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New Zorin 12.2 Released

Back on September 8th, a new version of Zorin was released (version 12.2 for anyone counting!) The release announcement explains what’s changed since 12.1 -basically, some under-the-hood tweaks, a newer version of Wine to help it run things like Office 2013, and a 4.10 kernel. It’s not exactly going to set the world on fire, I can’t help thinking!

Anyway: Atlas works on this new release of Zorin as it did on its predecessors, so Oracle 12c (either release 1 or 2) works fine:


Red Hat 7.4

Red Hat has just released the latest update to its version 7 Enterprise Linux, so we are now up to RHEL 7.4.

Getting hold of it is, of course, rather more hard work than it would be for most distros, since Red Hat charge a pretty penny for the real thing! However, signing up as a Red Hat developer can be done entirely free of charge… and getting your mitts on it after that is a piece of cake (and costs precisely nothing at all 🙂 )

On to the obvious question: does Atlas work to make Oracle 12cR1 and 12cR2 installations on this new Red Hat version as simple as it did for earlier ones? Absolutely:

The article describing how to do it still holds true without any alteration or update being necessary, too.

Vale, Owen

Typical, really.

You pay over AU$2500 to ship your cat from Australia to the UK. Within three weeks (i.e., early May), he’s suffering from “water works problems” and several expensive trips to the vet later and with an alarmingly large amount of hand-waving and “probablies” from the vet in question, we settle on a diagnosis of cystitis: he gets a couple of antibiotic injections and some tablets to mash in his food. Problem apparently solved.

And then last Monday, he began hissing and growling for no apparent reason (which is most unlike him), and he starts walking really slowly, slightly tentatively and with a sort-of hunched back. He is immediately taken to the emergency vet who, in similarly vague manner, suggests maybe he fell off something when jumping and has hurt his back. He gets an anti-inflammatory injection and is let go with an injunction to return the next day.

Next morning, he is clearly no better. Indeed, if anything, he looks rather worse. And it is noted that despite making five visits to the litter tray, nothing of any sort is coming out. Back to the emergency vet.

Now it is possible you’ve never heard a cat scream. I mean, literally, scream. But when that vet decided to have a good old squeeze of Owen’s nether regions, that is indeed what I heard. We joked that there’d be no other animals in her waiting room, but by God there was really nothing to joke about. The emergency vet’s efforts did, however, result in the ejection of three drops of feline urine… and a tiny, almost invisible ‘pellet’ of “stuff” that she (having more skin in the game than I would have!) squidged on the table top with her finger-tip …and declared this was a “plug” from a blocked urethra and we’d have to take him immediately to her ‘head office’ practice, 15 minutes up the road.

Poor Owen therefore gets re-boxed, put into the car boot, and taken to this other vet. A wetter blanket I have yet to meet, however. He started by saying that Owen would have to be hospitalized, anaesthetized and have his ‘bits’ forcibly catheterized and cleaned out. Fine: how much? Er, er, well, er, hang on… and he disappeared. For about 10 minutes. Oh, well, er, yeah, maybe £1000. To start with. Could well be more. How much more? Er, Well, Dunno, It Depends.

Well, ToH and I look at each other and say, we simply don’t want to pay that much. We love him dearly, but he’s already cost us about £1250 (allowing for variable AU->GBP conversion rates). Isn’t there something cheaper we could try? Er, well, er, let me ask my boss. And he disappears. For another 15 minutes or so. No, he says on his return: there isn’t. Fine, we say: in that case, how much to euthanase the little fellow. Oh, er, well… hand waving aplenty… let me just type some stuff in the computer. About five minutes elapse: he must be the world’s worst keyboard user. Er, well… let me ask my boss. And he disappears for another five minutes.

It’s at this point I say to ToH, even if he comes back and tells us we can have three cats euthanased for free, I’m not letting that bloke put my cat down. So we pack him back into his carrier box… and he’s clearly feeling even worse than he was first thing in the morning. With what I fear was a fairly curt dismissal, I informed the vet when he finally returned that we’d be going elsewhere for a second opinion (though we didn’t want a second opinion: we knew what was coming. We just wanted someone with empathy -and competence- to do it).

So, another trip in the boot to a completely different vet, who is female and going off duty. Hopes weren’t high when I explained the situation and she said a little abruptly, ‘yeah, £1000 sounds about right’, but she swiftly moved on from that to explain why there were no shortcuts available -and that even if we paid our £1000, a couple of days after coming out of being catheterized, there was absolutely nothing to stop Owen blocking up again a few days later. Indeed, it’s common for cats to do so. The prognosis was negative, as they say… but at least I had a half-decent communicator explaining it to me now. When I asked her about euthanasia, she also didn’t skip a beat: three seconds of typing and a quote was instantly provided.

Well, you get the drift: even if we’d paid a fortune, nothing was guaranteed that Owen wouldn’t be screaming in agony shortly afterwards, repeatedly. Putting him to sleep was clearly the kindest option, never mind the finances -and, at the point we were discussing this, the poor guy was lying down in the bottom of his carry-box and punting himself around with his rear legs, trying to find some position that wasn’t agony. And here was a kindly, empathetic person able to do the deed.

So it was done, and they did it beautifully and we stroked him throughout the procedure and it was as sad as you’d imagine it to be.

We only knew him a short time: he was a rescue cat and we saved him from imminent destruction. But he was a real, big, fluffy personality, and I will miss him. And, of course, there’s the thought that if we hadn’t treated him like baggage and carted him half-way around the world as a personal possession, he’d still be alive and happily squeaking, as was his wont. (Apparently, stress does this to male cats. Travelling by Qantas to the UK is stressful even for humans, as I well know; God knows what it is like for a cat). So there’s some guilt.

Harper, his feline friend and tumbling partner is, thankfully, doing well. Indeed, he seems to be relishing being the one and only king of this particular all-new domain. Which is nice and a bonus. But nothing takes away the two hours of pointless agony we put Owen through.

Sometimes, I hate having cats.

Mostly, however, I don’t. 🙂

Elementary OS & 12cR2

Last of the Ubuntu-based distros to be tested with the new Younes Fix, Elementary OS is one of my least favourite distros, but still manages (somehow!) tenth place on Distrowatch‘s ranking list. It has inched up a version increment, too, since I first wrote about it and now stands at version 0.4.1, instead of 0.4. Like all the other distros posted about today, it now copes with a 12c Release 2 install via Atlas well:

Zorin & Oracle 12cR2

Another tip to the Younes Fix: Oracle 12cR2 runs fine on the latest release of Zorin:

Zorin bumped its version up from 12.0 to 12.1 way back in February 2017: this is the first time I used the newer version to test Atlas on, since Zorin isn’t exactly on my radar as a daily driver of Linux usage! On the other hand, it’s currently listed 9th-most popular distro, according to Distrowatch. Happily, therefore, all is well with both Atlas and Oracle 12cR2 on the newer platform, as you can see.


Peppermint & Oracle 12cR2

Thanks to the Younes Fix, Oracle 12c Release 2 installs nicely on Peppermint, one of the more niche Linux distros Atlas works on!

I hadn’t noticed that Peppermint itself has had a version increment: it’s now up to version 8 (from the original 7.something). Happily, Atlas makes light work of even the new version:

As it turns out, Peppermint 8 was released back in May 2017. I was rather distracted at the time, which is why I missed it.

I can’t say it’s an improvement on version 7: visually, it’s now pretty ghastly out-of-the-box. It also seems to have tumbled down the distrowatch popularity listings: Atlas’ criterion for including a distro or not was that it had to be in the top 20 of distrowatch’s listing. It was back in December 2016 when Atlas was first devised; right now it’s sitting at 28th on the list and going downwards…

Caught Up – Atlas Fixed!

I claim absolutely no credit for this, but a reader called Younes El-karama has been in touch to offer additions to the fixup script which Atlas sometimes creates when preparing for Oracle 12cR2 installations onto assorted distros, such as Ubuntu, Mint, Peppermint and so on.

Younes originally did this specifically to make Atlas work properly for 12cR2 on Linux Mint. I am not entirely sure if he realised, however, that his work actually makes Atlas function properly for 12cR2 on any Ubuntu-based distro… but he’s clearly a smart guy, so I suspect he did 🙂

The short version is, anyway, that thanks to Younes, the list of which distros can have Atlas help get 12c Release 2 running on them, which I mentioned in a previous post, now looks like this:

Debian 8.2+ ............................ Works fine
Linux Mint 18+ ......................... Works fine
Mint Debian Edition 2+ ................. Works fine
Red Hat ES 7.0+ ........................ Works fine
Scientific Linux 7.0+ .................. Works fine
CentOS 7.0+ ............................ Works fine
OpenSuse Leap 42+ ...................... Works fine
Antergos  2016.11+ ..................... Works fine
elementary OS 0.4+ ..................... Works fine
Mageia 5+ .............................. Works fine
Korora 25+ ............................. Works fine
Zorin Core 12 .......................... Works fine
Ubuntu 16+ ............................. Works fine
Manjaro 15+ ............................ Works fine 
Fedora 23+ ............................. Works fine (*)
Peppermint Linux 7+ .................... Works fine
GeckoLinux Static 422+ ................. Works fine
Chapeau Linux 24+ ...................... Works fine
PCLinuxOS 2016+ ........................ Works fine

That is, Atlas works fine on getting 12c Release 2 installed on all its target distros. There’s just one exception, indicated by that asterisk: Fedora 26 wasn’t around at the time I prepared the original list …and it still doesn’t work as yet. Younes’ fix doesn’t help there, since Oracle 12c R1 and R2 both compile fine on it, but then fail to create a database. The Younes Fix as I’ve taken to calling it, on the other hand, solves a compilation problem that bedevilled all Ubuntu-based distros when trying to compile Oracle 12c Release 2 binaries.

To be clear, the Oracle 12c Release 2 linking phase still fails on all the Ubuntu-based distros, but Atlas knows this will happen and therefore creates a fixup.sh script in your oracle user’s Documents directory, just as it has always done. The Younes Fix, however, means that the script contains more lines in it than before. It’s those extra lines which make a 12c R2 installation possible:

So, my abundant thanks to Younes, and he gets the appropriate credit at the top of the Atlas scripts. It is nice to see open source collaboration working so well! Atlas itself is now bumped to version 1.5 in consequence; the new version is automatically downloaded when you do the standard Atlas stuff:

wget http://bit.do/dizatlas -O atlas.sh
chmod +x atlas.sh

Everything else remains as was described in the original documentation for the relevant distros (Ubuntu, Zorin, Elementary OS, Peppermint and Mint).