Archive for January, 2011

Oracle VirtualBox and Developer Days Appliance

At the start of the Christmas break I decided to get started with Oracle VirtualBox 4.0. To get up and going faster with an 11g database I opted to download the pre-made image (called appliance by Oracle) that they use during Developer Days. It has a lot of things pre installed and ready to go.

  • Oracle Enterprise Linux 5
  • Oracle Database 11g Release 2 Enterprise Edition
  • Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database Cache
  • Oracle XML DB
  • Oracle SQL Developer
  • Oracle SQL Developer Data Modeler
  • Oracle Application Express 4.0
  • Oracle JDeveloper
  • Hands-On-Labs (accessed via the Toolbar Menu in Firefox)

This is great and it is a very fast way to get up and running assuming you’re not looking to practice installing the products. It worked well, except that I had to make two tweaks to make it work.

The first is optional, but allows the linux OS to be updated with the most critical patches. The reason it is needed is that the appliance is configured to be updated from Oracle’s internal servers, which only those working inside Oracles firewall can reach. Thar will of course not work for those of us not on Oracle’s payroll.

To do this, change the directory to /etc/yum.repos.d and run this 


Now rename the file already in the directory so it ends with something other than “.repo” to disable use of it for updates and edit the contents of the downloaded file to enable those update servers you want to use. I think the following are the ones you want to enable:

  • el5_u5_base
  • el5_addons
  • el5_oracle_addons

Now the most critical updates *should* be available to install. Both via command line yum and through the GUI for the operating system.

The next problem I encountered was that the database didn’t start up and the reason seemed to have to do with the default local_listener used when starting and it’s not defined. Then it uses the hostname as part of the specification and when it was no in the hosts file it caused the database to not start up as the computer did not know the way back to itself. I’m guessing this could be solved in the VirtualBox config, but s quicker work around for me was to update the hosts file.

Edit the /etc/hosts file and change this line:               localhost.localdomain localhost

to               localhost.localdomain localhost dhcppc7

Where dhcppc7 is the name of the computer (i.e. the virtual machine). You can see the name of it by just running the command “hostname”. It may always be dhcppc7 for this appliance.

With those changes the appliance gets critical updates from the public YUM-server and the database starts when the appliance is started.