Oracle Database

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This document will help you intall the Oracle Database 11gR1 on Arch Linux. By using the install method 2 you will be able to finalize the long installation process with only few steps.

Install method 1 - manual

This section will guide you through installing Oracle onto a fresh installation of archlinux. This is a general approach that has been tested with kernel 2.6.28.ARCH x86_64 and Oracle 11g R1 64-bit. This should in principle work with other versions of Oracle.

Pre Installation

Installing Desktop Environment

pacman -Syu

pacman -S python pacman -U

Install and test Xorg.

pacman -S xorg
pacman -S hwd

Since Xorg 7.4, xorg.conf isn't necessary anymore. This command is optional.

hwd -x
cp /etc/X11/xorg.conf.vesa /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Check with startx (should get mouse movement with x cursor - ctrl-alt-backspace to exit)


Install desktop environment, gnome, kde or xfce. In this case xfce4 will be installed:

pacman -S xfce4
pacman -S pcmanfm

Run xfce:


Required packages for Oracle database installation

Arch i686:

java-runtime(openjdk6 or jre jdk)
ksh rpm gawk gdb libaio libelf sysstat unixodbc libstdc++5
unzip sudo

Arch x86_64:

java-runtime(openjdk6 or jre jdk)
ksh rpm gawk gdb libaio libelf sysstat libstdc++5
unzip sudo

Install packages:

pacman -S unzip
pacman -S sudo
pacman -S java-runtime
pacman -S base-devel

Install ksh (problem with aurbuild -s ksh).

mkdir -p ABS/ksh
cd ABS/ksh
chmod 777 -R /software
wget --http-user "I accept" --http-password "."
wget --http-user "I accept" --http-password "."
makepkg -c --asroot
makepkg -i --asroot
pacman -S icu
aurbuild -s beecrypt
aurbuild -s rpm
pacman -S gawk
pacman -S gdb
aurbuild -s libaio
pacman -S libelf
pacman -S sysstat
pacman -S libstdc++5

Oracle database 32-bit requires unixodbc.

pacman -S unixodbc

Optional lib32 packages on x86_64:

pacman -S lib32-libstdc++5 
pacman -S lib32-glibc 
pacman -S lib32-gcc-libs

Oracle database require 32-bit libaio and unixodbc on x86_64 but is not necessary under Arch linux.

Some prerequisite symbolic links for Oracle Universal Installer.

ln -s /usr/bin/rpm /bin/rpm
ln -s /usr/bin/ksh /bin/ksh
ln -s /bin/awk /usr/bin/awk
ln -s /bin/tr /usr/bin/tr
ln -s /usr/bin/basename /bin/basename

Arch x86_64:

ln -s /usr/lib /usr/lib64


Create users and group for Oracle database:

groupadd oinstall
groupadd dba
useradd -m -g oinstall -G dba oracle

Set password for the user oracle:

passwd oracle

Optional: Add oracle to the sshd_config file.

pacman -S openssh

Add this line to /etc/ssh/sshd_config

AllowUsers oracle

Add oracle to /etc/sudoers. This will give oracle super user privilege.

oracle    ALL=(ALL) ALL

Add these lines to /etc/sysctl.conf (Review Oracle documentation to adjust these settings).

# oracle kernel settings
fs.file-max = 6553600
kernel.shmall = 2097152
kernel.shmmax = 2147483648
kernel.shmmni = 4096
kernel.sem = 250 32000 100 128
net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 1024 65535
net.core.rmem_default = 4194304
net.core.rmem_max = 4194304
net.core.wmem_default = 262144
net.core.wmem_max = 262144

Add these lines to /etc/security/limits.conf (Review Oracle documentation to adjust these settings)

# oracle settings
oracle           soft    nproc   2047
oracle           hard    nproc   16384
oracle           soft    nofile  1024
oracle           hard    nofile  65536

Optional: You may reboot now if you want the changes to take effect.

Create some directories for Oracle database. You can chose the directory path. Here is an example.

mkdir -p /oracle
mkdir -p /oracle/inventory
mkdir -p /oracle/recovery
mkdir -p /oracle/product/db

Set permissions for the directories.

chown -R oracle:dba /oracle
chmod 777 /tmp

Create or update oracle bashrc /home/oracle/.bashrc. Here is an example of the oracle user settings.

export ORACLE_BASE=/oracle
export ORACLE_HOME=/oracle/product/db
export ORACLE_SID=xdb
export ORACLE_INVENTORY=/oracle/inventory
export EDITOR=nano
export VISUAL=nano

Graphical Installation

Installing Oracle database software

Download the Oracle database from here:

Unzip the Oracle database.

Arch i686:

unzip -d /media

Arch x86_64:

unzip -d /media

Optional: Arch x86_64 (only required if the installer will not launch automatically ... at the time of this writing there was an issue with the packaged unzip in the 64-bit Oracle installer):

cd /media/database/install
mv unzip unzipx
ln -s /usr/bin/unzip 

Change the permissions for the extracted Oracle database.

chmod -R 777 /media/database
chown -R oracle:oinstall /media/database

Enter the directory where you extracted the Oracle database.

In oder to run oracle installation script you need to export the X display as a normal user:

DISPLAY=:0.0; export DISPLAY; xhost +

Login as the user oracle and export the X display:

su oracle
DISPLAY=:0.0; export DISPLAY

Enter the database directory and run the Oracle Universal Installer as the user oracle.

cd /media/database
./runInstaller -ignoreSysPrereqs

During the Graphical installation:

1 Click on "Next". 
2 Chose "Enterprise Edition" Installation Type and click on "Next"
3 Oracle Base should be: /oracle. Don't change it, unless you know what you're doing. 
3.1 Change the default "Name" to orarch or something else. 
3.2 The predefined path in /etc/rc.d/oracledb is "db", ie: /oracle/product/db. 
If you want to use a different path you'll have to change /etc/rc.d/oracledb, 
so that the startup script can locate ORACLE_HOME directory.
3.3 After changing the defaults, click on "Next". 
4 Since Oracle database requires certain distro requirement, 
you'll have to manually check them and then click on "Next".
5 Chose "Software Install Only" and click on "Next".
6 There is only one DBA group for oracle database. Click on "Next".
7 Install "Summary" shows what's going to be installed. Click on "Install".
8 The installation will take some time, especially the "Linking" part. 
Be patient! If you get an error message ignore it by clicking on "Continue".
8.1 At the end of the installation you'll have to open another terminal, 
and execute /oracle/product/db/ as root. Don't click on "OK" yet.
8.2 When running, you'll be offered to use /usr/local/bin as the full pathname. 
Press the "Enter" key here.
8.3 Now you can click on "OK"
9 Installation is finnished, click on "Exit" and "Yes", you really want to exit.

Oracle Enterprise Manager installation (optional)

This section describes how to install the web based OEM available in 10g+.

Depending on your settings the OUI may have already installed this.

Login or su to oracle, then run the following commands (answering the prompts approriately). This may take a while.

cd ${ORACLE_HOME}/bin
./emca -repos create
./emca -config dbcontrol db

Test this out by navigating to the enterprise manager (adjust the servername (localhost) apporpriately).


You can control OEM with the following commands.

emctl status dbconsole
emctl stop dbconsole
emctl start dbconsole

Install method 2 - AUR


Step 1. Download the Arch linux package from AUR: Download the Oracle database 11gR1:

Step 2. Extract the Arch linux package into a directory. Copy the Oracle database 11gR1 into that directory as well.

INFO: The default install configuration in ee.rsp.patch is:


Optional: You can either change the default password now or later after the installation. If you change the ee.rsp.patch file, you need to update the md5sums in the PKGBUILD file. To obtain the md5sum, run (makepkg -g) or:

md5sum ee.rsp.patch 

Create the Oracle database package by using makepkg:

makepkg -s

Step 3. Install the package that makepkg has created by using pacman.

Arch i686:

pacman -U oracle-11gR1-1-i686.pkg.tar.gz 

Arch x86_64:

pacman -U oracle-11gR1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.gz 

Pacman will now install the Oracle database by executing Oracle's own installation script(./runInstaller -silent -ignoreSysPrereqs).

The installation will take som time, please be patient. Do not exit terminal during database installation, especially when the installation script is executing configuration assistants:

Starting to execute configuration assistants
Configuration assistant "Oracle Net Configuration Assistant" succeeded 

The installation script ends something like this:

The following configuration scripts need to be executed as the "root" user.
#Root script to run
To execute the configuration scripts:
   1. Open a terminal window
   2. Log in as "root"
   3. Run the scripts
The installation of Oracle Database 11g was successful.
Please check '/home/oracle/oraInventory/logs/silentInstall2009-03-03_07-24-10PM.log'
for more details.

Step 4. Run these scripts as root:

[ahc@archlinux ~]$ su
cd /home/oracle/oraInventory
cd /home/oracle/app/oracle/product/11.1.0/orarch

Step 5. The default user for the Oracle database is "oracle". Since the password is not set for the user oracle, you need to run passwd as root:

passwd oracle

Step 6. If you haven't altered the ee.rsp.patch, please change the administration password for SYS and SYSTEM.

Login as the user oracle.

su oracle

Export the ORACLE_SID and etc.

export ORACLE_SID=archlinux
export ORACLE_HOME=/home/oracle/app/oracle/product/11.1.0/orarch

NOTE: If the database isn't mounted or opened, try this first:

sqlplus '/as sysdba'
SQL> startup mount;
SQL> alter database open; 

Changing the password for the SYSTEM user:

sqlplus '/as sysdba'
SQL> show user
SQL> passw system
Changing password for system
New password:
Retype new password:
Password changed
SQL> quit

Changing the password for the SYS user:

sqlplus system/secretpassword
SQL> show user;
SQL> passw sys
Changing password for sys
New password: 
Retype new password: 
Password changed
SQL> quit

Post Installation

Creating Initial Database


You have only installed the Oracle database software. Now you need to create a database. Login as the user oracle:

su oracle

Export the ORACLE_HOME binary directory:

export ORACLE_HOME=/oracle/product/db

Run database installation script:


During the graphical installation:

1 Click on "Next".
2 Check "Create a Database" and click on "Next".
3 Check "General Purpose or Transaction Processing" and click on "Next".
4 Chose a database name and SID. Example: Global Database Name: archlinux, 
SID: archlinux. And then click on "Next".
5 Uncheck "Configure Enterprise Manager", leave it empty and click on "Next".
6 Check "Use the Same Administrative Password for All Accounts",
set password and click on "Next". 
7 Check "File System" and click on "Next".
8 Check "Use Database File Locations from Template" and click on "Next".
9 Uncheck "Specify Flash Recovery Area" and click on "Next".
10 No need for "Sample Schemas", click on "Next".
11 If you don't know what you're doing, check "Typical" and click on "Next"
12 Check "Keep the enhanced 11g default security settings" and click on "Next".
13 Uncheck "Enable automatic maintenance tasks" if you wish to do it by
yourself and click on "Next".
14 View your filesystem layout and click on "Next".
15 "Create Database" is checked by default. Click on "Finish" to create database.
16 Summary of following operations to be performed, click on "OK".
17 When database creation is complete, click on "Exit".


This section walks you through doing a scripted initial database creation.

The scripts assume they are the first database to be installed on this system. If this is not the case review the script and comment out the portions which deal with the *.ora files.

Download the following tar file with a set of scripted database installation scripts.


Extract the directory

tar xzf instanceCreateXdb.tgz

Move into instanceCreateXdb directory

cd instanceCreateXdb

File list

  • CreateDB.sql
  • CreateDBCatalog.sql
  • initxdb.dbs.ora
  • initxdb.ora
  • listener.ora
  • postDBCreation.sql
  • sqlnet.ora
  • sysObjects.sql
  • tnsnames.ora
  • xdb-create.sql

Script notes

  • the files assume a database sid of xdb
  • the files assume an oracle base of /oracle/product/db
  • review all memory and storage parameters against Oracle documentation

Setup filesystem (as root)


Install database from script (this will take a long time)

su oracle
sqlplus / as sysdba @/oracle/admin/xdb/scripts/xdb-create.sql

Testing Database

Login as the user oracle and run export ORACLE_SID="yourSID" etc., ie:

export ORACLE_SID=xdb
export ORACLE_HOME=/oracle/product/db

Running oraenv should confirm the exported configuration:

ORACLE_SID = [xdb] ? 
The Oracle base for ORACLE_HOME=/oracle/product/db 
is /oracle

Check if the database is shutting down or starting:

sqlplus '/as sysdba'
SQL> shutdown immediate;
Database closed.
Database dismounted.
ORACLE instance shut down.
SQL> startup mount;

ORACLE instance started.

Total System Global Area  385003520 bytes
Fixed Size		    1300100 bytes
Variable Size		  234883452 bytes
Database Buffers	  142606336 bytes
Redo Buffers		    6213632 bytes
Database mounted.
Database opened.

Type "quit" when you want to leave SQL prompt:

SQL> quit

Starting oracle during the boot

If you want to start with your oracle SID, replace ":N" with ":Y" in /etc/oratab:

<your sid>:<oracle home>:N
<your sid>:<oracle home>:Y

Example from Scripted database creation (/etc/oratab):


To start the oracle database daemon during boot, add "oracledb" in your /etc/rc.conf:

DAEMONS=(oracledb syslog-ng dbus !network netfs crond ntpd alsa hal wicd fam)

Note: If the daemon doesn't start, please check that the ORACLE_HOME path matches your current oracle directory in /etc/rc.d/oracledb:

export ORACLE_HOME=/oracle/product/db
[oracle@archlinux orarch]$ pwd

Test starting the daemon as root:

/etc/rc.d/oracledb start
Starting Oracle: 
LSNRCTL for Linux: Version - Production on 27-FEB-2009 23:14:45
The command completed successfully
Processing Database instance "archlinux": log file 

Now you'll login to your oracle database each time you reboot:

su oracle
export ORACLE_SID=xdb
sqlplus '/as sysdba'

Install Method 2:

su oracle
export ORACLE_SID=archlinux
sqlplus '/as sysdba'

Setting Permissions for Normal Users

Since there is only one user(oracle) that has access to the oracle database, you need to add your normal user to the group "dba". In this case "joe" is the normal user:

gpasswd -a joe dba

The group changes will take effect after you logout and login again. The user oracle has the permissions to access the oracle home directory, ie /home/oracle:

drwx------ 6 oracle dba 4096 2009-02-27 23:27 oracle

You need to grant the group "dba" permission to execute the binary files in the oracle home directory:

chmod -R g+x /home/oracle

Now you'll be able to run the oracle database as the normal user.

Transfer existing Oracle installation

Moving or transferring Oracle can be quite useful in the following conditions:

  • replacing hardware
  • setting up several dev machines
  • running lean system (no desktop manager, java, etc)

The installation of Oracle requires several packages. However, just running an Oracle database is much simpler and has far fewer requirements, as shown below.

In principle transferring Oracle should work across distros. Transferring from RHEL/Centos 5.2 to ARCH 2009.02 has been tested successfully.

To prep Oracle for a move shutdown database services

dbstop ${ORACLE_HOME}
lsnrctl stop

Optional: stop OEM if it is running

emctl stop dbconsole

If you are running other Oracle daemons stop them as well

This section assumes the following conditions about the existing Oracle installation:

  • oracle root is /oracle
  • oracle data is at /oracle/oradata/<sid>

Tar up entire Oracle installation and data.

cd /
tar czf oracle.tgz /oracle

Using ssh and sftp or your method of choice transfer oracle.tgz to the root (/) of the target system.

Login to target system as root and unpack the tar

cd /
tar xzf oracle.tgz
chmod 755 -R /oracle
chown -R oracle:dba /oracle

Update system

pacman -Sy pacman
pacman -Syu
pacman -S python
pacman -U
pacman -S unzip
pacman -S sudo

Install required package run Oracle database and required daemons.

aurbuild -s libaio
pacman -S sysstat

Configure server for oracle


Setup OEM (optional)


Execute appropriate/desired post installation steps



Known issue: The Oracle Universal Installer(ie, in silent mode) seems create errors when installing on other paths than "../app/oracle/..".

More Resources

Most of the steps are based on this oracle installation guide for ubuntu users. This guide includes step by step graphical examples: