I can’t say I’ve ever used Debian for long, but it has always proved itself a worthy contender in any distro comparison I’ve ever run -largely because it’s stable, has an enormous number of packages available to it and has its own quasi-minimalist graphical charm. If it lacks some of the bells and whistles of the more glamorous distros (many of which, such as Ubuntu -and from there Mint- are actually derived from Debian), it is nevertheless a strong contender.
How lucky we are that Ian Murdock saw fit to create it (and then go on to champion open source software in various other ways after that), back in 1993. And what a shock it was to read on New Year’s morning that he’d been found dead on 28th December.
The terrible news prompted me to look at my old Gladstone script for installing Oracle on various non-standard Linux distros and discovered that the last version of Debian I had it working for was 6.0.6, which dates it to around September 2012. I thought the least I could do is to bring it a bit more up-to-date than that.
So I’m releasing a new pre-installer script, called murdock, extricated from the ancient ruins of Gladstone and made functional once more. It prepares a Debian 8.2 64-bit system that has a functioning Internet connection for running either Oracle 11g or 12c. It doesn’t work for any other distro, nor any other bit-ness. (An alternative download location is here).
I’ll knock together some better instructions at some point soon, but basically download it, run it, supply the root password and sit back to watch everything get configured appropriately. Then download the Oracle software and run it. It will fail nearly all its prerequisites checks, of course. Ignore them all. It will then error during the linking phase: but murdock has anticipated that and created a fix-up script in the oracle user’s Documents directory: so run that script, click [Retry] in the Oracle installer, and everything will work correctly thereafter.
(Update: the ‘better instructions’ are now an article available here.)
I’ve tested it on both 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52, using the Gnome, Cinnamon, MATE and KDE desktop environments. Gnome has some dialog problems that make the installer non-functional unless invoked remotely (i.e., use ssh -X to make a remote connection to the server and run the installer from the remote PC). And 184.108.40.206 has a compilation error that can’t be easily fixed, meaning that Oracle Text indexes can’t work. Otherwise, all works as expected.
I don’t run single-node Oracle much these days. I don’t run anything that’s not on Windows or Solaris come to that. But Open Source in general, and Debian specifically, has given me so much, it seemed to be at least something I could do by way of paying it back a little. Any issues with it, let me know…