,,:/home/oracle/product/8.0.5:/bin/bash

As the oracle user, create the following directories. The u directories are where the data files will be stored.


Copy the tar ball to /home/oracle/src. Unpack it

$ cd /home/oracle/src
$ tar zxf 805ship.tgz

Set up your environment. Edit your .bash_profile for this. "Dot" it to activate it.

$ cat /home/oracle/product/8.0.5/.bash_profile
umask 022
$ . ./.bash_profile
   ^ space

Make the following changes to accommodate the Oracle Installer. Create the sym link for docs as the oracle user. This appears to be a flaw in the installer. Create the sym link for the tcl library as root.

$ cd /home/oracle/product/8.0.5/doc/server.805
$ ln -s /home/oracle/doc ./install
# ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

Modify and run the script. In the script, replace the variable GROUPS with GROUPSFOO.

$ cd /home/oracle/src/orainst
$ vi (change the variable GROUPS to GROUPSFOO)
$ su (Don't use a dash here. You need to maintain the oracle user environment)
# ./
# exit

MAIN Phase

Make sure you are the oracle user, and your environment is configured as previously done in your .bash_profile. You can check your environment with the env command.

$ env (Verify proper oracle environment)
$ cd /home/oracle/src/orainst
$ ./orainst

The installer will proceed through a series of windows. On the window that contains the below option, select it.

(o) Default Install
(o) Install, Upgrade, or DeInstall Software. 
"Install New Product - Create DB Objects".

Confirm that these values are set when the installer prompts you

ORACLE_BASE /home/oracle 
ORACLE_HOME /home/oracle/product/8.0.5

When prompted for which items to install, select everything but the Java stuff. I did not check for proper Java support, so we will leave this as an exercise for those who wish to use the Java Oracle support. Tab over to Install. Hit the space bar. A window will warn you about ULIMIT settings. Ignore this and hit ok. You can tweak it later. A window will prompt for the three database mount points.

Point 1: /home/oracle/u02
Point 2: /home/oracle/u03
Point 3: /home/oracle/u04

Documentation format

( ) HTML
( ) PDF
(o) BOTH

The installer will chug away. Once it finishes it will display "Installer Actions Complete". Exit the manager. The server will have started and you will have the sample scott/tiger database installed.


As the root user

$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/orainst
$ su (no dash)
Enter proper local bin [/usr/lbin] /usr/local/bin

# exit

As oracle user

$ svrmgrl
> connect internal
> @ $ORACLE_HOME/rdbms/admin/catrep.sql
> quit

You should also modify the SYS and SYSTEM user passwords. We will leave that as an user exercise.

Start the tns listener to allow for external connections.

$ lsnrctl start

You should see a bunch of stuff scroll by and it will confirm the listener started. That's it. To allow an ordinary user to connect add this to his .bash_profile

. /usr/local/bin/oraenv
EDITOR=emacs (or your favorite editor)

As an ordinary user test your install.

$ sqlplus scott/tiger@orcl

SQL> select * from tab;

TNAME                          TABTYPE  CLUSTERID
------------------------------ ------- ----------
BONUS                          TABLE
DEPT                           TABLE
DUMMY                          TABLE
EMP                            TABLE
SALGRADE                       TABLE

(c) 1999 Brian E. Lavender