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! :)

UltraEdit for Linux/Mac v4.0 Beta II


Hot on the heels of the recent UltraEdit v19 release for Windows, comes the UltraEdit v4 Beta II release for Linux/Mac.

I’ve just started using it and so far so good. They usually progress through the betas pretty quick. I didn’t have time to install the beta I before this one dropped. :)



UltraEdit 3.3 for Mac/Linux…


I’m now rockin’ UltraEdit 3.3 on my MacBook Pro and Linux boxes at home. A previous announcement suggested by this version the Mac and Linux versions would have caught up with the Windows version from a functionality perspective. I’m not sure if that’s true, but they are close enough for me.

The latest Windows versions is 18.20, which I use at work, but home is where the real magic happens. :)




UltraEdit 3.2 on Mac and Linux…


I’m now rockin’ UltraEdit 3.2 on Mac and Linux…

This is the version that is meant to bring the Mac/Linux version in line with the Windows version as far as functionality is concerned. I’m not sure that is the case, but it’s getting ever closer. It certainly does everything I need it to do now. :)



Adventures with Dropbox and KeePass…


Thanks to Eddie Awad, I’ve been using 2-step verification on my Google account for a while. Now Jake from The Appslab has scared me into using a password manager and revamping all my passwords…

We use KeePass (on Windows) at work to hold all our passwords, so I figured I’d go with that and see how I get on. Unlike work, I want to use a single store for all my devices, so I finally found a use for my Dropbox account.

Dropbox Installations

If you don’t already have it, you need to install Dropbox on your device(s). For mobiles, that means their respective app stores. For computers (Linux, Mac and Windows), you can get it from the Dropbox website.

Shared KeePass Installation

Rather than install KeePass on each Windows/Mac/Linux machine separately, I downloaded the Portable KeePass 2.19 (ZIP Package) version of KeePass and unziped it into a “KeePass” directory inside my “Dropbox” directory. That same installation can be used on all Dropbox-enabled desktops and laptops.

KeePass Installations on Linux

  • To run KeePass under Linux, you need to install Mono. On Fedora 17 you can do this with the following command.
    # yum install mono-core mono-tools
  • Once Mono is installed, you can run KeePass with the following command.
    $ mono ~/Dropbox/KeePass/KeePass.exe
  • I created a new KeePass database and saved the “.kdbx” file in my “~/Dropbox/KeePass” directory, so it was available on all my devices..

KeePass works really well on Fedora 17 using Mono.

KeePass Installations on Android

For Android devices, I used the KeePassDroid app.

  • Install the Dropbox app if you don’t already have it. Connect to your Dropbox account and check you can see the “.kdbx” file in the “KeePass” directory.
  • Install the KeePassDroid app.
  • Open Dropbox, locate the “.kdbx” file and tap it.
  • Once the KeePassDroid app opens, check the “Use this as my default database” option, enter the password and click the “OK” key.

The KeePassDroid app works fine on my Nexus 7 and my old HTC Wildfire.

Update: Swapped my phone for a Nexus 4. Not surprisingly, the app works fine on this too. :)

KeePass Installations on iPad/iPhone

For my iPad I used the MiniKeePass app.

  • Install the MiniKeePass app and open it.
  • Hit the “i” in the bottom-middle of the screen.
  • Click the “Dropbox Import/Export” option and follow the instructions.

It’s not a thrilling app, but it does the job.

KeePass Installations on OS X

The KeePass app does not work well (see update below) under the OS X version of Mono. It’s slow and the interface is quite jerky, but you can use it.

  • Download the Mono SDK for Mac. I used the “2.10.9” stable version. When I tried to use the Mono Runtime, KeePass failed to open the database file, so definitely use the SDK. Install the Mono SDK like any other Mac package.
  • Once Mono is installed, run KeePass with the following command.
    $ mono ~/Dropbox/KeePass/KeePass.exe

If you plan to use OS X as your main platform, I would probably use a different password store until Mono on OS X becomes a little more reliable (see update below).

Update: The latest version of KeePass and Mono work pretty well, so my previous warning is not really necessary now. Remember, if you are planning to use KeePass on Mac, make sure you have the latest version of X11 and Mono (3.2.3 or later).

Update 2: I now use KeePassX2 on Mac. It’s in Beta at the moment, but I’ve been using it since the Alpha and it works fine.

So that’s it. I only have to remember my DropBox password and my KeePass password and I can now use ridiculous passwords for all my other logins…



UltraEdit 3.1 for Mac and Linux…


I’ve been using the beta versions of UltraEdit 3.1 for Mac and Linux for a while, but I only noticed today the production version has been released. I normally get email  updates, so I figure this one must have got directed to spam by accident. :(

Anyway, I’m now rockin’ the latest version on both platforms. Happy days…



AntiVirus Software and Apple Macs…


After a number of recent press stories, especially this one, I finally decided to install antivirus software on my MacBook Pro. I went for the Mac version of Sophos, which is free for home use.

My MacBook Pro is a couple of years old, has traveled the world and been on countless networks during that time. With that in mind, a virus scan revealed a grant total of zero viruses. I doubt I would be able to say that for a Windows laptop with no AV used in similar circumstances.

Although Macs are still a small percentage of the total PC market, I guess the rise in iDevices and the lack of people running AV software on Macs makes them an attractive target. Time will tell if they become the attack vectors everyone is predicting.