Month: March 2006

Oracle Client installation progress

I finally managed to get the installer working (Thanks to the OTN discussion forums). The trick described there indeed works: simply temporarily rename /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/locale and symlinking /emul/ia32-linux/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/locale to /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/locale. Then, the installer can be successfully started. I then run over another Oracle-Debian incompatibility (but I already observed this on i386 as well, but stoped investigating back then because I had an older installation which was still running): The installer stops when linking ntcontab. There seem to be some sed incompatibilities, since the installer logfile contains output like INFO: /bin/sed: -e Expression #1, Character 7: unterminated `s’ command The installer then hangs around for ever without utilizing CPU time. I saw that there are some make and grep processes hanging around, and it seems that the grep process waits for input but does not get it, causing it to wait forever. So I simply killed the make and the grep processes (I had to do this several times for the grep process) until the installation continued. The net configuration assistent failed to link and to run, so I had to manually configure sqlnet.ora and tnsnames.ora. Result: the client applications like sqlplus are running well!

The difference in x86_64 linux distributions

Most (commercial) linux distributions install their x86_64 version as a mixed environment. This means that the 64 bit libraries are installed in /lib64 and /usr/lib64, while the usual directories /lib and /usr/lib contain 32 bit libraries which are necessary to run 32 bit applications. Debian, on the other hand, provides a pure x86_64 distribution (the amd64 port), where the 64 bit libraries are installed in /lib and /usr/lib. 32 bit libraries are either installed below /emul (through the ia32-libs package) or in a completely separate chroot environment. The chroot environment has the advantage that it uses the normal i386 packages and can even be updated with “apt-get dist-upgrade” separately from the 64 bit installation. 32 bit applications like OpenOffice run very well in the chroot environment, and even building i386 packages is possible. The only disadvantage is that the chroot environment can take up a significant amount of space. The real problems arise if you need to install a 64 bit application which uses an installer which is built as 32 bit application. No one does this? Sure. Oracle does. And they require a mixed installation. There seems currently no way to install the Oracle client on an amd64 debian installation.