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Setting Up Oracle on Linux or FreeBsd

This little HOWTO applies to the following versions of Oracle:

Oracle Enterprise Edition
If you have a version that's not on this list, then it doesn't necessarily mean that the HOWTO doesn't apply to that particular version. It's just that I don't know about it.

1. Installing a Linux environment

Make sure you have both linux_base and linux_devtools from the ports collection installed. These ports are added to the collection after the release of FreeBSD 3.2. If you are using FreeBSD 3.2 or an older version for that matter, update your ports collection. You may want to consider updating your FreeBSD version too. If you want to run the intelligent agent, you'll also need to install the Red Hat tcl package:


The general command for installing packages with the official RPM port is:
rpm -i --ignoreos --root /compat/linux --dbpath /var/lib/rpm <package>
Installation of the package should not generate any errors.

2. Creating the Oracle environment

Before you can install Oracle, you need to set up a proper environment. This document only describes what to do *specially* to run Oracle for Linux on FreeBSD, not what has been described in the Oracle installation guide.

2.1 Kernel tuning

As described in the Oracle installation guide, you need to set the maximum size of shared memory. Don't use SHMMAX under FreeBSD. SHMMAX is merely calculated out of SHMMAXPGS and PGSIZE. Therefore define SHMMAXPGS. All other options can be used as described in the guide. For example:
options SHMMAXPGS=10000
options SHMMNI=100
options SHMSEG=10
options SEMMNS=200
options SEMMNI=70
options SEMMSL=61
Set these options to suit your intended use of Oracle.
Also, make sure you have the following options in your kernel config-file:

options SYSVSHM #SysV shared memory
options SYSVSEM #SysV semaphores
options SYSVMSG #SysV interprocess communication

2.2 Oracle account

Create an Oracle account just as you would create any other account. The Oracle account is special only that you need to give it a Linux shell. Add /compat/linux/bin/bash to /etc/shells and set the shell for the Oracle account to /compat/linux/bin/bash.

2.3 Environment

Besides the normal Oracle variables, such as ORACLE_HOME and ORACLE_SID you must set the following environment variables:

PATH=/compat/linux/bin:/compat/linux/sbin: \
/compat/linux/usr/bin:/compat/linux/usr/sbin: \
/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin: \

It is advised to set all the environment variables in .profile. A complete example is:

PATH=/compat/linux/bin:/compat/linux/sbin: \
/compat/linux/usr/bin:/compat/linux/usr/sbin:/bin: \
/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin: \
export PATH

3. Installing Oracle

Due to a slight inconsistency in the Linux emulator, you need to create a directory named .oracle in /var/tmp before you start the installer. Either make it world writable or let it be owner by the oracle user. You should be able to install Oracle without any problems. If you have problems, check your Oracle distribution and/or configuration first! After you have installed Oracle, apply the patches described in the next two subsections. A frequent problem is that the TCP protocol adapter is not installed right. As a consequence, you cannot start any TCP listeners. The following actions help solve this problem:

cd $ORACLE_HOME/network/lib
make -f ins_network.mk ntcontab.o
ar r libnetwork.a ntcontab.o
cd $ORACLE_HOME/network/lib
make -f ins_network.mk install
Don't forget to run root.sh again!

3.1. Patching root.sh

When installing Oracle, some actions, which need to be performed as root, are recorded in a shell script called root.sh. root.sh is written in the orainst directory. Apply the following patch to root.sh, to have it use to proper location of chown or alternatively run the script under a Linux native shell. *** orainst/root.sh.orig Tue Oct 6 21:57:33 1998
--- orainst/root.sh Mon Dec 28 15:58:53 1998
*** 31,37 ****
# This is the default value for CHOWN
# It will redefined later in this script for those ports
# which have it conditionally defined in ss_install.h
! CHOWN=/bin/chown
# Define variables to be used in this script
--- 31,37 ----
# This is the default value for CHOWN
# It will redefined later in this script for those ports
# which have it conditionally defined in ss_install.h
! CHOWN=/usr/sbin/chown

# Define variables to be used in this script

When you don't install Oracle from CD, you can path the source for root.sh. It is called rthd.sh and is located in the orainst directory in the source tree.

3.2 Patching genclntsh

The script genclntsh is used to create a single shared client library. It is used when building the demos. Apply the following patch to comment out the definition of PATH:

*** bin/genclntsh.orig Wed Sep 30 07:37:19 1998
--- bin/genclntsh Tue Dec 22 15:36:49 1998
*** 32,38 ****
# Explicit path to ensure that we're using the correct commands
#PATH=/usr/bin:/usr/ccs/bin export PATH
! PATH=/usr/local/bin:/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin export PATH
# each product MUST provide a $PRODUCT/admin/shrept.lst
--- 32,38 ----
# Explicit path to ensure that we're using the correct commands
#PATH=/usr/bin:/usr/ccs/bin export PATH
! #PATH=/usr/local/bin:/bin:/usr/bin:/usr/X11R6/bin export PATH

# each product MUST provide a $PRODUCT/admin/shrept.lst

4. Running Oracle

When you have followed the instructions, you should be able to run Oracle as if it was run on Linux itself. Wether that is good or bad, depends on how you value Linux :-) Until we have a native FreeBSD version of Oracle supported by Oracle, I think Oracle for Linux is a good alternative.

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