Geeky Project Part 1: Create a WebCenter VM

November 23rd, 2009 8 Comments

Tux in armorI’ve managed to collect a handful of geeky projects lately.

First, my move to Ubuntu 9.10 got fast-tracked. After the rocky move from 8.10 to 9.04, I figured I’d wait a bit on Karmic.

But, last week, my drive filled up due to my backup package erroneously writing backups locally instead of to my backup drive, which in turn caused all kinds of issues with my user account, totally borking up the OS.

So, I figured since I had to rebuild anyway, why not try Karmic? The biggest hurdle (and a deal-breaker) is the ability to connect to our VPN servers, which is always an adventure on Linux. Stay tuned for more.

Second, last week brought more details about Chrome OS and the release of the Chromium OS code, which is available as a VM.

If you read here, you’ll know I love mucking around with new OSes on VMs. It’s a geeky pursuit. So, I’ve set that vmdk aside to test drive at some point.

And finally, I thought it might be a good learning exercise to build a VM with the newly-released WebCenter 11gR1 Patch Set 1 on it. Since we’re relatively new to WebCenter, this would be a great exercise for me, and I figured blogging it would provide a resource for others out there who are interested.

Plus, the VM approach provides another option for testing out WebCenter. The others, if you’re keeping score at home are: 1) download and 2) sign up to test drive the hosted version.Anyway, rather than blog a single monster post on the process, I figured I’d work on it parts as I make progress, and over the weekend, I laid the groundwork by building an VM with Enterprise Linux 5, or OEL 5 as it’s affectionately called around here.

Incidentally, how did we ever survive without VMs? In the bad old days, installing a new OS was such a chore, but now, it’s a breeze. Ah, technology.

Anyway, I downloaded the OEL 5 update 4 ISO from eDelivery first and off I went.

My VM software of choice is VirtualBox. I’ve tried VMWare, but I prefer VBox. It’s simple to use, and the machines are a single file vs. a bunch of smaller ones in VMWare.

If you’re wondering why I don’t use Oracle VM, it’s because there’s no Mac version.

Anyway, creating the VM and its hard drive was a snap. I chose Red Hat as the Linux distro, not that it matters really, but that was the closest choice in the list. I also allocated 100 GB to the dynamic disk image, which should be enough for OEL and eventually WebCenter.

The first real step was to install OEL by booting the VM to the ISO file.

Boot the VM with the ISO fileThe process for installing OEL was very staightforward. I found this post detailing the OEL 5 install process by friend of the ‘Lab Tim Hall after I finished installing. He investigates several options that I didn’t need, so check out his tutorial for more.

After completing the two-part install process, I was ready to login.

OEL 5 login screenThe first thing I do with any new VBox VM is install the VirtualBox add-ons, which allow you to do critical things like resize the VM’s window, mouse in and out of the VM without using the host key, share a clipboard between guest and host machines, share folders between guest and host, etc.

For Linux guests you choose the Install Guest Additions from the Devices menu, which mounts a CD in the VM with scripts for installing.

Install Guest Additions

Typically, you sudo and run the script appropriate script, which is where I hit my first speedbump. Unlike Ubuntu, which gives sudo to admin users by default, OEL requires you to add them to /etc/sudoers. If you’re not on the list and you try to sudo, you’ll get an ominous error that your attempt has been reported.

This isn’t an OEL thing, by the way. I think it’s common to all Red Hat-based distros.

Anyway, I followed this guide to add users to /etc/sudo, with one exception: I used gedit (I’m not as hardcore as Rich).

Changes to /etc/sudoersMaybe not the best security policy, but I don’t want to have any privileges issues later.

Anyway, I should be able to just run the script now, right? Not so much.

Trying to get the add-ons installedOK, not to worry, I found some help here, and it looks like I’m good to go until I hit the dkms and gcc packages, which are required for me (I checked):

Maybe I'm exempt . . . noSo, after eating up a few weekend hours, I decided to give it a rest. So, today I’m searching for a way to get the yum repositories configured. It’s easy if you have a CSI, but as an employee, I don’t.

There are OEL repositories inside the firewall I could use (and might have to), but for now, I’m trying to replicate what it would be like to build this VM outside the firewall. So, stay tuned for the next installment, which I hope will take us a bit farther down the path.

Thoughts? Ideas? Areas where I screwed up and need assistance?

Find the comments.


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8 Responses to “Geeky Project Part 1: Create a WebCenter VM”

  1. jpiwowar Says:

    I might be missing something, but gcc should be included in the OEL distro. Is this just a version mismatch, or a missing PATH entry? After that, if dkms isn't included in OEL, you could build from source: http://linux.dell.com/dkms/

    >If you’re wondering why I don’t use Oracle VM, it’s because there’s no Mac version.

    The other knock on Oracle VM for desktop sandboxes (for me, anyway, with my single-machine lifestyle) is that whole “install from bare metal” thing. :-)

  2. Jean-Marc Says:

    For a public YUM Server please check http://public-yum.oracle.com/

  3. Jake Says:

    You might be right, but I didn't investigate that far. I got public-yum.oracle.com working today and got the add-ons installed. More later today.

    Not sure what you mean by “install from bare metal”, care to clarify?

  4. Jake Says:

    Thanks for the tip. I got the same tip from someone internally over the weekend and got it up and running right after I blogged this.

  5. jpiwowar Says:

    By “from bare metal,” I just meant that the Oracle VM is installed directly on your hardware, with no host OS as an intermediary. Which is fine; it's an enterprise-class virtualization product (e.g. VMware ESX Server) not a desktop virtualization product (VMware Workstation/Fusion). I guess it might be possible to dual-boot ones workstation and have Oracle VM be one of the boot options, but I don't know for sure.

  6. Jake Says:

    I did not know that about Oracle VM, and this is not the first time I've been educated about Oracle products by a customer :) Having lived most of my Oracle life way above the hardware in apps-land, I am painfully ignorant of what goes on in the lower tiers. I fear my recent move down the stack has exposed this :(

  7. jpiwowar Says:

    By “from bare metal,” I just meant that the Oracle VM is installed directly on your hardware, with no host OS as an intermediary. Which is fine; it's an enterprise-class virtualization product (e.g. VMware ESX Server) not a desktop virtualization product (VMware Workstation/Fusion). I guess it might be possible to dual-boot ones workstation and have Oracle VM be one of the boot options, but I don't know for sure.

  8. Jake Says:

    I did not know that about Oracle VM, and this is not the first time I've been educated about Oracle products by a customer :) Having lived most of my Oracle life way above the hardware in apps-land, I am painfully ignorant of what goes on in the lower tiers. I fear my recent move down the stack has exposed this :(

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