SUSE doesn’t rock my world…

I installed SUSE Linux for the first time at the weekend and I was suprised at how unimpressed I was. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with it, I just expected a lot more after the good press it’s had over the years.

Back in the days when I first started playing with Linux (Red Hat 5.2), you couldn’t download the SUSE installation CDs for free, so I started to use Red Hat Linux and have pretty much stuck with it (RHEL, Fedora & CentOS) ever since. I’ve played briefly with other distributions (like Debian, Mandrake, Slackware and Ubuntu etc.) but never seen anything worth making me switch.

During a fit of idle curiosity I downloaded SUSE Linux 10.1 and installed it. Two things people often mention about SUSE are the great hardware detection and the ease of installation. I’ve never had a problem with the hardware detection using Red Hat, so I’m not in a position to comment on that, but the installation process doesn’t seem that wonderful to me. Once again, that’s not to say there is anything wrong with it, I just expected something neater and simpler than Anaconda, but what I got looked a little messier and certainly not simpler to use.

Once it was installed it was just like every other distribution, but with a different theme. Nothing to deal a knockout blow to any other distribution I’ve used.

In conclusion, I thought I would experience something better than a Red Hat offering, but I was left feeling rather apathetic about SUSE. If it was the market leader I would use it without any major complaints, but since it’s not I guess I will stick to a Red Hat clone until a new market leader is born.




I’m nearing the end of my “I wonder what RAC is like on other platforms?” phase. I ran through a basic setup of a cluster file system using OCFS2, just to prove it worked:

OCFS2 On Linux

As I say in the article, the only reason to use it as far as I can see is to provide a shared location or UTL_FILE and external table operations. I can’t see the point in using it for the OCR location or voting disk as raw devices work fine and it’s not recommended for sharing datafiles…

I guess it’s nice to know it’s there if I ever need it 🙂



ASM with ASMLib or Raw Devices?

I’ve been trying to figure out if it’s better to run ASM on Linux using ASMLib or raw devices. Some of the Oracle documentation claims ASMLib gives better performance that raw devices with 10g Release 2, while other sources claim it only affects candidate disk discovery time…

Whilst setting up a test I wrote this article:

ASM using ASMLib and Raw Devices

I’m sure the configuration information will be useful to others, but my first performance test only convinced me that using VMware on my kit at home is pointless for performance tests. You don’t say!!! 🙂



FC5 Update… Again…

Over the last few weeks I’ve received lots of comments relating to the Oracle 10gR2 on FC5 issue. Recently, most of these have been people commenting on the success of the installation. As a result, I revisited the article based on all the comments and made the following changes:

  • There was a typo on my amendment on the gennttab script. It’s now corrected.
  • I originally used the source rather than the binary of the openmotif21 package. I now use the binary.
  • I was originally installing from an early download of 10gR2, the one that extracts to give a “./db/Disk1/runInstaller” structure. I downloaded a later release that extracts to “./database/runInstaller”. I now use this later release.

I ran through the installation again this morning and it worked perfectly. I don’t know which of the three changes made the difference and to be totally frank, I don’t care. So as it stands, the installation works fine and I hope this is the last time I’ll have to use FC5.

Thanks to everyone who helped in the production of the final article. All your comments were appreciated. 🙂



PS. The document has been released, so it is now listed as a new article. You gotta laugh 🙂

10g RAC on Linux…

I spent the Bank Holiday weekend playing with 10g RAC on Linux. I don’t have a FireWire disk, and I didn’t want to destroy my NAS, so I decided to user VMware Server to fake it. That process resulted in this:

Oracle Database 10g Release 2 ( RAC Installation On CentOS 4 Using VMware Server

It’s got about 100 screen shots, so it’s a bit on the large side 🙂

I’ve been using RAC (9i and 10g) on Tru64 for a few years, but until this weekend I had never installed it on any other operating system. Suffice to say, the process is almost identical.

I suppose I should repeat the exercise on Windows 2003, but I’m not sure I can be bothered. Windows is such a drag 🙂



Fedora Core 5 (FC5) Update…

A lot has been said about Fedora Core 5 (FC5) recently, so I thought I would pull together a few things of interest.

Q. Where can you get it from?
A. Try here:

Q. What is it like?
A. I like the review by Howard Rogers.
Q. Can I install Oracle Database 10g Release 2 on it?
A. There has been a lot of hot air produced (mostly by me) this week about this question, but the answer seems to be NO! Here is a draft installation guide I wrote against a beta version of FC5, but so far I’ve had no luck getting this installation to work on the final release of FC5. I’ve decided to leave the article on my site as a testament to my failure 🙂 Please add to the comments if you have any workarounds.

Q. Can I install Oracle AS10g Release 3 on it?
A. Strangely enough, this seems to work fine. I wrote this installation guide against a beta version of FC5 and it works fine against the final release also. Miracles never cease 🙂 Of course, installing and being stable are two very different things!

Q. Can I use FC5 as a VMware Server host or client?
A. Yes you can, but it’s not exactly straight forward and reliable. The VMware forums will help you get it sorted, specifically these threads (host, client).

Q. What do you think about, FC5 Tim? (Asking yourself a question is kinda freaky :))
A. I don’t like it. My main interest is in server software and FC5 seems to break just about everything it touches, so CentOS4 (a Red Hat clone) is the obvious choice for me.

I hope this information will make life a bit quicker and easier for anyone reading.



New article and a little surprise for me…

Somebody asked me how to install Oracle9i on Red Hat 4.0, so I wrote quick how-to. Personally, I can’t see the point. Why run an old version of Oracle that requires you to make RHEL 4 think it’s RedHat 9? Each to their own I guess.

A number of bloggers have mentioned the new Oracle blogs site, so I thought I’d check it out. I was more than a little surprised when I found my blog listed there. I’m a very “off-topic” blogger and my opinion of Oracle is not always flattering. I guess I slipped through the quality control net…

Now, who do I need to bribe in order to get one of those little ACE images? 😉