Monday, August 01, 2005

Install Fest

I decided to upgrade to vmware 5.0 and reorganize my vm's. In the last couple of days I've installed and patched all of the way up 8ir3, 9ir2, 10gr1 on windows and am getting set to do 9ir1, 10gr1, 10gr2 for linux (running the linux os install right now).

I’ve decided to build a VM per database release this time and have the OS’s be as pristine as possible. Vmware 5.0 has a very nice clone with a softlink – meaning, I installed the OS once and got the settings just the way I like it and then cloned it 3 times to lay down 8i, 9i, and 10g in their own environments. Working very well for now (so far so good).

My plan with linux is to lay down Red Hat Advanced Server 3.0 and then upgrade the kernel from 2.4 to 2.6.  For this, the cloning will be a really nice feature as I’ve not upgraded a kernel myself yet so I’m’ sure it’ll take one or two tries to get it “just right”.  The reason I want to get to 2.6 is for stable USB2.0 and Firewire support on my machine at home. I’ve been itching to have a lot of disk available and the only cost effective solution for playing will be direct attach storage using one of those. I have a terabyte for $1 a gigabyte, now I just have to get it attached.

It is amazing to think that when I joined Oracle one dozen years ago (happy anniversary to me, it is twelve years ago today that I signed up), a 400 MB hard disk was considered “huge” (and huge in two ways, they were physically BIG and the storage was considered almost infinite).  One of my first benchmarks back then was a 150 GB database, that was enormous.  Things have changed for sure.  I now travel with 140 GB of storage (80 GB in the laptop, 60 GB in an external USB 2.0 powered drive that I keep my VM’s on).

I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to fill up a terabyte pretty fast playing with stuff. It’ll be nice to have almost unlimited “room” (but I’m sure it’ll feel very confining in a year or two).

One thing I did realize doing install after install (besides the fact that installing is boring… good thing I can install and do other things at the same time) is that the patch process has gotten a lot better over time.  The 8iR3 patch to – 13 manual steps, updates of the dictionary! Not pretty.  10gR1 to get to, @catpatch.sql – done. I still miss the character mode installer though.

Back to install fest – wish me luck on the kernel upgrade, not really sure how that will work out.  Testing on the VM, but my plan is to do it for real on the PowerEdge when I feel like I know what I’m doing.



Blogger Jeff Hunter said....

Happy Anniversary to you! 12 years of helping smucks like me get the most out of their technology.

You are more ambitious than I about upgrading your home stuff. I got everything (oracle, my vpn, firefox, tbird, dual displays, etc.) working on RH9 and don't want to mess with it until I have to upgrade. At least I will have done it a couple times at work before I do it at home!

Mon Aug 01, 12:30:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Jer Smith said....

Why stop at Redhat 3, Tom? Doesn't VMWare support Redhat 4? There's lots of exciting stuff there (like Java supporting the new threading libraries) and I've found it lightning fast.

But if you want to get over your upgrade fears indefinitely; try running Gentoo Linux for a while. I upgrade pieces of my system every day and live on the total bleeding edge (~x86); I haven't had any problems with it.

Hate to ask...any thought of installing "Longhorn" in a VM. :)

Mon Aug 01, 01:37:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Niall said....

jer smith said

Hate to ask...any thought of installing "Longhorn" in a VM. :) I will be doing this exact thing with the longhorn^H^H^H vista beta and a MS Virtual PC VM this week. don't know if anyone reading this will count that though.

Mon Aug 01, 03:42:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I think you might find it somewhat easier to install RHEL AS 4.0 rather than RHEL AS 3.0. AS 4.0 comes witha 2.6 kernel - not sure what kernel ABI changes happened between 2.4 and 2.6 but could cause you some problems trying to slap a 2.6 kernel on a 2.4 userspace.

Mon Aug 01, 04:28:00 PM EDT  

Blogger RAllo said....

Tom, I always wanted to ask you, do you run Linux in a VM on XP and how much memory do you allocate to you VM.
I found Oracle in a VM on on XP quite slow. Although I haven't tried yet to put the database on a shared volume. I expect better performance since it doesn't oeprate in the VMWare file.
I am current running SUSE Pro 9.3 on my Dell laptop, which is very nice and run XP in VMWare 5.0.

Mon Aug 01, 07:52:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

I always wanted to ask you, do you run Linux in a VM on XP

Yes, for all of my seminars/presentations I do that.

The setup is 512 MB ram for the linux box with a 256 MB sga. I have a hyperthreaded p4 extreme edition cpu and 2 GB of ram - and that helps.

Even running RAC (slightly larger VMs), it hums along very nicely. Would I run a big site on it? No, but for testing and demoing concepts - it is great.

Mon Aug 01, 08:09:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Mike Barrs said....


As I understand what you have written, you keep the VMs on your external USB2 HD, is this correct? If so, do you run them from there? And, what kind of performance you get vs. running from internal disk?

Mon Aug 01, 11:35:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous venkat , Bangalore, India said....

Hi Tom,
Can you guide me on what all this vmware stuff is about ? What is the advantage of that ? Any specific hardware & software you have in mind ?
Thanks, as always

Tue Aug 02, 01:49:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Leo Mannhart said....

Tom, just wanted to say "Happy Anniversary" to you also. And I would like to add a big "Thanks for all the fish".

Tue Aug 02, 05:25:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

As I understand what you have written, you keep the VMs on your external USB2 HD, is this correct

yes, I run them from there and with two disks going (internal for OS, external for application), it tends to go along a little better. USB2.0 at 480Mbs is quite speedy enough for this stuff.

what all this vmware stuff is about

for that see some of these pages

"Thanks for all the fish"

Tue Aug 02, 07:02:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Michael Dinh said....

Happy Anniversary Tom!

Hopefully you will have a few more decades to go.

Tue Aug 02, 10:54:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Tim... said....

Tom, do yourself a favour and keep a copy of all your clean VM installs. These days I've always got a clean FC3, FC4, RHEL3 and RHEL4 kept safe to reduce my startup time when testing. It's worth the *wasted* disk space :)



Tue Aug 02, 11:29:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Alberto Dell'Era said....

Happy birthday to ... remember to INSERT that date somewhere in the second edition, or we may miss this anniversary in the future ;)

Tue Aug 02, 02:48:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

I still miss the character mode installer though.

I could not agree more! There was something elegant in its simplicity.

Tue Aug 02, 02:55:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Hi Tom,
I was just curious if you had ever thought of using Centos? Supposedly just like RH EL just with all the hats taken out. I had a 10gR2 release up and running on my laptop in VM and it was working fine as far as I could tell.
Shameless Centos plug Centos
I liked the character mode installer as well. Much easier to do remote installs without VNC, etc.

Tue Aug 02, 11:05:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous richardh said....

Hi Tom,
Do I understnad you correctly, you have a hyperthreaded p4 extreme edition cpu in a laptop? I bet you don't get cold in winter :)

After all the praise, I have installed the evaluation version of VMWare, and am impressed with it.

Wed Aug 03, 03:57:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Robert said....

hmmm weird, i posted a inquiring comment Monday and it's gone <scratch head>

Wed Aug 03, 05:11:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

scratch head

scratch mine too. I have the email record of your comment:

Good luck Tom and have fun.

A few clarifications:
* Now are you going to have
"a VM per database release" on a Linux clone too or just Windows ?
* If yes, why you want each db on a separate Linux clone ?
* If yes, are you patching all Linux clones to the same codebase ?

and in fact, I followed up to it 37 minutes later:

Robert said
A few clarifications...

I think I'm going to go with a single linux workspace at this point. Without a registry and oracle home selectors and (blah blah blah), Linux is easy with multiple Oracle Homes. Windows "works" but too many gotcha's.

I think you might find it somewhat easier to install RHEL AS 4.0
I've been thinking about doing that - but, I've never built a kernel so I might do it for the fun of it (the only thing I affect is my big test machine, nothing can get seriously damaged :)

any thought of installing "Longhorn"

Nope, I have no software that would run on it :)

and both are "gone"??!? They belong right after the Mon Aug 01, 04:28:43 PM EDT posting above. I did not remove them. strange.

Wed Aug 03, 05:38:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous ika said....

I have a hyperthreaded p4 extreme edition cpu and 2 GB of ram

This is good reason for kernel upgrade to 2.6... Enjoy the 2.6 features

Fri Aug 12, 11:41:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

ika said...

I have a hyperthreaded p4

and I had a pair of them, I haven't had 2.6 on there long enough yet to say "worth the time and energy to throw out the old and in with the new" yet.

redhat 4.0 has been very nice so far, so if you were looking for an "excuse", it could be it. Much better usb and other support as well, if that is relevant to you.

Fri Aug 12, 05:24:00 PM EDT  

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