VirtualBox, Oracle 12c and Macs


Just a quick comment about something I noticed while rebuilding a test VM on my Mac. There is a long lead up to this, so bear with me…


I use VirtualBox on three different host operating systems.

Mac : My main desktop is a Mac, so most of my tests are done using Oracle 12c on Oracle Linux 6 or 7, running under VirtualBox. Most of the VMs I use are quite old, but I keep the DB and OS patched, and you know I religiously update VirtualBox. :) The point is, I rarely do fresh installations on Mac.

Linux : My big(gish) server runs Oracle Linux 6 as the host OS. If I’m doing a RAC installation, I tend to do it on this server as it is fast and has lots of separate spindles. Once again, all the database installations on this machine are done using VirtualBox VMs.

Windows 7 : At work I use Windows 7 for my desktop. I tend to test most things locally, before doing them for real. As a result, I’m often using the Oracle DB, on Oracle Linux 6 or 7, running under VirtualBox.

If you follow the blog, you will know I’ve recently released some new RAC articles. All those were done on an Oracle Linux 6 host, using VirtualBox to fire up the VMs. Everything worked fine. For one of the RAC articles, I connected to work and did a run through on my Windows PC. It worked fine, if a little slow.

So fresh installations of Oracle 12c ( worked fine on Oracle Linux 7, running under VirtualBox 5.0.4 on both a Linux and Windows host OS.

Getting to the point

The other day I started a rebuild (from scratch) of a test VM on the Mac and I ran into a few problems with the database installation and the DBCA. I added a note about them here. The interesting thing is, I used the same ISO for the Oracle Linux installation, the same zips for the Oracle DB installation and the same version of VirtualBox (5.0.4). The only difference between this and the other installations I’ve done recently is this one was using a Mac as the host. The installation and DBCA issues only happen when the host machine is a MAC.

I did a little Googling around and it seems some other people have noticed this and pointed to the switch from VirtualBox 4 to 5 as when it started. I guess I didn’t see this before as I’ve just been upgrading the existing VMs, not installing new ones.

Just thought it was worth mentioning, as other Mac users may be following my installation articles and thinking they don’t work. :)



PS. I have no idea why the Mac spin of VirtualBox causes this. I’m just a user. :)

PPS. This is not VirtualBox hate. I love it! :)

Oracle 11gR2 on Fedora 12…


I had a play around yesterday and installed Oracle 11gR2 on Fedora 12:

I think this might be the last time I install Oracle on Fedora. Why? For two reasons:

  1. When I first started doing installs on Red Hat 7 (pre Enterprise Linux) it was the only sensible choice. After the introduction of Enterprise Linux there were no free alternatives, so installing on Red Hat Linux, then Fedora Core and now Fedora seemed a viable alternative to paying for an Enterprise Linux distribution. Fast forward a few years and we have Oracle Enterprise Linux which is a supported binary clone of RHEL and most importantly it’s free, so that seems like the logical choice for testing installations.
  2. When I started doing these installations I had to swap hard drives, so having an installation that ran on my Linux desktop was import to me. Once again, fast forward a few years and I never run Oracle directly on my desktop or laptop OS. I always use a Virtual Machine and install Oracle on Oracle Enterprise Linux. Since there are a number of free virtualization products available, there really is no barrier to entry here also.

So why did I bother with this installation? It seems that Fedora12 will likely be the base which RHEL6 is built on, so it is mildly more interesting to me that previous Fedora releases.

Anyway, the articles are there, but do I care about them? No. I’ve always said I write about what interests me and Fedora (or any other Distro for that matter) are completely irrelevant to me now. I see no point in installing Oracle on anything other than RHEL, and really by that I mean Oracle Enterprise Linux, so that is likely to be what I do from now on. Of course, you should never say never. :)

For those people banging their heads against a brick wall trying to install Oracle on unsupported distributions, I say download a free virtualization product (VMware Server or VirtualBox) and use it to install Oracle Enterprise Linux and use that for all your future Oracle installs. It’s free and easy.