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Atlas – A Universal Oracle Preinstaller

1.0 Introduction

Atlas is a single shell script that prepares almost any Linux distro to run a standard, desktop-level installation of Oracle 12c Enterprise Edition.

After you’ve run Atlas, you still need to install the Oracle software itself: licensing restrictions prevent Atlas from automating that side of things, I’m afraid. But all the stuff needed before Oracle can be installed -such as creating users, directory structures, setting kernel parameters and so on- are all sorted by invoking one script.

2.0 How does it work

Atlas runs on top of Linux distros that have been installed in (mostly) default ways. You simply download it, make it executable, execute it and reboot. After that, your Oracle 12c installation will go smoothly.

In words alone, and simplifying a bit, having installed your distro, you issue these commands in a terminal session:

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

…after which, you just follow the prompts. Following a reboot, you install Oracle 12c in the usual way, all the prerequisites having been taken care of by Atlas.

Videos showing everything from start to finish are shown below, in three parts. Bear in mind that whilst the videos were created using Debian 8, the general points they make are applicable to any Atlas-supported distro.

2.1 Installing your distro

2.2 Running Atlas

2.3 Installing Oracle 12c Enterprise Edition

3.0 What Distros are covered?

Atlas helps get Oracle 12c running on the distros shown below (links to the distro-specific documentation are given in each case):

Debian 8.2+

Linux Mint 18+

Mint Debian Edition 2+

Red Hat ES 7.0+

Scientific Linux 7.0+

CentOS 7.0+

OpenSuse Leap 42+

Antergos  2016.11+

elementary OS 0.4+

Mageia 5+

Korora 25+

Zorin Core 12

Ubuntu 16+

Manjaro 15+

Fedora 23+

Peppermint Linux 7+

GeckoLinux Static 422+

Chapeau Linux 24+

PCLinuxOS 2016+
OpenIndiana ‘Hipster’ 1710+

Solaris 11.3+

(NB: Any trademarks shown above are used merely for identification of software products you may obtain independently and are the property of their respective owners).

The list may expand or contract in the future, depending on how distros (and Oracle’s own software!) evolve over time. Note that Atlas doesn’t care what desktop environment you choose to use on these distros: if it works with KDE, it will work with Gnome, Openbox, Xfce, LXDE or any other desktop supported by that distro. It does, however, assume that some form of desktop environment will be used: trying it on a command-line-only server install is therefore not an option.

Follow the links for each version to distro-specific Atlas pages in which I detail how I installed the operating system, ran Atlas and then completed a successful Oracle 12c installation.

4.0 What does Atlas actually do?

Atlas will do everything needed to make a distro suitable for running Oracle. These steps include:

  • Setting a proper hostname, if one is not already in use
  • Ensuring that the local /etc/hosts file is suitably configured for Oracle’s networking purposes
  • Creating a user to act as the ‘oracle user’ (i.e., the owner of the Oracle software installation), or modifying an existing user to so act
  • Creating appropriate operating system groups
  • Setting the oracle user’s environment variables correctly
  • Configuring the kernel parameters appropriately
  • Configuring PAM security limits properly
  • Disabling things that would interfere with the operation of Oracle (such as a firewall; SELinux or AppArmor)
  • Creating appropriate installation directory file structures
  • Fetching and installing additional software packages needed to allow Oracle to compile and work properly
  • Fetching and unpacking the Oracle installation software from your own web server, should you choose to make one available. If you don’t choose to perform this step, the business of acquiring the Oracle 12c software and making it available for use is left entirely to you to perform, as you see fit
  • Creating systemd-compatible startup services to ensure the automatic restart of your database whenever the server reboots
  • Installing the rlwrap utility and configuring things so that Oracle database command line tools (such as RMAN and SQL*Plus) have command line histories (i.e., you can scroll up and down through previously-submitted commands to recall them, edit them or re-submit them)

In addition, Atlas usually generates a post-Oracle-installation script for you. If you run that script once Oracle is working correctly, it will set sensible defaults for the line-length and page-size used by the SQL*Plus command line database administration tool.

The only time Atlas doesn’t create this post-install script is when it instead creates a ‘fixup’ script that is needed to be run when/if the Oracle linking phase fails. In those cases (Ubuntu and Mint are the main culprits), the fixup script contains whatever commands are needed to fix the linking problems and the commands which would usually live in the post-install script. For those distros which experience linking phase errors, therefore, no additional post-install script is created.

5.0 Requirements and Limitations?

Atlas doesn’t really impose many hardware requirements of its own: it will check that your PC/Server has at least 4000MB free RAM and 25GB free disk space in the root partition (i.e., in the / mount point). Those are really just sensible minima for any Oracle 12c install, though.

Practically, I would suggest this means your PC (or virtual machine) needs to have at least 5GB RAM allocated and a disk size of at least 40GB. It also means that when you install your operating system, you should avoid using partitioning schemes which propose creating tiny “root” mount points and massive “home” ones (openSuse is the primary guilty party I’m thinking of here). In those cases, don’t accept the default partitioning scheme, but instead opt for one that results in ‘everything in one partition’ or a similar large-root outcome.

Atlas will check that your screen display is at least 1200×720. It also checks that either the wmctrl or xdotool package has been installed -you’ll probably need to do this manually. Without one or other of these tools present, Atlas cannot display its own screens correctly.

The only exception to this is when Atlas is run on OpenIndiana: it doesn’t check if wmctrl or xdotool have been installed (since installing them is non-trivial!) and therefore doesn’t bother to check for a minimum screen resolution either: the consequence of this is that if your screen resolution isn’t high enough, Atlas’ display will look dreadful! On OpenIndiana, therefore, you can either increase your screen resolution manually, before attempting to run Atlas; or you can stick with a lower screen resolution and still get sensible Atlas output by the simple expedient of lowering your terminal’s default font size (to around 7 point).

Atlas requires your PC, laptop or server to have a fully-functional connection to the Internet: it pulls many tens of megabytes of prerequisite software down from the Internet as part of what it does.

Finally, Atlas will only work on 64-bit operating systems. If it detects the use of a 32-bit operating system, it will warn you and then quit.