Installing SQLDeveloper and SQLCL on CentOS

As is becoming usual in the UK, the nation has been left somewhat confused in the aftermath of yet another “epoch-defining” vote.
In this case, we’ve just had a General Election campaign in which Brexit – Britain’s Exit from the EU – played a vanishingly small part. However, the result is now being interpreted as a judgement on the sort of Brexit that is demanded by the Great British Public.
It doesn’t help that, beyond prefixing the word “Brexit” with an adjective, there’s not much detail on the options that each term represents.
Up until now, we’ve had “Soft Brexit” and “Hard Brexit”, which could describe the future relationship with the EU but equally could be how you prefer your pillows.
Suddenly we’re getting Open Brexit and even Red-White-and-Blue Brexit.
It looks like the latest craze sweeping the nation is Brexit Bingo.
This involves drawing up a list of adjectives and ticking them off as they get used as a prefix for the word “Brexit”.
As an example, we could use the names of the Seven Dwarfs. After all, no-one wants a Dopey Brexit, ideally we’d like a Happy Brexit but realistically, we’re likely to end up with a Grumpy Brexit.

To take my mind off all of this wacky word-play, I’ve been playing around with CentOS again. What I’m going to cover here is how to install Oracle’s database development tools and persuade them to talk to a locally installed Express Edition database.

Specifically, I’ll be looking at :

  • Installing the appropriate Java Developer Kit (JDK)
  • Installing and configuring SQLDeveloper
  • Installing SQLCL

Sound like a Chocolate Brexit with sprinkles ? OK then…


I’m running on CentOS 7 (64 bit). I’m using the default Gnome 3 desktop (
CentOS is part of the Red Hat family of Linux distros which includes Red Hat, Fedora and Oracle Linux. If you’re running on one of these distros, or on something that’s based on one of them then these instructions should work pretty much unaltered.
If, on the other hand, you’re running a Debian based distro ( e.g. Ubuntu, Mint etc) then you’ll probably find these instructions rather more useful.

I’ve also got Oracle Database 11gR2 Express Edition installed locally. Should you feel so inclined, you can perform that install on CentOS using these instructions.

One other point to note, I haven’t bothered with any Oracle database client software on this particular machine.

Both SQLDeveloper and SQLCL require Java so…

Installing the JDK

To start with, we’ll need to download the JDK version that SQLDeveloper needs to run against. At the time of writing ( SQLDeveloper 4.2), this is Java 8.

So, we need to head over to the Java download page
… and download the appropriate rpm package. In our case :


Once the file has been downloaded, open the containing directory in Files, right-click our new rpm and open it with Software Install :

Now press the install button.

Once it’s all finished, you need to make a note of the directory that the jdk has been installed into as we’ll need to point SQLDeveloper at it. In my case, the directory is :


Speaking of SQLDeveloper…


Head over to the SQLDeveloper Download Page and get the latest version. We’re looking for the ??? option. In my case :


While we’re here, we may as well get the latest SQLCL version as well. The download for this is a single file as it’s platform independent.

Once again, we can take advantage of the fact that Oracle provides us with an rpm file by right-clicking it in Files and opening with Software Install.

Press the install button and wait for a bit…

Once the installation is complete, we need to configure SQLDeveloper to point to the JDK we’ve installed. To do this, we need to run :

sh /opt/sqldeveloper/

…and provide the jdk path when prompted, in this case :


The end result should look something like this :

In my case I have no previous install to import preferences from so I’ll hit the No button.

Once SQLDeveloper opens, you’ll want to create a connection to your database.

To do this, go to the File Menu and select New/Connection.

To connect as SYSTEM to my local XE database I created a connection that looks like this :

Once you’ve entered the connection details, you can hit Test to confirm that all is in order and you can actually connect to the database.
Provided all is well, hit Save and the Connection will appear in the Tree in the left-side of the tool from this point forward.

One final point to note, as part of the installation, a menu item for SQLDeveloper is created in the Programming Menu. Once you’ve done the JDK configuration, you can start the tool using this menu option.


As previously noted, SQLCL is a zip file rather than an rpm, so the installation process is slightly different.
As with SQLDeveloper, I want to install SQLCL in /opt .
To do this, I’m going to need to use sudo so I have write privileges to /opt.

To start with then, open a Terminal and then start files as sudo for the directory that holds the zip. So, if the directory is $HOME/Downloads …

sudo nautilus $HOME/Downloads

In Files, right click the zip file and select Open With Archivte Manager

Click the Extract Button and extract to /opt

You should now have a sqlcl directory under /opt.

To start sqlcl, run


…and you should be rewarded with…

There, hopefully that’s all gone as expected and you’ve not been left with a Sneezy Brexit.


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