Kevin Kempf's Blog

March 20, 2015

Installing Oracle Linux on your PC

Filed under: Oracle Linux — kkempf @ 9:16 am


A break from the usual

I’m not a big fan of Windows as a PC operating system in the workplace, at least for what I do every day.  For the past 4-5 years I’ve been running Ubuntu and I recently upgraded to their version 14.  It was fine, but being a Debian release it was still clumsy and some things were very awkward/required hacks to make work (for example, the Oracle client).  So I decided to try something new.  The only requirement was it had to pass some arbitrary usability threshold in my head, and be installable from a USB key because I don’t have a DVD drive.

Fedora 21

The screenshots looked promising, but in the end this was a debacle.  I followed the instructions on their website, which included how to create a bootable USB drive.  The download took forever for the smallish install, though when complete I had a bootable USB drive (after using the creation utility they recommended).  I booted to it, but once in the GUI it was really acting up.  I have two monitors, and the GUI kept going on and off between the two.  It made installing it really hard, and by the time I got to the disk partitioning part and it said I didn’t have enough room, I was done with this release.  To be fair, the PC had existing partitions on it, and they were encrypted, this may have been the issue.  I can’t believe this is a show stopper for an installer, but something wasn’t right.

Oracle Linux 6.6

Actually figuring out how to get the installer going is a bit tricky, and the essence of this post, but once installed I’m feeling like it’s where I’ll be for awhile.  I’m assuming you’re doing this from Windows; if that’s not the case, you will have to read up on how to create the USB drive from your operating system.  Here’s the path to happiness:

  • Get an 8GB or larger USB drive
  • Download the install
    • Go to Oracle E-Delivery
    • Sign away your life, and select Oracle Linux 6 Update 6 Media Pack for x86_64 (64 bit) or 32-bit I suppose if you’re into that
    • Here you’ll see 5 downloads, but we’re only concerned with 2
      • Oracle Linux Release 6 Update 6 for x86_64 (64 Bit)
      • Oracle Linux Release 6 Update 6 Boot iso image for x86_64 (64 bit)
    • OLdownloads
    • Now head over to Linux Live USB creator, and install it as a Windows application
      • Point this application at the smaller Boot ISO image (226MB one), select your USB drive as the target, hit go, and now your USB key is bootable
    • This is the part which tripped me up and caused some grief: after creating your boot key, copy the big raw ISO file (3.7GB) to the USB key also
      • After you configure the basics in the installer GUI, it needs this ISO to actually do the install
      • If you don’t do this, you get an error like: Missing ISO image The installer has tried to mount image #1, but cannot find it on the hard drive.
        • It seems possible that you could have this ISO on another USB drive and point it to it, but I had no success with it
        • It appears that the installer will not recognize a dynamic mount of a USB key in the middle of the process, so you can’t switch out keys or add a 2nd one
          • I even tried to put two USB keys in, booting from the small image and then pointing to the big ISO (on /dev/sdc) when the installer got confused but it didn’t work either
    • At this point, you just put the USB key into your PC, ensure USB is in the boot sequence at the bios level, and start the PC
    • Early in the installer, the TUI (text user interface: a big red box) asks where something is located.  I’m sorry I can’t be more specific, nor do I remember what it was looking for.  But I have the answer in general:
      • My PC is simple: one hard drive, and the USB drive
        • Linux sees these as sda1, sda2, sda3 (my hard drive, with 3 partitions) and sdb1 (my usb drive)
      • What it needs to be told is sdb1 (your USB drive) and then it chugs along happily


I feel obligated to say that you have a strong chance of wiping out whatever is on your PC if you don’t know what you’re doing.  In my case, that was the whole idea, so the risk was low.  If your goal is to create a live USB operating system, or dual boot OS, that’s beyond the scope of what I’m talking about, and requires more/different steps.


Let’s assume you’ve installed the OS, and you’re booted to the GUI now.  You need to add the public yum repos to get updates

  • $ su –
  • # export http_proxy=  (skip if you don’t have a proxy, obviously requires some tweaking)
  • # wget -P /etc/yum.repos.d/
  • # yum update

Customizing Your Environment

It takes time to get all the pieces working; your requirements will be different from mine.  I’ll give you a few obvious ones

  • Java (JDK)
    • yum remove java-1.6.0-openjdk
    • yum remove java-1.7.0-openjdk
    • go download Oracle java
    • rpm -ivh *.rpm (it puts it in /usr/java/jdk…)
  • Java plugin for Firefox so you can run Forms in the Ebusiness Suite
    • $ cd ~/.mozilla/plugins
    • $ ln -s /usr/java/jdk1.7.0_67/jre/lib/amd64/   (substitute your version of java where I’ve listed jdk1.7.0_67)
  • SQL Developer
    • Go download the most recent version
    • rpm -Uvh sqldeveloper*rpm (it installs in /usr/local/bin)
    • $ cd /usr/local/bin/
    • ./sqldeveloper
    • when prompted, point it to your JDK installation
      • Type the full pathname of a JDK installation (or Ctrl-C to quit), the path will be stored in /home/kkempf/.sqldeveloper/4.0.0/product.conf
      • enter: /usr/java/jdk1.7.0_67 (obviously change your version to match)

You’re on your feet

The rest is up to you



  1. Interested to know how you got the GUI up and running. When I started the server it has the command line interface. Was this an extra addon?

    Comment by Hilton Meyer — April 2, 2015 @ 8:05 am

    • During the GUI install process, you had to choose an installation type. Perhaps you chose database server or basic server? I chose desktop (perhaps it was workstation?) and got the full GUI out of the gate. If you’re not too far into it, I’d suggest just reinstalling. You can also install the GUI pieces from the command line, but it’s more involved. Check out this site for pointers if you want to go that way:

      Comment by kkempf — April 2, 2015 @ 8:20 am

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