Oracle Client on Ubuntu – Installation and Configuration

Having obtained a sick laptop and nursed it back to health ( i.e. installed Ubuntu 10.04), I’ve decided to do something a bit more useful with it.
I want to be able to connect to the Oracle 11g database on my server. This means, installing an Oracle Client.
I’ll be using the machine mainly for SQL*Plus ( although I may well be installing SQLDeveloper shortly). Therefore, rather than mess about downloading the client directly from the Oracle site, I’m going to use the XE client, which is available in the Oracle supplied apt package repository.
NOTE – if you simply must have the full Oracle Instant Client, then you can find details of that installation here.
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Getting the Quiz Machine to Pay Out – talking to your database from a shell script

I was in the pub the other day with my mate Simon. It’s surprising just how many of my posts have their genesis in such a setting. For the benefit of any prospective employers ( and my Mum), I put this down to the company and the mental stimulation of working out just exactly how you collect your winnings from the Quiz Machine.
For anyone who does not have first-hand experience of English Pub Quiz machines, the trick is either to a) get the barman to pay you from the till or b) have about your person a rather large hammer.

Fortunately, the hammer wasn’t required on this particular occasion, which is just as well as neither of us had brought one ( it’s not really that kind of pub). The reason for our lack of success eventually became apparent. After a conversational odyssey through the Bedfordshire countryside (the vicissitudes of Luton Town) via Table Mountain (England’s prospects for the World Cup), Simon – definitely the brains of the operation in Quiz Machine terms – confessed to wrestling with one of those perennial problems that are an occupational hazard of the Database Specialist’s art.

Yes, as well as being a bit of a whizz on the Science and Nature stuff, Simon is a long-time Teradata expert. Continue reading

Mostly Painless – Upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04

I’m still not quite sure how, but I’ve managed to acquire a second laptop. It’s been sat there for a while, happily running Ubuntu 9.10 but not really doing too much else, so when the opportunity to migrate to the latest and greatest Ubuntu version came along, it just seemed like a good idea to re-christen it “Gullible Guinea Pig” and introduce it to “Lucid Lynx”. Continue reading

Troubleshooting Oracle 10g XE Installation on Ubuntu

You’ve followed the instructions, everythings working fine. You shutdown your machine and go for a celebratory pint / cup of tea / curry.
Then, when you next start your machine, Oracle doesn’t want to know. What’s going on ?
To be honest, I don’t know. What I do know is that there are some steps you can take to at least attempt to diagnose your problem.

Before I go any further, I’d like to dedicate this post to Wayne.
He found himself in this position. After much head scratching between the two of us, he managed to find and resolve his problem.

Whilst a hardened veteran in computing terms, Wayne was new to both Linux and Oracle. From the mails I’ve received regarding this post, there seem to be a number of people in a similar position to him. Therefore, this post is written with these interpid souls in mind and I’ve tried to take time out to explain why we’re doing stuff at each step.

Update

It’s now quite a while since I posted this and some people have contributed some really useful comments. These include solutions that they found to various problems, which are additional to the ones in this post. So, if you’re still having problems, check out the comments as well. MestreLion’s tip about sudo chmod -t /var/tmp/.oracle seems to be a particularly good example of this.

One other point worth mentioning is that Oracle 11gXE is now available. Many of the issues in this post are still relevant. However, if you’d like to know how to install the latest XE on Ubuntu or Mint, here are the instructions
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Tunneling X over SSH on Ubuntu 9.10

“Just a second”, you’re thinking, “I thought this blog was supposed to be about Oracle stuff ?”
This is true…broadly speaking. However, I’ve spent a fair chunk of the last week playing with Ubuntu 9.10 server working up to putting Oracle on it. This particular mini-adventure will come in handy when I come to do the actual install as Oracle uses a graphical interface as it’s main installation tool.

So, this tuneling X over SSH sounds pretty impressive. Tuneling itself sounds very technical, a fact augmented by the inclusion of a TLA in the phrase. And the X just serves to make it sound rather mysterious and exciting.

As is so often the case in such matters, the truth is rather more prosaic. Continue reading

Essaying a sashay with Samba

Just in case either of my kids are reading this, don’t panic. I’ve not suddenly decided to break the habit of a lifetime and indulge in a bit of Dad Dancing. No, this is a vain attempt to improve my geek-cred, rather than my street-cred. As promised in my last post, this is a wander through my adventures in configuring Samba to share files from my shiny new Ubuntu 9.10 Server installation.
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