When people talk about
installing Oracle, more times than not they are referring to installing the
program files for the relational database management system (RDBMS)
application. Other people use the word Oracle somewhat loosely when referring
to any Oracle product (e.g., Forms & Reports, Developer Suite, Application
Server, etc.) to be installed. Whichever it is you are installing - the
database software or an application from Oracle - understanding and applying an
installation methodology will make your job easier.
This article, and others to
follow in the Installation Cookbook series, will lay out a methodology or
approach to installing Oracle products on UNIX-based systems (primarily using
Solaris). Once you see several examples, you will be well-armed when it comes
to the occasional egg Oracle lays in its installation documentation. On the
whole, the work produced by the technical writers at Oracle, and the overall
documentation effort, is really nothing less than superhuman, and the writers
and publishers should be commended for their work. However, the sheer amount of
documentation can appear overwhelming, especially to a new DBA who is charged
with installing software on a server. And, once in a while, the documentation
effort falls short (Oracle9iAS immediately comes to mind, as does Oracle9iDS).
Going back to the new DBA
charged with installing Oracle software on a server - it is tempting for many in
this situation to simply insert the first CD-ROM and go for it, especially if
the operating system happens to be based on the Blue Screen of Death. Let's
face it: installing software on Windows is pretty straightforward these days.
But when it comes to UNIX-based systems, installing software can be an involved
process (personal opinion time: the extra effort is worth it because UNIX is so
much better). Installing Oracle products on UNIX-based systems should drive
home the point that one needs to be knowledgeable of the underlying operating
system. It isn't enough to know only Oracle, and being more self-sufficient
adds to the value you bring to your current and future employers.
A general outline of installation
Instead of just plowing into
the reading of a 300 page installation guide and several release notes, if you
look for an outline of steps to follow, your comprehension of what must be done
is increased. Listed below is a general outline of steps that corresponds to
the chapters in most installation guides.
- Verify that hardware and
software minimums are met or exceeded
- Prepare or update the
administrative/owner accounts and file structures
- Reserve, specify, or
designate disk space
- Start the Oracle Universal
Installer (OUI) and provide information as necessary
- Perform post-installation
- Test your installation
The first four steps can be
considered as pre-installation tasks, step five as THE installation task, and
steps six and seven as post-installation tasks. When writing installation
cookbooks (primarily for customers, but they work just as well for in-house
users), I like to include an introduction along with a list of assumptions or
standards, and include a list of references from which the information was
drawn. The reference list is useful when you have to come back to the
installation procedure and justify why you installed an OS patch cluster or
needed to have a bigger disk installed.
So, without further ado,
here is a detailed, step-by-step installation cookbook for installing Oracle9i
(188.8.131.52) on a Sun Solaris platform.