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Oracle8 Installation Guide
Release 8.0.5 for Intel-LINUX






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Setting the Environment

Use this chapter to prepare your environment for installing the Oracle8 Server, after you have verified the system meets the requirements described in Chapter 1, "Requirements and Features".

LINUX Environment Summary

Table 2-1 summarizes the environmental requirements for installing the Oracle8 Server. If your system fails to satisfy any listed requirement, perform the tasks listed on page 2-4 to page 2-8 as necessary to set up your environment to meet these requirements.

Table 2-1 LINUX Environment Summary
Environmental Factor   Requirement for Oracle  

LINUX Kernel Parameters


SHMMAX See Table 2-2.

Note: This setting does not affect how much shared memory is needed or used by Oracle, or the operating system. It is used only to indicate the maximum allowable size. This setting also does not impact operating system kernel resources.






SEMMSL Equal to or greater than the value of the
PROCESSES initialization parameter.


Mount Points (Storage Devices)


At least four mount points, all at the same level of the directory structure. One is for the software, three are for an OFA-compliant database.


OS Groups for Oracle Roles


A OS group is required for the OSDBA role, and is usually named dba. The OSOPER role may belong to the same group as the OSDBA, or it may belong to a different group.


OS Accounts


A OS account dedicated solely to installing and upgrading the Oracle system. The account must be a member of the group used by OSDBA.


Local bin directory


A directory for software shared among Oracle users. The default location for this directory on Intel-LINUX is /usr/local/bin.


oratab file


Contains information about Oracle instances.


Permissions for File Creation


Set umask to 022.




Set to the machine name and monitor of the station from which you are connecting to the server machine.




Required for Oracle products using shared libraries. Must include $ORACLE_HOME/lib.




Not required, but recommended as part of an OFA-compliant installation. See page 2-10.




Set to the directory where the Oracle software will be installed.




Specifies the instance name, or sid of the Oracle Server. Must be unique for Oracle instances running on same machine. Oracle Corporation recommends using four characters or fewer.




Required by all character mode and Motif mode Oracle products. See Table 2-5 for the range of values.




Required when creating a database with character set other than US7ASCII.

Set to $ORACLE_HOME/ocommon/nls/admin/data.




The search path must include all of the following:

$ORACLE_HOME/bin, /bin, /usr/bin, and /usr/local/bin




Should be undefined when running the Installer. If SRCHOME is set, the Installer defaults to the location it specifies as the source of software to install.




Should be undefined when installing the Oracle8 Server (see page 2-11 for explanation).




A directory with at least 20 MB available space where the oracle account has write permission. The default location on Linux is /usr/tmp.


Table 2-2 lists SHMMAX settings for various amounts of available system memory.

Table 2-2 SHMMAX Parameter System Memory Configuration

64 MB


128 MB


256 MB


512 MB


1024 MB


2048 MB


4096 MB


16 MB


32 MB


64 MB


128 MB


256 MB


512 MB


512 MB


Tasks to Perform as the root User

Log in as the root user and perform the following tasks as necessary to set up your environment for the Oracle8 Server:

Configure LINUX Kernel for Oracle
Create Mount Points
Create OS Groups for Database Administrators
Create OS Account to Own Oracle Software
Create a Local bin Directory
Create the oratab File

Configure LINUX Kernel for Oracle

Configure the LINUX kernel Interprocess Communication (IPC) parameters to accommodate the SGA structure of the Oracle8 Server. You will not be able to start up the database if the system does not have adequate shared memory to accommodate the SGA.

  1. Use the ipcs command to obtain a list of the system's current shared memory and semaphore segments, and their identification number and owner.
  1. Set the kernel parameters corresponding to:
    • maximum size of a shared memory segment (SHMMAX)
    • maximum number of shared memory segments in the system (SHMMNI)
    • maximum number of shared memory segments a user process can
      attach (SHMSEG)
    • maximum amount of shared memory that can be allocated system-wide

The total allowable shared memory is determined by the formula:


The parameters in Table 2-3 control the allocation of semaphores and shared memory. The recommended values are optimal for one instance and are based on the default initsid.ora file. If you plan to install more than one instance, or to modify the initsid.ora file extensively, set these parameters higher.

Oracle Corporation recommends you set these parameters as high as possible for the operating system; however, setting these parameters too high for the operating system can prevent the machine from booting up. Refer to the operating system documentation for parameter limits.

Table 2-3 Shared Memory and Semaphore Parameters
Parameter   Recommended Value   Description  



See Table 2-2.


The maximum size (in bytes) of a single shared memory segment.






The minimum size (in bytes) of a single shared memory segment.






The number of shared memory identifiers.






The maximum number of shared memory segments that can be attached by a process.






The number of semaphores in the system.






The number of semaphore set identifiers in the system. SEMMNI determines the number of semaphore sets that can be created at any one time.




equal to or greater than the value of the PROCESSES initialization parameter


The maximum number of semaphores that can be in one semaphore set. Should be equal to the maximum number of Oracle processes.


Create Mount Points

The Oracle8 Server requires at least four mount points when creating an OFA-compliant installation: one for the software and at least three for database files.

All software and database mount point names used for Oracle should match the pattern /pm where p is a string constant and m is a fixed-length key to distinguish between mount points. Table 2-4 shows a sample naming scheme.

Table 2-4 Sample Mount Point Naming Scheme
Software Mount Point   Database Mount Points  











See Also:

Optimal Flexible Architecture is described in detail in Chapter 1 of the Oracle8 Administrator's Reference for Intel-LINUX.


Create OS Groups for Database Administrators

The Installer assigns Oracle DBA and OPERATOR privileges to LINUX groups during Installation. Oracle documentation refers to these LINUX groups as the OSDBA and OSOPER groups. Members of these groups have DBA or OPERATOR privileges on the Oracle system by virtue of their membership in the corresponding LINUX groups. The group(s) you designate for these roles should be created before you start the Installer.

On Intel-LINUX, use the groupadd utility to create a group named dba. You can name the group something other than dba, but the Installer relinks the oracle executable if you do. If you plan to designate a separate group for the OSOPER group, create that group also.

The Installer offers the group you designate as OSDBA as the default choice for the OSOPER group. If you accept the default, there is effectively no OPERATOR role, because its privileges are simply a subset of the DBA privileges already assigned to the group.

Create OS Account to Own Oracle Software

The oracle account is the LINUX account that owns the Oracle distribution. You must run the Installer under this account.

On Intel-LINUX, use the operating system administration utility useradd to create an oracle account with the following properties:

Login Name


Can be anything, but this document refers to it as the oracle account.


Default GID


Corresponding to the OSDBA group.


Home Directory


Choose a home directory consistent with other user home directories. The home directory of the oracle account does not have to be the same as the ORACLE_HOME directory.


Login Shell


The default shell can be /bin/sh, /bin/csh, or /bin/ksh, but the examples in this document assume the Bourne shell (/bin/sh).



The oracle account should be used only for installing and maintaining Oracle software. Never use it for purposes unrelated to the Oracle Server. Do not log in as a database user when using the oracle (LINUX) account.


Sites with multiple Oracle servers may install them under the same oracle account, or separate ones. If multiple installations share an oracle account, the DBAs for each installation have access to the other installations. If this presents security problems, install each Oracle system under a different oracle account.

Create a Local bin Directory

Having a common environment for Oracle users greatly simplifies system administration. Part of creating a common environment is creating a local bin directory, outside the ORACLE_HOME directory, for shared software.

  1. Create a local bin directory, such as /usr/local/bin.
  1. Verify that this directory is included in each user's PATH, and that the users have execute permissions on the directory.

The Installer places the oraenv (coraenv for the C shell) and dbhome scripts in $ORACLE_HOME/bin. After installation, the root.sh script copies the files to the /usr/local/bin directory. The Installer cannot place them there directly because you must not run the Installer as the root user.

Copying oraenv (coraenv) and dbhome to the local bin directory ensures they continue to provide a common environment, even if the search path is changed to point to a different ORACLE_HOME directory.

You can also place other software that you want accessible to all users in the local bin directory.

Create the oratab File

Information about Oracle instances is stored in the oratab file. This file is owned by the oracle account, but resides in a directory that requires root privileges when creating the file. Run the cdrom_mount_point/orainst/oratab.sh script to create or set the permissions of the oratab file in the /etc directory.

Tasks to Perform as the oracle User

Log in to the oracle account and perform the following tasks as necessary:

Set Permissions for File Creation
Set Environment Variables
Update the Environment for Current Session

Set Permissions for File Creation

Set umask to 022 to ensure group and other have read and execute permissions, but not write permission, on the files the Installer creates.

  1. Enter the umask command to check the current setting.
  1. If the umask command does not return 022, set it in the .profile or .login file of the oracle account:
umask 022

Set Environment Variables

Set the following environment variables in the .profile or .login file of the oracle account before starting the Installer. The syntax for setting environment variables is as follows.

For the Bourne shell:

variable_name=value; export variable_name

For the C shell:

setenv variable_name value  


You should not define environment variables with names that are identical to those used for Oracle processes, for example: CKPT, PMON, and DBWR.



Specifies the directory containing the Oracle software for a given Oracle Server release. The OFA-recommended value is $ORACLE_BASE/product/release. For example: /u01/app/oracle/product/8.0.5.


Required when using Oracle products that use shared libraries. Set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to include $ORACLE_HOME/lib

Oracle Corporation recommends that you do not include /usr/ucblib in your LD_LIBRARY_PATH. If you require /usr/ucblib in LD_LIBRARY_PATH, make sure it appears after /usr/ccs/lib in the search order.


Specifies the directory at the top of the Oracle software and administrative file structure. The OFA-recommended value is software_mount_point/app/oracle. For example: /u01/app/oracle.


Specifies the Oracle system identifier, or sid, which is the name of the Oracle Server instance. Because the sid is incorporated into many filenames, Oracle Corporation recommends restricting it to no more than four characters, to avoid filename problems on heterogeneous systems.


Specifies the terminal definition resource file to be used with the Installer and other Oracle products. Table 2-5 lists terminal types and corresponding ORACLE_TERM settings.

Table 2-5 ORACLE_TERM Settings
Terminal Type   ORACLE_TERM Setting  

ANSI terminal for SCO




AT386 console




AT386 xterm




UnixWare terminal




Solaris x86 xterm




Data General 200




Data General 400




IBM High Function Terminal and aixterm (color)




IBM High Function Terminal and aixterm (monochrome)




hpterm terminal and HP 700/9x terminal




IBM 3151 terminal




NCD X terminal with vt220 style terminal




cmdtool/shelltool using a Sun type 4 keyboard




cmdtool/shelltool using a Sun type 5 keyboard




vt100 terminal




vt220 terminal




Wyse 50 or 60 terminal




Wyse 150 terminal




xterm using a Sun type 4 keyboard




xterm using a Sun type 5 keyboard





Required if creating a database with a storage character set other than US7ASCII. Set ORA_NLS33 to $ORACLE_HOME/ocommon/nls/admin/data before starting the Installer or creating the database.


Verify that the search path includes all of the following:


Should be undefined when running the Installer. If SRCHOME is set, the Installer defaults to the location it specifies as the source of software to install.


Must specify a directory with at least 20 MB free space, where the Installer has write permission. On Intel-LINUX the default setting is /var/tmp.


Should be undefined when installing Server software. If TWO_TASK is defined and you are creating database objects, the Installer attempts to create the objects in the database specified by TWO_TASK.

Update the Environment for Current Session

After setting environment variables in the .profile or .login file of the oracle account, update the environment in the current shell session.

For the Bourne or Korn shell:

$ ./.profile

For the C shell:

$ source .login

Setup Tasks for Individual Oracle Products

Perform the steps as necessary for your installation. Tables 1-3 through 1-5 list any products that require pre-installation tasks.

Tools and Precompilers

Complete the tasks for the following tools and precompilers before installing them.

Pre-Installation Steps for JDBC

  1. Update the environment variable CLASSPATH with the JDK release level:

$ORACLE_HOME/jdbc/lib/classes111.zip (or classes102.zip)

  1. Add the following to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH:

Pre-Installation Steps for the Pro*C/C++ Precompiler

Verify that the C compiler executable is included in the PATH setting.

Networking and System Management Products

Network Manager is no longer provided for configuring your Oracle Network. SQL*Net version 2 configuration files are compatible with Oracle Net8, though some restrictions apply. README files for networking products are under the network/doc directory on the CD-ROM. The files contain detailed information on issues and restrictions for Net8.

Pre-Installation Steps for Oracle Net8

Shut down all SQL*Net and Net8 listeners on the machine before installing Net8.

Pre-Installation Steps for Oracle Names Server

If you want to use a well-known Names Server, create an alias for the machine hostname to oranamesrvr[0-4] in the /etc/hosts file. For example:   sun1.eng   oranamesrvr0

You must also create the alias for the well-known Names Server on all server and client machines in the network. (A well-known Names Server is one that uses a default name, such that clients can find it on the network, without being individually configured.)

See Also:

Names Servers and well-known Names Servers are discussed in the Oracle Net8 Administrator's Guide.


Pre-Installation Steps for the Oracle Protocol Adapters

Before installing any protocol adapter, verify that the underlying network protocol is functioning and configured properly.


The TCP/IP Protocol Adapter is installed automatically with all Oracle8 Server installations.

  1. Verify that the network is functioning properly by transferring a test file using the ftp utility.
    $ ftp remote_server_name
ftp> put test_filenameftp> get test_filename

Pre-Installation Steps for Oracle Security Server (OSS)

The machine that hosts OSS should be in a physically secure location.


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