Short Guide to install Oracle 10 on Linux

Martin Zahn, 06.10.2008

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This guide is a short description how to install Oracle 10.2.0.x on Linux (32 or 64 Bit). The full Oracle installation guide can be found here: Oracle® Database Installation Guide 10g Release 2 (10.2) for Linux x86.

In this guide we use the following ORACLE_BASE, ORACLE_HOME and ORACLE_SID.

  • ORACLE_BASE=/export/home/oracle

  • export ORACLE_HOME=$ORACLE_BASE/product/10.2.0



Download the following software from the Oracle Download or Metalink Site

  • (Base Software)
  • (Companion Software)
  • (Patchset)

After downloading check the CKSUM / MD5SUM as described on Oracle's Site.



Checking Memory and Swap Space

Oracle says that the system must have at least 1GB of physical RAM and 1GB of swap space or twice the size of RAM. And for systems with more than 2 GB of RAM, the swap space can be between one and two times the size of RAM. You might also want to check out sizing swap space.

To check the size of physical memory, execute:

grep MemTotal /proc/meminfo
MemTotal: 515700 kB

To check the size of swap space, execute:

grep SwapTotal /proc/meminfo
SwapTotal: 1004052 kB

You also can add temporary swap space to your system by creating a temporary swap file instead of using a raw device. Here is the procedure:

su - root
d /root
dd if=/dev/zero of=/root/tmpswp bs=1k count=500000

500000+0 records in
500000+0 records out

chmod 600 tmpswp
mkswap tmpswp

Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 511995 kB
swapon tmpswp
grep SwapTotal /proc/meminfo
SwapTotal: 1504044 kB

Checking /tmp Space

The Oracle Universal Installer requires up to 400 MB of free space in the /tmp directory. If you do not have enough space in the /tmp filesystem, you can temporarily create a tmp directory in another filesystem. Here is how you can do this (/u01 is another filesystem)

su - root
mkdir /u01/tmp
chown root:root /u01/tmp
chmod 1777 /u01/tmp
export TEMP=/u01

export TMPDIR=/

When you are done with the Oracle installation, shutdown Oracle and remove the temporary /tmp directory:

su - root
rmdir /u01/tmp
unset TEMP
unset TMPDIR

Checking Kernel Parameters (Values from Oracle Site for 10.2.0.x)

To see all kernel parameters, execute:

su - root
sysctl -a

Verify that the kernel parameters shown in the following table are set to values greater than or equal to the recommended value shown. Do not change the value of any kernel parameter on a system where it is already higher than listed as minimum requirement.

Parameter Value File














Half the size of physical memory (in bytes)










Maximum: 65000














We added the following lines to the /etc/sysctl.conf file which is used during the boot process:

# Kernel Parameters for Oracle 10.2.0
kernel.shmall = 2097152
kernel.shmmax = 2147483648
kernel.shmmni = 4096
kernel.sem = 250 32000 100 128
fs.file-max = 65536
net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 1024 65000
net.core.rmem_default = 1048576
net.core.rmem_max = 1048576
net.core.wmem_default = 262144
net.core.wmem_max = 262144

Adding these lines to the /etc/sysctl.conf file will cause the system to change these kernel parameters after each boot using the /etc/init.d/bootmisc script which is invoked by /etc/inittab. But in order that these new added lines or settings in /etc/sysctl.conf become effective immediately, execute the following command:

Configuring kernel parameters:

su - root
sysctl -p

Creating Oracle User Account

To create the oracle account and group(s), execute the following commands:

su - root
groupadd -g 400 dba
useradd -u 400 -g 400 -d /export/home/oracle -s /bin/bash -c "Oracle Owner" oracle

Members of the dba group can administer Oracle databases, for example starting up and shutting down databases. In this guide, we are creating the oracle user account to have this responsibility.

Note on the «oinstall» Group

The oinstall group is often needed for those organizations who have separate groups that maintain the software and the database. In this scenario, the group membership prevents unauthorized access to the database by personnel who maintain the software, and it prevents the database administrators from making changes to the software and the installations inventory directory.

When using oinstall during the install of the software, one must set their default group to the one that will be maintaining the database before creating the database or permission problems will arise.

Oinstall is not needed when the same people will be maintaining the software and the database. In this situation, it will create more work and add an extra layer of complexity to the maintenance of the installation.

Recommendation: if you don't need the oinstall group for added security,  just install using the dba group.

Setting Shell Limits for the Oracle User

Most shells like Bash provide control over various resources like the maximum allowable number of open file descriptors or the maximum number of processes available to a user.

To see all shell limits, run:

ulimit -a

Setting Limits for the Oracle User

After you changed and increased /proc/sys/fs/file-max, there is still a per user limit of open file descriptors which is set to 1024 by default:

su - oracle
ulimit -n

To change this, you have to edit the file /etc/security/limits.conf as root and make the following changes or add the following lines, respectively:

# To increase the shell limits for Oracle 10
oracle soft nproc 2047
oracle hard nproc 16384
oracle soft nofile 1024
oracle hard nofile 65536

The «soft limit» in the first line defines the number of file handles or open files that the Oracle user will have after login. If the Oracle user gets error messages about running out of file handles, then the Oracle user can increase the number of file handles like in this example up to 63536 («hard limit») by running the following command:

ulimit -n 63536

Note that we do not recommend to set the «hard limit» for nofile for the oracle user equal to /proc/sys/fs/file-max. If you do that and the user uses up all the file handles, then the system would run out of file handles. This could mean that you won't be able to initiate new remote logins any more since the system won't be able to open any PAM modules which are required for performing a login. That's why we set the hard limit to 63536 and not to 65536.

You also need to make sure that pam_limits is configured in the file /etc/pam.d/system-auth. This is the PAM module that will read the /etc/security/limits.conf file. The entry should read like:

session required
session required

Now login to the oracle account again since the changes will become effective for new login sessions only.

su - oracle
ulimit -n

Make Settings Permanent

For the Bourne, Bash, or Korn shell, add the following lines to the $HOME/.bash_profile

if [ $USER = "oracle" ]; then
        if [ $SHELL = "/bin/ksh" ]; then
              ulimit -p 16384
              ulimit -n 63536
              ulimit -u 16384 -n 63536

Setup Environment

Before installing the Oracle software, set the environment in $HOME/admin/.GENTIC, this file will be sourced each time after login. In the example below, gentic is the SID of the database which we will create.

cd $HOME
. ./.gentic

ls -l
drwxr-xr-x   4 oracle dba  4.0K Sep 26 14:51 admin
lrwxrwxrwx   1 oracle dba    15 Oct  2 10:18 .gentic -> admin/.gentic

cat .gentic


unset TWO_TASK

export ORACLE_BASE=/export/home/oracle
export ORACLE_HOME=$ORACLE_BASE/product/10.2.0
export TNS_ADMIN=/export/home/oracle/admin/sqlnet

export NLS_LANG=american_america.al32utf8
export ORA_NLS10=$ORACLE_HOME/nls/data
export TEMP=/tmp
export TMPDIR=/tmp
export EDITOR=vi

ulimit -u 16384 -n 63536

Installing Oracle Base, Companion and Patch

This is only a brief description of the installation, the screenshots are not shown, however note the following important issues.

  • Order of the Installation
  1. Install Base Product (
  2. Install Companion Disk to avoid NCOMP error
  3. Install Patch (
  • Do not create a Database using Oracle installer, this is an extra step, install software only.
  • Create the Oracle Inventory in $ORACLE_BASE/product.
  • Choose «Oracle Database 10g Products» option when installing companion

Create Oracle Home Directories

Oracle Installer does not create Oracle Base / Oracle Home directories.

mkdir -p /export/home/oracle/product/10.2.0

Start Installer

As Oracle10g is certified only on some Linux editions you may get the following error when you run Oracle's runInstaller, and installation will stop:

Checking operating system version: must be redhat-2.1,
UnitedLinux-1.0 or redhat-3
Failed <<<<

Solution: Use the option -ignoreSysPrereqs or edit/create the file /etc/redhat-release.

cd <unpacked directory>
DISPLAY=<my X-Window Host>:0.0
export DISPLAY

Create Inventory in: /export/home/oracle/product

The location of the Oracle Inventory can always be checked in the file /etc/oraInst.loc

cat /etc/oraInst.loc


Oracle Companion Products

Choose «Oracle Database 10g Products» option, to avoid NCOMP error.

Cleanup $ORACLE_HOME/bin

After the installation some non used files in $ORACLE_HOME/bin can be removed.

rm *O
rm *0

Create the Listener

You can generate the needed files or you can create them manually. Put them in $TNS_ADMIN, but create symbolic links from $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin to these files, because some tools do not consult $TNS_ADMIN environment variable.

Example of LISTNER.ORA

# --------------------------------------------------------------------------
# File:        listener.ora
# Purpose:     Configuration file for Net Listener
# Location:    $TNS_ADMIN
# Certified:   Oracle on Oracle Enterprise Linux 5
# --------------------------------------------------------------------------


    (SID_DESC =
      (ORACLE_HOME = /export/home/oracle/product/10.2.0)

LOG_DIRECTORY_GENTIC = /export/home/oracle/admin/sqlnet
TRACE_FILE_GENTIC = gentic.trc


# --------------------------------------------------------------------------
# File:        tnsnames.ora
# Purpose:     Configuration File for all Net Clients
# Location:    $TNS_ADMIN
# Certified:   Oracle on Oracle Enterprise Linux 5
# --------------------------------------------------------------------------


Example of SQLNET.ORA

# --------------------------------------------------------------------------
# File:        sqlnet.ora
# Purpose:     Configuration File for all Net Clients
# Location:    $TNS_ADMIN
# Certified:   Oracle on RedHat Enterprise 5
# --------------------------------------------------------------------------


Create Symbolic Links

cd $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin

lrwxrwxrwx 1 oracle dba listener.ora -> /export/home/oracle/admin/sqlnet/listener.ora
lrwxrwxrwx 1 oracle dba sqlnet.ora -> /export/home/oracle/admin/sqlnet/sqlnet.ora
lrwxrwxrwx 1 oracle dba tnsnames.ora -> /export/home/oracle/admin/sqlnet/tnsnames.ora

Start and show status of Listener GENTIC

lsnrctl start GENTIC
lsnrctl status GENTIC

Create Database

We recommend to generate the create scripts using Oracle DBCA. These scripts should be verified because they show man important issues - important to know for every DBA. Based on these scripts, we created our own initSID.sql and initSID.ora to create the database. In the subdirectory addons all optional parts of the database can be found and installed using install-addons.bash

Edit initSID.ora and initSID.sql for your needs

Adjust and check the parameters for your environment, for example all PATH must be changed, the value of SGA_TARGET and SGA_MAX_SIZE must be set according your physical memory, etc.

The files can be found in:


Enable Remote Administration with SYSDBA Privileges

If you want to manage all of your Oracle databases from one place and not have to log on to each host, you must do it via a network connection. For example to remotely administer RMAN through a network connection, you need such an environment. To enable remote administration you have to two things:

1. Create a password file on each target database.
2. Enable remote logins for password file users.

To create the password file, as the Oracle software owner or as a member of the DBA group:

cd $ORACLE_BASE/admin/GENTIC/pfile
orapwd file=orapwGENTIC password=xxxx entries=5 force=y

After you create a password file, you need to enable remote logins. To do this, set the instance's REMOTE_LOGIN_PASSWORDFILE initialization parameter in INIT.ORA to exclusive, as shown:

remote_login_passwordfile = exclusive

Setting this parameter to exclusive signifies that only one database can use the password file and that users other than SYS can reside in it. You can now use a network connection to connect to your target database as SYSDBA.

sqlplus "sys/xxxx@<SERVICE> as sysdba"

Create Symbolic Links

Create symbolic links from $ORACLE_HOME/dbs as follows:

$ cd $ORACLE_HOME/dbs
lrwxrwxrwx  orapwGENTIC -> /export/home/oracle/admin/GENTIC/pfile/orapwGENTIC
lrwxrwxrwx  initGENTIC.ora -> /export/home/oracle/admin/GENTIC/pfile/initGENTIC.ora

Create the Database

First start the Instance, just to test your INIT file for correct syntax and system resources.

cd $ORACLE_BASE/admin/GENTIC/scripts
sqlplus /nolog
SQL> connect / as sysdba
SQL> startup nomount
SQL> shutdown immediate

Now you can create the database

SQL> @initGENTIC.sql
SQL> @shutdown immediate
SQL> startup

Check the Logfile: initGENTIC.log

Create additional Products in the Database (optional)

If you do not want all additional products to be installed, uncomment them in install-addons.bash.

cd $ORACLE_BASE/admin/GENTIC/scripts/addons

Create Server Parameter File

Server parameter files let you make persistent changes to individual parameters. When you use a server parameter file, you can specify in an ALTER SYSTEM SET parameter statement that the new parameter value should be persistent. This means that the new value applies not only in the current instance, but also to any instances that are started up subsequently. Traditional client-side parameter files do not let you make persistent changes to parameter values.

rm initGENTIC.ora

sqlplus / as sysdba
SQL> create spfile = '/export/home/oracle/admin/GENTIC/pfile/spfileGENTIC.ora'
        from pfile = '/export/home/oracle/admin/GENTIC/pfile/initGENTIC.ora';
File created.

ln -s
/export/home/oracle/admin/GENTIC/pfile/spfileGENTIC.ora spfileGENTIC.ora
sqlplus / as sysdba
SQL> shutdown immediate;
SQL> startup;
SQL> exit;

Automatically Start / Stop the Database and Listener

If you want to start the database automatically on boot-time perform the following steps:

  1. Copy standard oracle scripts dbstart and dbshut to $ORACLE_BASE/admin
  2. Create start/stop script in /etc/init.d
  3. Activate this start/stop script with chkconfig
  4. Edit /etc/oratab to start/stop the desired Databases

Copy standard oracle scripts dbstart and dbshut to $ORACLE_BASE/admin

cp dbstart dbshut $ORACLE_BASE/admin

Create start/stop script in /etc/init.d as user root.

# chkconfig: 12345 99 10
# description: Oracle auto start-stop script
# --------------------------------------------------------------------------
# File:        oracle
# Purpose:     Oracle auto start-stop script
# Location:    /etc/init.d
# Certified:   Oracle on Enterprise Linux 5
# --------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Variables
ORACLE_BASE=/export/home/oracle; export ORACLE_BASE
# Source function library.
. /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions
# Source networking configuration.
[ -f /etc/sysconfig/network ] && . /etc/sysconfig/network
start() {
   echo -n $"Starting $prog: "
   if [ ! -f $ORACLE_SCRIPTS_DIR/dbstart ]
        echo "Oracle not started (no dbstart script)"
        # Start RDBMS
        su - $ORACLE_OWNER -c $ORACLE_SCRIPTS_DIR/dbstart
        # Start Enterprise Manager Console
        # su - $ORACLE_OWNER $ORACLE_HOME/bin/emctl start dbconsole
        # Start iSQL*Plus
        # su - $ORACLE_OWNER $ORACLE_HOME/bin/isqlplusctl start
   [ $RETVAL -eq 0 ] && touch /var/lock/subsys/oracle
   return $RETVAL
stop() {
   echo -n $"Shutting down $prog: "
   if [ ! -f $ORACLE_SCRIPTS_DIR/dbshut ]
        echo "Oracle not stopped (no dbshut script)"
        # Stop iSQL*Plus
        # su - $ORACLE_OWNER $ORACLE_HOME/bin/isqlplusctl stop
        # Stop Enterprise Manager Console
        # su - $ORACLE_OWNER $ORACLE_HOME/bin/emctl stop dbconsole
        # Stop RDBMS
        su - $ORACLE_OWNER -c $ORACLE_SCRIPTS_DIR/dbshut
   [ $RETVAL -eq 0 ] && rm -f /var/lock/subsys/oracle
   return $RETVAL
# See how we were called.
case "$1" in
        echo $"Usage: $0 {start|stop}"
        exit 1
exit $RETVAL

Activate this start/stop script with chkconfig as root as follows

su - root
chkconfig --add oracle
chkconfig --list oracle

Edit /etc/oratab to start/stop the desired databases

su - root
cat /etc/oratab

# Entries are of the form:


Activate Enterprise Manager Console

Create the repository for the enterprise manager console as follows:

emca -repos create
emca -config dbcontrol db

Try to connect to the database control as follows:


Automatically start and stop the DB-console

emctl start dbconsole
emctl stop dbconsole
emctl status dbconsole