Tactical Technical Strike

Musings, Thoughts, Notes, & a brain dump of what I come across

Manage Oracle applications without using the oracle user for Linux

Posted on | March 25, 2010 | No Comments

Oracle Express Edition is available for linux (x86 architecture) and pretty darn awesome. What better to have on your development *Nix box than a somewhat true to production dbms system as well? I clearly use postgres and mysql as much as the next guy, but when doing things for my day job, Oracle still rules the roost, and you don’t have many free software options as alternatives (the government loves to pay those expensive per-processor licenses).

So anyway, I did the long song and dance of installing Oracle Express edition and got it up and running, but still had some nagging concerns. First, it’s a pain to have to switch to the oracle user just to start Oracle and how out-of-place it installs the oracle files. Well, it turns out issue #2 appeared from and center when fixing issue #1.

To use a non-oracle user to manage oracle, most of the documentation online says you just have to add this user to the “dba” system group. Sounds easy enough, but that wasn’t enough for me. It seems that the listener still wouldn’t start (using lsnrctl start), After reading the errors, and exploring the file system, it turns out that while the DBA group is the “group-owner” of all the oracle files and directories, the dba group only has Read and Execute permissions over the files. That means when writing to the log files, which are thrown into the oracle directory system INSTEAD of /var/log, the non-oracle user can’t write.

The Solution: Just change the permissions on the network/listener logging folder[1]. I allowed the Oracle user (owner) and the DBA group (group-owner) to have write permissions, and viola!, my non-oracle user could not start and properly execute oracle management tasks.

References:
[1] The network logging location: /usr/lib/oracle/xe/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/server/network/log

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