16 Feb 2009

Oracle XE on Ubuntu/debian

Posted by ged

Since I need to develop an application on Oracle, I tried to install Oracle XE on my laptop. Their installation process is quite straightforward, though after you configure it once through their “installer”, you can’t reconfigure it through it. The installation went smoothly (or so I thought):

Starting Oracle Net Listener...Done
Configuring Database...Done
Starting Oracle Database 10g Express Edition Instance...Done Installation Completed Successfully.
To access the Database Home Page go to ""

except that accessing the “database homepage” (a local webserver provided by the database server so that you can easily interact with it) wouldn’t work.

After a lot of digging around, I discovered that the “listener” was failing to start (the above message doesn’t really look like anything failed), and got at the error message in
/usr/lib/oracle/xe/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/server/network/log/listener.log (logging to /var/log would have been far too obvious).

TNS-12555: TNS:permission denied
TNS-12560: TNS:protocol adapter error
TNS-00525: Insufficient privilege for operation
Linux Error: 1: Operation not permitted

And the cause of this failure was that I had already installed oracle XE on this machine a few months ago, and if you uninstall (purge) the package it seems like it leaves some junk in /var/tmp/.oracle

This caused the sEXTPROC_FOR_XE file in that directory (left from my previous installation) to have a bad user/group. Thanks to Oracle for their very clear error messages…

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