Dizwell Informatics

News from Nowhere

Atlas – Installing Oracle on GeckoLinux 422+

1.0 Introduction

As Korora is to Fedora, so GeckoLinux is to OpenSUSE: a “re-spin” of the parent distro, meaning that the same fundamental distro is tweaked and re-packaged a bit into a form more pleasing to its creators.

I don’t suppose that GeckoLinux is particularly widely used, but I can’t help thinking it ought to be! It takes an already excellent distro (in the form of OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 or OpenSUSE Tumbleweed), adds in a bundle of media codecs, good font rendering, turns it all into a ‘live distro’ (so you can run it direct off a DVD or USB image without actually installing it, which the original OpenSUSE distros can’t do) and then uses Calamares to provide an eminently sane, sensible installer to allow you to do a traditional hard disk install. (Gecko’s installer makes OpenSUSE’s own look really bad and over-complicated, in my humble opinion!)

There are two flavours of Gecko: ‘static’ and ‘rolling’. Static versions are based on OpenSUSE Leap (so, fairly conservative, only making big version step-changes periodically); rolling versions are based instead on OpenSUSE’s Tumbleweed, which is a ‘rolling distro’, meaning everything gets continually and incrementally upgraded and there are no big-bang version changes.

Atlas has been tested on both static (based on OpenSUSE Leap 42.2) and rolling releases (specifically, GeckoLinux Gnome 999.161230 …the last part of that version number indicating the date of release).

As is the case with all Atlas/Oracle installs, of course, your OpenSUSE 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 OpenSUSE-specific notes.

2.0 What’s been tested?

  • GeckoLinux Static 422.161228
  • GeckoLinux Rolling 999.161230

Each version comes in a huge variety of desktop environments, ranging from Cinnamon, to KDE via Budgie and LXQt. In fact, there are 16 possible combos, and no… I didn’t test them all. Life’s too short!

I did, however, test 3 different desktop environments for the Static release and 2 for the rolling. All worked fine: your choice of desktop environment should not affect the work Atlas has to perform, nor the eventual success of your Oracle 12c installation.

3.0 Operating System media

The enormous variety of Gecko installation media can be found on the project’s website. Scroll down to near the bottom of that page to find the various Static and Rolling releases available. (Note that I have not used the “Next” releases).

4.0 Operating System installation issues

All Gecko installations start by booting into a ‘live’ environment, direct off the DVD and prompting for a password to start things off. The starter password for both the live root user and the live non-root user is linux.

So, to start with:

…you’ll boot to a logon screen (which is a tad unusual for live distros, I think, which generally auto-login as some user account or other). The username ‘linux’ is already supplied: you see me typing in the password ‘linux’ in the above screenshot.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the Calamares installer on the desktop:

Double-click to launch it, or right-click it and select Open (as I’m doing above). In either case, you’ll first be asked for the ‘administrator’ password: that’s just ‘linux’ as before:

From this point on, you just click through a very simple installer walk-through:

It’s a bit of a shame that there are so few varieties of English on offer in this particular distro, but I’ll cope! Start clicking [Next] and supply the relevant keyboard and regional settings when asked.

Notice that you get a chance to specify a hostname when creating yourself as a non-root user:

This makes a change from the parent distro’s failure to include a hostname option during the installation, resulting in all OpenSUSE servers starting off with automatically-generated (and universally terrible!) names. It’s just a little thing, but it’s one reason I like Gecko!

When partioning, too, the Gecko installer doesn’t get over-complicated as the parent distro does:

If you take the option simply to wipe the disk, you’kll note that you get a nice chunk of swap and everything else assigned to the one (root) partition. This is not the subtlest or cleverest way of doing disk partitioning, but Atlas will love it, and Oracle will too!

At the end of the (rather swift) installation, you get prompted as follows:

Make sure you check that Restart now option before clicking [Quit]/

Once the finished operating system reboots, you may find that there is no need to install wmctrl or xdotool, as both are already present in the completed installation -but it’s variable. One install I did of static/cinnamon had both tools present out of the box; another I did of rolling/gnome did not. You’ll find out soon enough when you try to run Atlas anyway (if you get the message “Please install either xdotool or wmctrl” it’s a fairly sure-fire way of telling they are not already present!), but a simple

sudo zypper install -y wmctrl

…beforehand won’t do any harm in either case. If the application is already present, the command will be ignored. If it’s not, it will be installed fairly swiftly.

I found that Gecko was re-sizable in a VirtualBox VM, without the need of installing Guest Additions. So you should be able to get Gecko displaying at reasonably high resolutions (> 1200 x 750) without trouble. If so, and once you know wmctrl or xdotool is present, you’re ready to run Atlas.

5.0 Running Atlas

With minimal fuss, therefore, you fetch and run Atlas on Gecko in the normal way:

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

…after which, I simply followed the prompts.

Atlas will claim that you are running OpenSUSE (or Tumbleweed) proper:

That’s because you are, near enough! Technically, it’s because the distro’s maintainer hasn’t altered what the lsb_release -d command returns. But no matter: it simply means that Atlas will configure your Gecko install, for Oracle purposes, as though it were OpenSUSE proper… and that’s fine, because that will work nicely enough!

6.0 Installing Oracle 12c

There are no major dramas during the Oracle database installation. As with OpenSUSE proper, you’ll first be told that your environment doesn’t meet Oracle’s requirements:

It is OK to click [Yes] at this point to continue the installation regardless.

After that, it’s pretty much click [Next] until it’s finished. There are no errors during the linking phase to worry about. Since there are no linking errors, Atlas will have created a post-install script in the oracle user’s Documents directory which you can (optionally) run, once the Oracle installation completes successfully. Since I am my own oracle user, the following screenshot shows me checking the contents of my own Documents directory:

Note that the file is already executable: Atlas created it that way. You can therefore run that script now, as yourself, using the following command:


Do that as yourself, not as root. The command will not appear to have done anything at all, and you’ll merely return to the next line on the command prompt. Nevertheless, it will actually have altered some of the interface settings for the command-line SQL*Plus tool so that its query results are presented more sensibly than they are by default:

The default SQL*Plus settings would have resulted in that query’s return being broken up into a fairly illegible mess. Nevertheless, it’s up to you whether to run the post-install script: it is entirely optional to do so.

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.