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2. Getting started

2.1 Downloading Oracle 9i database

Obtaining a copy of the Oracle 9i database is easy. Just go to the Oracle web site, click on Download and follow the path based on the distribution. There are few pages you must read before you get to the download links. These pages contain copyright and agreement information, which I suggest you read carefully. All the other information is just statistics. If you are not a member, you have to register on the Oracle web site to be granted access to any distribution, which can be downloaded for free.

The server distributions are in 3 files, named something like:

Other versions might have different names, but the installation could be considered similar.

According to Oracle's installation instructions there are 2 sources, that can be used - CDs and Hard Disk Installation. I used the first one. Downloading the distribution files and creating the CDs (see next item) is a time consuming operation, so arm yourself with patience. This will also require a lot of hard disk space. The 3 distribution files are around 1.5 GB. You will need as much as 3 times this space if you intend to keep the archives, the directories and CD images on your hard disk until you are sure that the CDs are created correctly.

Assuming that you are in the directory where the distributions are downloaded, execute the following with all 3 distribution files from a shell:

gunzip lnx_920_disk1.cpio.gz
cpio -idmv < lnx_920_disk1.cpio

These commands will create 3 directories, called Disk1, Disk2 and Disk3.

2.2 Creating the CDs

Writing information to CD in Linux is covered completely in CD-Writing-HOWTO, so the following will be only specific steps for the Oracle distributions.

Creating the CD images

The first step is to create the CD images for the 3 CDs of the Oracle distribution. Just execute the following sequence for all 3 directories, changing the filenames and directory names for each command:

mkisofs -r -o ora9id1.iso Disk1/

This will create 3 ISO CD images, which will be used further in the installation process. The command may generate a lot of warnings for name substitutions. Don't worry. The images will contain the correct directory tree information. To check if this is true, mount the images to a directory by using the loopback device (your kernel should support loopback devices to perform this test) as described in CD-Writing-HOWTO:

mount -t iso9660 -o ro,loop=/dev/loop0 cd_image mount_dir

where cd_image is your resulting CD image from the mkisofs command. After mounting, you can change directory and check the mounted directory tree to ensure it looks okay. If everything is fine, you can move to the next step.

Burning the CDs

Burning the CD images on CDs can be done with any command line or GUI program that uses ISO CD images to create CDs. See CD-Writing-HOWTO for details. Make sure however, that after burning the CDs they contain exactly the same directory trees as directories Disk1, Disk2 and Disk3. This can be done by mounting the new CDs and using whatever means you find convenient to walk through the directory tree. The images can be written on any CD writer or computer, using any software that will support CD writing from ISO images.

The mkisofs command may generate empty directories in the root directory of the CD image itself. These are not a problem for the installation contents. Just disregard them.

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