Dizwell Informatics

News from Nowhere

Atlas – Installing Oracle on Antergos 2016+

1.0 Introduction

Antergos Linux is based on Arch Linux. If you don’t know much about Arch, join the club: it’s a very tricky distro to get to grips with, so a lot of people don’t bother! Arch starts off as utterly minimal as you can get onto which you bolt whatever applications and graphical front-ends you like. Getting it right can be awkward, but also very rewarding: you get a minimalistic distro (meaning “fast”) with just the mix of software you need or want and no unnecessary extras. But as I say, it’s hard to do right -so various developers have cooked up pre-mixed distros using Arch as their underlying O/S, but with choices of GUIs and packages made for you. Antergos is one such ‘pre-mixed’ Arch-based distro. In theory, you get all the minimalism and efficiency of Arch without the pain of having to build it up yourself from near-scratch.

There are other Arch-based distros out there, but Antergos is probably my favourite for ease of installation and graphical good looks when you’re done. (In case you were wondering, the name comes from the Galician word for ‘ancestors’… it builds on the heritage of its Arch past, as it were).

The trouble with anything related to Arch is that Arch itself is a rolling release distro: it is continually updated in little increments rather than, say, producing a ‘big version increment’ once or twice a year. This makes it difficult to know whether the version of Arch (or Antergos, which inherits the same issue) you are using is exactly the same one as I’m using. In theory, therefore, it’s possible for me to declare “this works on Antergos” …and for you to experience a complete failure to replicate my results.

So, Arch-based distros are a bit awkward to pin down, and the best I can say is that this article describes running Atlas and Oracle on an Antergos distro which was delivered as an ISO called “antergos-2016.11.20-x86_64.iso”. Hopefully, if your ISO is dated later than that, things should still work… let me know if not!

As is the case with all Atlas/Oracle installs, of course, your Antergos server needs to be built with at least 5GB RAM and at least a 40GB hard disk.

Please watch the generic Atlas videos here, here and here to get an idea of how Atlas works in general. The generic documentation (including those videos) are available from this page. Below are Antergos-specific notes.

2.0 What’s been tested?

  • Antergos 2016.11.20
  • Antergos-17.1
  • Antergos-minimal-17.1

3.0 Operating System media

Get your Antergos downloads from here. The site provides both a ‘minimal’ and a ‘live’ version: you probably want the live version (and is what I used for this article), but the minimal version does work. It’s just that it pulls in most of what it ends up installing direct from the Internet, so the installation process as a whole takes much longer than with the full ‘live’ version.

4.0 Operating System installation issues

The live ISO boots into a working Gnome environment and you’ll need to show Applications and select the ‘blue shell’ icon to trigger a proper to-disk installation:

 

The program that does the installing has the catchy name of “cnchi” …which I don’t pretend to know how to pronounce! But it presents a nice walk-through wizard to the installation process which doesn’t hold any major surprises. You get to pick your desktop environment:

…so the fact that you run the installer from within Gnome doesn’t mean you are forced to use Gnome thereafter. The choice of desktop environment is entirely yours to make: Atlas works on all of them (and so does Oracle, of course). I happen to be selecting the MATE desktop in the above screenshot, though, which I can recommend.

When it comes to disk partitioning:

The default option is to ‘erase the disk’ and that can safely be accepted: you will get a simple ‘everything in one root volume’ partitioning scheme which Atlas will find entirely acceptable. If you decide to go the ‘choose exactly where Antergos should be installed’ path and thus cook up your own partitioning scheme, remember that Atlas wants a ‘big root’ to work with (at least 25GB of free space on the ‘/’ mount point, basically).

Other than that, the installation proceeds to completion without drama or need to alter any of the defaults.

No wmctrl or xdotool utilities are installed by default, so once your OS has come back from its post-install reboot, you need to add that to Antergos before you try running Atlas:

sudo pacman -S wmctrl

…will do the job.

I found I was able to scale the display on my Antergos VirtualBox VMs without needing to install any Guest Additions, just by re-sizing the application window on my physical PC.

5.0 Running Atlas

Assuming you’ve installed wmctrl (or xdotool) and have a big enough screen resolution, therefore, acquiring and running Atlas is straightfoward:

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

There are no major surprises with the way Atlas does things: just follow the prompts and fill in things where required.

Don’t be put off by what Atlas says you’re running:

All Arch-based distros report themselves to be ‘Arch’ under the hood; and since they are all rolling releases, there’s no hard-and-fast version number you can pin them down to. Hence Atlas just declares it knows you’re running on something Arch-based that has no specific versioning.

6.0 Installing Oracle 12c

Oracle installation on Antergos starts by warning you that your system is not adequate for the task:

The warning is a red herring, however, and it is perfectly OK to click [Yes] at this point to continue the installation regardless. You mostly just keep clicking [Next] after that!

There are no errors during the installer’s linking phase to worry about. Because of that, it means that Atlas will have created a post-install script you can choose to run once the installation and database creation processes have finished:

Here you see me travelling to my Documents directory (since I am my own oracle user). In there, I find a file called atlas-postinstall.sh. Note that it is already executable: Atlas created it that way. Therefore, all I have to do is type:

./atlas-postinstall.sh

…to run it. Note that there’s no output when I do that. The command simply returns you, almost immediately, to the next line of the terminal prompt. Nevertheless, the script has done what it needed to do (basically, to adjust the way that the command-line SQL*Plus tool displays its results). You’ll be able to see the consequences of that shortly.

You don’t have to run this post-install script if you prefer not to: it’s just a convenience that Atlas provides which you are free to not make use of, if that’s how you like your SQL*Plus output!

Once the installation has completed, and if you’ve chosen to run the post-install script, you’d be able to invoke SQL*Plus and get some proof that the database is working fine, as follows:

Incidentally: the command you see me typing in that last screenshot (“sql“) is the alias of the full command (“sqlplus / as sysdba“). It is aliased with a reference to the rlwrap utility, so that if you get into SQL*Plus using it, you can press the up and down cursor keys to retrieve and scroll through any previous SQL commands you’ve typed. If you ever need the vanilla, un-rlwrapped version of SQL*Plus, however, then just type the full-blown sqlplus  command and you’ll be running the exact same program as before but without a command line history.

And to complete the family photo-album, here’s Oracle 12c running on the 17.1 minimal version of Antergos, using the Openbox desktop environment: