This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Setting up an Oracle 12c R2 Lab

Wait what?  Oracle?  Yeah, I’m shifting focus over the next couple of months to try and learn a big part of the IT Operations world which I have never ever touched before – this should be fun!  Either way, I’m looking at taking a shot at the Oracle Database 12c R2 Administration Certified Associate. The OCA actually requires a couple of exams to be completed in order to earn the full certification status. You have some options as it pertains to step 1 – I’m looking at the Oracle Database SQL (1Z0-071) as a starter, then moving on to the actual Administration exam (1Z0-072) after that if need be.

Anyways – a big part of studying for all this requires me to get Oracle up and rocking inside a lab environment – which I’m documenting in this article.  And don’t kid yourself – I didn’t just do this once and write down what I did. I messed this up a number of times but believe I have a good process now to get up and running so I thought I’d share!

Choose your poison!

Oracle runs on pretty much anything – Linux, Windows, AIX, Solaris – take your pick! My pick, well I chose Oracle Linux 7, a fork of RHEL configured and tweaked to give you max performance when it comes to running Oracle databases. Not like my little lab environment needs a whole lot of performance, but hey, best in breed right?

Oracle Linux (OL) is all packaged up in an ISO and is a pretty standard Linux install.  That said, there are a few gotchas that I’d like to point out here that might make your life a little easier – wish I knew about them earlier 🙂 I’ll call them out as we go through the steps below…

Let’s roll!

I’ll be installing Oracle Linux within a VMware environment – so the obvious first step is to create a new virtual machine. As simple and easy as this is, it’s where I the first gotchya comes into play…

It’s great that we have the Oracle Linux 7 option within VMware – it really is – but the problem really lies within the default hardware specifications around it!

As the image dictates, the default hardware specifications around Oracle Linux within VMware, well, they are a little skimpy. I would definitely recommend increasing the disk space from 16GB to something around the 80GB range – Oracle databases can get quite large and there is a lot of functionality to be played with – it all needs capacity!  Also, if you can afford to increase the CPU and Memory do it!

Alright, now that Step 1, yeah, Step 1 is out of the way lets go ahead and mount the Oracle Linux ISO (download from here if you haven’t already) to the VM and fire off the install. Again, it’s pretty basic from here on in depending on how you normally install Linux – but I’ll walk through the process anyway. After selecting your language and keyboard settings you should be sitting at a screen similar to that shown below.

So, as the image dictates we will do a few different things here before getting on with the install. First, go ahead and enter the “Installation Destination” section.  Simply clicking inside this and clicking “Done” on will verify that you want the install to manage the partitioning for you. I mean, if you really want to do it yourself go ahead – but this is just a test box for me so I’m going down the path of least resistance.

Next, go ahead and set up your networking and hostname information. I normally don’t do this till after I’m done installing Linux, but with this distro things didn’t seem to want to work quite right following my normal practices – Now, I just do it before the install to save myself the headaches…

It might be a good idea to head over to your DNS Server and set up an A record before continuing with the install as well – after all, don’t give DNS a reason to break things.  After setting your networking and hostname information and clicking done, enter the “Software Selection” area. By default, OL is set to perform a minimal install. Again, my past practice has always been to do this and then just add as I seemed fit. Well, to save yourself a few headaches later when we go to install the Oracle Database software go ahead and select ‘Server with GUI’. I’ve been told to never ever do this, however, unless you like fooling around with x forwarding and display variables, I would say make an exception this time! From the Add-Ons options, select Compatibility Libraries as well.

After completing the above three basic configurations go ahead and start the installation. While you are waiting you might as well go ahead and set your root password and create an additional account if you like.

Once the install completes go ahead and reboot your server!  Congrats, you now have a fully functional Oracle Linux box in your lab – that said, we are only a third of the way done. There is still a number of things we need to do. Watch for Part 2 and Part 3 dealing with installing pre-requisites and Oracle database respectively!

Series NavigationSetting up an Oracle 12c R2 Lab for the Administration Certified Associate Certification – Part 2 – Oracle Database Prerequisites >>