Oracle Instant Client on Ubuntu…with added Aliens

“This is the voice of the Mysterons…have you got any Lemsip ?”
Yep, I’ve caught Deb’s cold and now sound like the alien menace from Captain Scarlet.
This provides a somewhat tenuous link to the subject at hand – namely installing Oracle Instant Client on Ubuntu.
I think I’d better explain. As you probably know, Ubuntu – being a Debian based Distro – uses the Debian packaging mechanism. Oracle, on the other hand, provides Instant Client for Linux in rpm ( RPM Package Manager) format. In order to bridge this divide, we’re going to need to use the alien utility. Look, I did say it was tenuous OK.

I’m doing this on a 32-bit Ubuntu installation ( 10.04, since you ask). If you’re running 64-bit, you’ll need to download the appropriate equivalent files. Continue reading

Installing Ubuntu in VirtualBox on a Windows 7 Host

It’s Sunday afternoon and Deb is feeling poorly…but not so poorly that she’s not offering considerable editorial input into this post. In between the sniffles and requests for lemsip etc…she’s throwing in various comments relating to various icons from the sci-fi genre. To be fair, I have borrowed her laptop as it’s the only one in the house running Windows 7.
I will attempt to minimize the in-jokes and references but I thought I’d better go on record and report the fact that I am under some duress here. Honestly, some people are soooo geeky ! Continue reading

Installing PL/SQLDeveloper under Wine in Ubuntu

Tantalus – that Greek bloke who was doomed for all eternity to eternal thirst and hunger despite having food and water within reach. Had he been a Geek, rather than a Greek, he would’ve worked in a place where you can choose which OS to use…but be denied by the fact that, as a database developer, he had to use PL/SQLDeveloper – a Windows only IDE.

Oh the bitter irony. Well, unlike Tantalus, I’ve decided that, as with so many other problems in life, this particular dilemma can be resolved by alcohol – in this case, a glass of Wine.

WINE – formerly WINdows Emulator, now re-christened Wine Is Not an Emulator. It’s open source so, on this occasion, we don’t have to beware Geeks bearing gifts ( sorry).

For this particular exercise, I’m using Ubuntu 10.04.
PL/SQLDeveloper is that “other” PL/SQL IDE – this one being published by Allround Automations. Continue reading

Upgrading to SQLDeveloper 3.0 on Ubuntu

My new year’s resolution that no alcohol will pass my lips is in no way connected to the fact that the only drink left in the house is half a bottle of cooking sherry that I’ve had for ages and really don’t like the look of right now.

As I’ve struggled through the hangover haze of a New Year’s Eve spent being corrupted by my better half, I’ve made a number of discoveries :

  • I now know why Belgian beer is only served in small glasses
  • the more you drink, the less it matters about the accuracy of your cocktail mixing skills
  • don’t try and install SQLDeveloper on Ubuntu if you’ve got a hangover

I installed SQLDeveloper 1.5.5 some time ago and I’ve now decided to take the plunge and have a go with SQLDeveloper 3.

Update – if you’ve stumbled across this looking for instructions on how to install SQLDeveloper4, then this may help.
Continue reading

Migrating Oracle Data from Windows to Linux using DataPump

It was a dark, stormy night in Redwood Shores. Only a single light burned at Oracle Towers. The Marketing Department was still locked in conference.
Countless flip-chart sheets littered the room, the result of thought-showers, story-boarding and numerous break-out imagineering sessions.
The challenge with which they had grappled all this time ? How to re-brand the long-time staple, but not particularly exciting export/import utility.
Suddenly, one nameless alpha-male ( and it must surely have been a man) rose to his feet, propelled by a lightning strike of inspiration. In a great, booming voice, dripping with testosterone, pelvis-thrusting beneath his ample girth for added emphasis, he announced to the room, “I know, let’s call it Data Pump !”

The name may have changed, the odd bell-and-whistle added, but the purpose remains unchanged. Export/Import ( Data Pump, if you must), is a utility for transferring objects and data from one Oracle instance to another, irrespective of the Operating System on which either the source or target database is running. Continue reading

Twiddling with tar – Differential backups on Linux

When I first mentioned the title of this post to my girlfriend, she misheard and thought there was an extra “t” at the end.
One hasty explanation later I have avoided banishment to the shed. All of which is mildly ironic as the tar command comes with a whole alphabet of options, many of which are about to get used here.

As it’s name suggests, the venerable tar command ( Tape ARchive) has it’s roots back in the time when computers were the size of a small semi in Dagenham and punch cards and tapes were the acme of the Programmer’s art.

Now I’m going to use it for backing up data on my assorted Ubuntu machines.
What I want to do here is :

  • work out how much data I need to backup
  • create a full backup of all of my data
  • make sure I know what files have been backed up
  • test the restore of a file from the backup
  • make subsequent incremental backups

In the course of this odyssey, we will discover that du has a human face and that tar has a bit of a yellow streak.
There are several things that can go horribly wrong when playing around with tar, so I’m going to test everything on a small subset of files…that I have safely stored elsewhere.
Speaking of which… Continue reading

Apache, Aliases and Zenity on Ubuntu – how to control your ego

It’s the weekend. My girlfriend is staring at the screen in ferocious concentration as she does battle with her latest essay plan for the Masters she’s studying for.
Evicted from the desk and consigned to a dark corner, I’m trying to find some diverting, productive and, above all, quiet, way to amuse myself. As any parent will know, when the kids are quiet, it usually means they’re up to something… Continue reading