Open Source

Installing Oracle on Linux is too difficult

Even though I'm not working in an Oracle environment any longer, I still want to maintain and expand my Oracle skills. Since I don't have a company-sponsored Oracle database to use now, I needed to set up an Oracle database myself. I thought I'd use a Linux box for Oracle but, after struggling with the installation, I decided to stick with running Oracle on Windows.

I'm neither a Linux admin nor an Oracle DBA, which partly explains why I'm having so much trouble getting Oracle installed properly on a Linux machine. But the installation is just too complicated, especially compared to the same installation on Windows.

The weird thing is that, on both operating systems, you run the same installer: the Oracle Universal Installer. But on Linux, there's a ton of pre-installation steps that you have to do first such as setting up the right accounts, directories, and user groups. Thankfully, Oracle has assembled links to some of the best guides for installation on Linux.

Even when I thought I had the pre-install steps completed properly, the Universal Installer would complain about one thing or another. And, of course, the darned Installer doesn't have any ability to fix the problem — you just have to quit the installation. I wish it could at least handle the installation of pre-requisite software; instead, you have to manually rpm those yourself. It's not a huge deal, but I still compare this to Microsoft's SQL Server install, which can handle much of its own pre-requisite software if necessary.

But even if you follow all the pre-install steps properly and the Universal Installer runs without problems, you still don't end up with what I would call a working installation. You still have to do post-installation steps manually to get the database to where it will automatically restart when the OS is rebooted. To me, that should be part of the installer's job. On most Windows installers, that is just part of the installation — you don't have to do something manually when it's done.

Like I said, a lot of my problems might be due to the fact that I'm more comfortable on Windows than on Linux. But I still think Oracle could stand to spend more time making its Linux installation smoother.

Editor's Picks