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Atlas – Installing Oracle on Mageia 5+

1.0 Introduction

Mageia is a fork of Mandriva, which was the inheritor of Mandrake Linux -which, in its day, was the go-to distro for newbies (because it was simple to install, most things just worked and it looked pretty good for the time). Mageia seeks to inherit that tradition of user-friendliness: it’s name is Greek for ‘magic’ and, presumably, the intent is that using it should be an ‘enchanting’ experience.

It is a bit of a distro-backwater though; it only rates #15 in the DistroWatch popularity stakes. It wouldn’t be my first choice of desktop distro, put it that way: too many quirks, not least of which is a command-line package manager that no other distro uses (urpmi to install something, urpme to remove it and urpmq to query what packages are available). There are always GUI tools, of course, but that’s not the point: having separate commands to install and remove, instead of just different switches when invoking the one tool, is something I don’t particularly enjoy or appreciate.

Atlas (and Oracle 12c!) nevertheless runs fine on Mageia 5.1 upwards.

As is the case with all Atlas/Oracle installs, your server needs to be built with at least 5GB RAM and at least a 40GB hard disk; you must additionally ensure you have installed wmctrl or xdotool before attempting to launch Atlas.

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 Fedora-specific notes.

2.0 What’s been tested?

  • Mageia 5.1
  • Mageia 6 sta 1 (testing branch)

3.0 Operating System media

Mageia is available in various forms from the project’s download page. There is a small network innstall ISO available, which is quick to download …but then causes lots of downloading to take place during the O/S install process, resulting in a very lengthy installation overall.

Therefore, I’d recommend using instead the 3.7GB “Classic Installation” DVD ISO. It’s much bigger to download, of course, but that means there’s less to fetch during the installation process, so the install takes less time to complete.

Either way, remember that you want the 64-bit version.

4.0 Operating System installation issues

There are no major deviations from the ‘accept the defaults’ approach when installing the operating system.

Note that when running Mageia in VirtualBox, I had to disable the option to use ‘3D graphics acceleration’, otherwise the otherwise-built VM would fail to reboot correctly. Eventually, it got so bad I was reduced to running a VMware virtual machine instead! I have no real idea why Mageia plays so badly with late-release VirtualBox.

If you do manage to get a working version of Mageia installed and visible, you will need to ‘top it up’ with either a wmctrl or an xdotool installation. The commands to do that are simply:

su - root
urpmi wmctrl 
urpmi xdotool

(You don’t need both: I’d suggest wmctrl on its own is just fine).

5.0 Running Atlas

Once you’re O/S is running at a reasonably high screen resolution and with wmctrl/xdotool installed, you can download and run Atlas in the usual way:

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

Thereafter, just follow the prompts.

At one point, Atlas will spot that you didn’t get a chance to name your new Mageia server properly:

You get to type a new host name now: make it a fully-qualified one (i.e., with a domain name component attached). If you don’t have a proper domain name to use, make one up: the one you see me using in the screenshot (‘dizwell.home’) has no validity beyond the walls of my study, but works well enough in my home networking environment.

If you feel the need for a very long host/domain name combo, you may see this sort of thing happening:

In case it’s not obvious: the new hostname has wrapped off the right-hand edge of the window on one side and down onto the left-hand edge of the window on the the next line. This is fine: so long as there are no spaces in anything you type, it will work, despite the ugly line wrapping. You’ll find that there’s no ability to backspace up to where you started typing, either: so if you make a mistake, just Ctrl+C to quit Atlas entirely, re-launch it and try typing it more accurately next time.

But if you can keep your hostnames short and sweet -and therefore on the one line-: even better!

Incidentally, if you just press [Enter] at the prompt, your Mageia server will forcibly be renamed to be “osrvr.test.lab” …so be sure to type your own name in if that seems a dumb sort of default to you!

6.0 Installing Oracle 12c

No major issues arise during the Oracle installation itself, apart from the slightly unnerving experience of seeing all Oracle’s dialogs appear with a ghostly blue glow around them:

I guess that’s just part of the ‘magic’ of Mageia!

You will see this, however:

That is Oracle complaining that vast swathes of necessary software packages have not been installed -but pay no attention, because Atlas has indeed installed everything necessary. You can therefore click the Ignore All option with confidence, before hitting [Next].

After that… nothing alarming happens. The installer sails through the linking phase without drama and the database creation process begins -and finishes- without a problem.

Because there were no linking errors, an atlas-postinstall.sh script gets created in the oracle user’s Documents directory by Atlas. This can be run once the linking phase is complete (or after the entire installation, including database creation, completes), if you would like to do so. Running it is entirely optional:

Since I am my own oracle user, that’s me travelling to my own Documents directory, where I find a file called atlas-postinstall.sh. Note that it has already been made executable by Atlas. Therefore, to run it, you just type the command shown:


When you do that, there is no indication given that anything has happened, but if you now run SQL*Plus and run queries, you’ll find that the output is page- and line-size formatted sensibly (unlike what you’d get by default).

However, it’s entirely optional whether you run this script: there’s no requirement to do so.

Anyway: here’s the finished result on Mageia 5.1:

Note that in this screenshot you see me typing a command: sql. That is simply an alias to the actual command sqlplus / as sysdba (thus logging you on to the database as SYS). The alias is there for convenience -and also invokes rlwrap, so that you can scroll up and down through all the commands you might type at the SQL*Plus command line. The alias gives you a command line history, in other words. If you prefer not to have a command line history, just type the regular command. The choice is yours.

Finally, a quick look at the database running on the Mageia 6 release (which is a testing release for a future version of Mageia):

(I should just mention that I had a hell of a time getting Mageia 6 running on anything! It’s clearly not ready for release: it wouldn’t run at all in either VirtualBox or VMware. I ended up reduced having to run it in KVM [or Gnome Boxes, which is the same thing with a nicer front-end], which is a pretty desperate move on my part! But as you can see… it gets there in the end.)