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Oracle 11g Installation and Configuration With VirtualBox and Oracle Enterprise Linux (Part 3)

This is part 3 of our guide to installing Oracle 11g on virtual Oracle Enterprise Linux on Windows Vista.

Part 1 covers the installation of VirtualBox (stage 1) and the configuration of the virtual machine (stage 2).

Part 2 covers stage 3 - the installation and confguration of Linux on the virtual machine in preparation for installing the Oracle 11g database software (stage 4).

This part covers stage 4 - the installation and configuration of the database in the virtual Linux environment .

Stage 4 - Installing Oracle 11g on the Virtual Linux Machine

Having installed Linux on our virtual machine the next step is to download and install the Oracle database software and configure a starter database.

Should be a piece of cake right? Not so fast - there is plenty of checking to do first as we'll see!

Step 1 - Download the Oracle software

The Oracle 11g software is downloadable from the Oracle Technology Network web site subject to registration and acceptance of the licence agreement.

Oracle 11g software download page

From this page, select the appropriate Linux version (32 or 64 bit) and save the file to disk. The zipped file is 1.7 Gigabytes so the download may take a while.

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Step 2 - Extract the Installer and Other Files

Having downloaded the file, navigate to the folder where the zip file was saved and double cick on the zip file - linux_11gR1_database_1013.zip - and extract the files to a new folder.

Step 3 - Check Prerequisites

Before starting the installation it's best to read the Linux Quick Installation Guide as this lists all the hardware and software requirements of Oracle 11g. If the requirements aren't met, the installation aborts so it is worth taking the time to check them.

We found we were missing some packages so these had to be copied from the installation disk and then installed using RPM. You can check if required packages are installed by using the command:

rpm -q  <package name>

where <package_name> is the name of the package you wish to check. For example the command rpm -q gcc checks if the package gcc is installed. If it is, the package name, version and release number are printed, if it's not installed the message "package gcc is not installed" is displayed instead.

To install a missing package simply issue the following command:

rpm -ivh <file_name>

where <file_name> is the name of the file containing the package you wish to install. For example the command

 rpm -ivh gcc-3.4.6-3.1.i386.rpm

installs the gnu c compiler.

Included in the software requirements are the kernel parameters. The only problem here is that the installation guide gives different values for a couple of the parameters at different points.

We found the value for the kernel parameter rmem_default had to be 4194304 and net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range needed the range 1024 to 65000.

We also found we had to configure additional swap space by adding a swap file. See The Red Hat Linux Customization Guide for instructions on how to do this.

Step 3 - Run the Oracle Universal Installer

Once you've extracted the files, checked the hardware and software requirements (including the required users and groups) you're ready to start the installation.

To do this either log in as the oracle user, or switch to the oracle user by entering the command su - oracle then go to the folder into which you extracted the files, change to the database sub-folder, and then enter the command ./runInstaller to start the Oracle 11g Universal Installer. 

This runs a few preliminary checks before starting the installer proper.


The installer takes a while to start because it's a Java program, so don't panic if nothing happens for a while!

Step 4 - Select Installation Method

When the installer starts, the first thing you'll see is this screen asking you to choose an installation method.


Selecting basic installation minimises the amount of work you have to do but also limits your choices. It means you can't use ASM (automatic storage management).  For the sake of simplicity we chose the basic option.

Step 5 - Prerequisite Checks

After you've selected the installation method the installer ensures that your system meets the minimum requirements for installation, including a network check. If this check fails you need to cancel the installation and install the loop back adaptor.

Oracle 11g installation - preequisite checks

Step 6 - Installation, setup and configuration

Once all the prerequisites are met, the rest is all done for you provided, of course, you've chosen the basic install.

During this step the Oracle 11g Universal Installer stores all the files in the right places then configures and creates and opens a starter database for you.

Oracle 11g installation progress

This step may take some time, but the progress bar will give you some idea of how the installation is progressing.

Unfortunately for us, we ran out of disk space during the creation of the starter database, after the Oracle 11g software had been installed.

Fixing this was actually quite easy - we shut down the virtual machine (i.e shutdown the virtual Linux environment but don't close the VirtualBox program), configured a new virtual disk and added it to our virtual machine using the setup tab in VirtualBox. After re-booting the virtual machine we used the Logical Volume Manager to format the new disk and create a new mount point in the file system.

Logical Volume Manager

After we'd added the new disk to the file system we were able to continue with the creation of the starter database. Once the starter database has been created you're done. You now have a fully functioning Oracle database which you can do with as you like (subject to the license).

Looking for Oracle 11g Training?

With our partners we offer instructor-led Oracle training on or off site in the UK as well as training via the Internet. See here for Oracle 11g training in the UK. Or contact us for details of our on-line training courses and for Oracle training in the US.