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Oracle® Universal Installer Concepts Guide
10g Release 1 (10.1)

Part Number B12140-01
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4 Customizing and Creating Response Files

This chapter introduces you to Oracle Universal Installer's use of response files for silent and suppressed installation. This chapter also describes how to modify or create a response file so you can customize and standardize the installation of Oracle products in your organization.

This chapter is organized into the following sections:

About Response Files

This section answers the following questions:

What Is a Silent Installation?

A silent installation runs in the background and does not require input from the user. The interactive dialogs normally seen by the user are not displayed.

Instead of prompting the user to select a series of installation options, OUI installs the software using a pre-defined set of options stored in a response file or passed on the command line.

What Is a Response File?

A response file is a specifications file containing information normally provided by the user through the OUI user interface during an interactive installation session. Each answer is stored as a value for a variable identified in the response file.

For example, values for Oracle home or install type can be set automatically within the response file.

The response file template for the installation of your product can be found on your stage (CD-ROM) under the <root of CD>/response directory. For example:



Check the installation guide for the product that you are installing to get the correct list of required files.

Why Perform a Silent Installation?

Silent installations can be useful if you have to install an Oracle product multiple times on multiple computers. If the options you select while installing on each computer are always the same, you save the time of reviewing each installation screen and selecting the various installation options.

Silent installations can also ensure that multiple users in your organization use the same installation options when they install your Oracle products. This makes supporting those users easier because you already know what components and options have been installed on each computer.

Before you perform a silent installation, you should review the settings in the response file template provided with your Oracle product.


If you attempt to perform a silent installation on a UNIX computer where no Oracle products have been installed, OUI uses the default inventory location, then prompts you to run the script with root privileges upon successful installation. The script is is saved in the /oraInventory directory. This script sets up the central inventory on a clean machine.

Refer to "About the OUI Inventory" for more information on the centralized inventory.

The rest of this chapter describes the various parameters and settings you can modify within an OUI response file.

Modifying a Response File

If your product installation includes a response file template, you can find it on your stage (CD-ROM) under the <root of CD>/response directory.

If your product installation does not include a response file template, you can create a response file based on the installation options you select. Refer to "Creating a Response File With Record Mode" for more information.

To modify the response file:

  1. Make a copy of the product's response file and open it in a text editor.

  2. Review any information provided in the response file or in the product installation guide.

    Many software products use settings in the response file to customize the installation of their particular product. Refer to the response file template for suggestions or guidelines on how to set up the file for your installation.

  3. Get familiar with the organization and content of the response file using the information in the section "Response File Format".

  4. Modify the response file to meet the needs of your organization and save the modified version.

  5. See the section "Installing Using a Response File" for information on starting OUI using your modified response file.

Creating a Response File With Record Mode

You can create a new response file, based on the installation options you select, by using OUI's record mode.

When you use record mode, OUI records the installation session into a response file. You specify the name of the response file on the command line. The recorded response file is generated immediately after the Summary page, so you don't need to actually install your Oracle product to create the response file.

In other words, you can start the installation in Record mode and proceed through the installation options until you get to the Summary page. On the Summary Page, click Exit to stop the installation from proceeding with the installation. However, all the options you selected will be saved in the resulting response file.

You can use the newly created response file to run identical installation sessions on other computers in your organization.

Record mode can be also used during a silent installation. In those cases, the variable values specified in the original source response file will be recorded into the new response file.

The following sections describe how to use record mode on Windows and UNIX systems.

Using Record Mode

To record a new response file:

  1. At the command prompt, use the cd command to change to the directory that contains the OUI executable file (setup.exe or for your installation.

  2. Enter the following command:

    setup -record -destinationFile <response_file_name> (on Windows)
    ./runInstaller -record -destinationFile <response_file_name> (on UNIX)

    Replace the <response_file_name> with the complete path for the new response file. For example:

    setup -record -destinationFile C:\response_files\install_oracle910 (on Windows)
    ./runInstaller -record -destinationFile /private/temp/install_oracle91.rsp (on UNIX)
  3. Use the OUI user interface to select your installation options. These will be recorded.

    When OUI displays the Summary page, you can either continue with the installation or exit.

    OUI saves your new response file using the path and file name you specified on the command line.

Response File Format

The following sections describe the organization and content of an OUI response file.

Variable Values

This section contains information on how variables are populated with values.

Variable Lookup Order

All variable values within a response file are in the name-value format. If two components have a variable with the same name, then the expression should be written as follows to preserve each variable's uniqueness:


If there are two components with the same internal name, but different versions, the ambiguitiy is resolved by specifying the expression as follows:


OUI looks for command line variables in the following order:


If command line variables are not found, then OUI looks for variables in the response file in the same order:



OUI treats incorrect context, format, or type values within a response file as if no value were specified.

Setting the Recommendation Value

Values for variables are specified as:

<variable> = <recommendation> : <value>

The values that are given as <value_required> must be specified for a silent installation to be successful.

To specify a default value, specify the value as:

<variable> = <default> : <value>

For values that are given as <value_unspecified>, you may optionally specify a value, where <value> can be one of the following types listed in Table 4-1.

Table 4-1 Variable Types and Representations

Type Representation
Number 10
Boolean TRUE or FALSE (case insensitive)
String "Value"
String List {"value1", "value2"}

The <recommendation> parameter can be specified as Forced or Default.

  • If you specify Forced, no dialog appears during installation. The value is automatically used. The user does not have the option to change the value.

  • If you specify Default, the dialog appears during installation with the value as the default. The user has the option to choose another value.

  • If nothing is specified for <recommendation>, Forced is used as the default.

The format is shown in the following example:



Comments begin with a "#" (hash or pound) symbol. They contain information about the type of the variable, state whether the variable appears in dialog, and describe the function of the variable. A variable and a value are associated with a comment.

For example:

#TopLevelComponent;StringList;Used in Dialog
TopLevelComponent={"Demo", "1.0"}


The header is a comment that describes the different formats and comment conventions used in a response file.

For example:

#Parameter : UNIX_GROUP_NAME
#Type : String
#Description : UNIX group to be set for the inventory directory.
#Valid only on UNIX platforms.
#Example : UNIX_GROUP_NAME = "install"
UNIX_GROUP_NAME=<Value Unspecified>

Response File Parameters

The following are parameters for Oracle Universal Installer. All products installed using OUI will have these parameters, in addition to product-specific variables.


This parameter specifies the list of response files to be included in this response file. If you want to include other response files in your main response file, you must use this parameter. Note that the values in the main response file take priority over the included response files.


You should specify the absolute path in the INCLUDE statement for each response file to be included. If you wish to specify a relative path, note that the location is relative to the current working directory (the location of the oraparam.ini file).


This parameter specifies the version number of the response file.

RESPONSEFILE_VERSION = <version_number>

The location of the source of the products to be installed. The default generated value for this parameter is a path relative to the location of the runInstaller file. Relative paths are necessary for shared response files used by multiple users over a network. Since people may be mapping to different drives, absolute paths will not work for shared response files.


  • You must enter a value for FROM_LOCATION for a complete silent install. You may want to use the command line to set this parameter. If the location is a relative path, remember that the path should be relative to the location of the oraparam.ini file.

  • Make sure that the /var/opt/oracle/oraInst.loc exists. The response file for UNIX has a public variable, setunixinstallgroup, that only takes effect when it is the first OUI installation and the oraInst.loc file is not already present in /var/opt/oracle.


This parameter is used in multiple-CD installations. It includes the label of the compact disk where the file products.jar exists. The label can be found in the disk.label file in the same directory as products.jar.


Complete path to other disks.


If there are more than two disks, more variables will be added as LOCATION_FOR_DISK3, and so on.

The CD location for a silent installation is located by two mechanisms:

  1. OUI looks for the Location_For_Disk{DiskNumber} variable in the response file and uses that location.

  2. If the variable does not have a value or does not have the required files, it will look for the components under ../../Disk{DiskNumber}/stage (from products.jar).

    Therefore, you can either specify the location to look for it in the response file or you can copy them into the disk. For example:


Set this boolean variable to TRUE if you want to restart the system without the user's confirmation. This is the force value for restarting the system.


Set this boolean variable to TRUE if the installer needs to go to the File Locations page for another installation or to another response file if you are performing a silent installation.


Set this boolean variable to TRUE to allows users to invoke another installation session even if the current installation session fails. This variable is used only if the NEXT_SESSION variable is set to TRUE.


Use this string variable to enter the complete path of the next session's response file if you want to automatically begin another silent installation when the current installation is complete. If you specify only a file name, the Installer looks for the response file in the <TEMP>/orainstall directory. This variable is only used if NEXT_SESSION is set to TRUE; otherwise, OUI ignores the value of this variable.


The location where products are to be installed. You must enter a value for ORACLE_HOME for a complete silent install.


The name of the current Oracle home name. You must enter a value for ORACLE_HOME_NAME for a complete silent install.


The location page, which appears in a custom install type, can be suppressed by setting this value to FALSE. If you set the value to FALSE, the user is prevented from specifying alternate directories. If there are products with installed directories which can be changed, you may want to set the value to TRUE.


Set SHOW_CUSTOM_TREE_PAGE to TRUE if the custom tree page in the installer must be shown. In the Custom Tree page, dependencies can be selected or de-selected. This page appears only in a custom install type.


The install success/failure page, which appears at the end of an installation, can be suppressed by setting this value to FALSE.


Set to TRUE if the confirmation when exiting the installer needs to be shown.


The install progress page, which appears during the install phase, can be suppressed by setting the value to FALSE.


Set to TRUE if the Optional Configuration Tools page in the installer must be shown. The Optional Configuration Tools page shows the list of optional configuration tools that are part of this installation and the status of each tool, including detailed information on why the tool has failed.


Set to TRUE if the Confirmation dialog asking to run the script in the installer needs to be shown. This variable is valid only on UNIX platforms.


Set to TRUE if the initial splash screen in the installer needs to be shown.


The summary page can be suppressed by setting this value to FALSE.


Set to TRUE if the Welcome page in the installer needs to be shown.


Set this parameter to TRUE if you want the release notes for this installation to be shown at the end of the installation. A dialog box lists the available release notes. Note that the SHOW_END_SESSION parameter must be set to TRUE before you can use this parameter.


The name of the component (products) and the version as string list. You must enter a value for TOPLEVEL_COMPONENT.

Usually the components are represented with a pair of strings: the first one representing the internal name, the second representing the version.

For example, RDBMS 9.2. may be represented as {"oracle.rdbms",""}.


The UNIX group name to be set for the inventory in UNIX platforms.

Note: The UNIX group name is used for first-time installations only.


Use this parameter to identify the Oracle homes you wish to remove from the inventory during a deinstallation session. For each home, specify the home name, using full path information.


Use this parameter to enter a list of components to be deinstalled during a silent deinstall session. For each component, specify the internal component name and version.


Set this parameter to FALSE if you want to hide the deinstall confirmation dialog box during a silent deinstallation.


Set this parameter to FALSE if you want to hide the deinstallation progress dialog box during a silent deinstallation.


The DEPENDENCY_LIST is the list of dependees on which the component depends. These dependee components represents the list of components that appear as "selected" during installation. Following is a list of some of this parameter's characteristics:

  • The DEPENDENCY_LIST variable is only generated when dependencies are present and if the dependency is not a required one.

  • You cannot list components to appear as de-selected items in a dialog.

  • Specifying required dependees is redundant since they will be selected anyway. The dependees selection can have the other two types of dependees: optional and one-or-more.

  • The list of components is specified by an internal name and version number.

A typical example is shown below:


This parameter lists the nodes on the cluster on which to install during a silent installation. OUI will install on all named nodes.

CLUSTER_NODES={"alpha-1", "alpha-2"}

While all the required configuration tools are launched by the installer, you can control the configuration tools you would want to launch by specifying the tool's internal names in the OPTIONAL_CONFIG_TOOLS section.


The OPTIONAL_CONFIG_TOOLS variable is only generated when at least one optional configuration tool is available.

You can specify both the Auto-launch optional tools and User-launch optional tools in a string list.

#Example : OPTIONAL_CONFIG_TOOLS = {"configtool2 ", "configtool3"}

If no value is specified for this variable, then all the tools are run by default.

If there is a value specified, then only those tools are run while the rest of the tools are ignored.

The way to suppress the configuration tool is to mention only the tools that you want to run as part of the OPTIONAL_CONFIG_TOOLS variable added per component. You should use the internal names of the configuration tool. The response file generator generates these internal names also as part of the options given for the variable.

For example, if oracle.server has Tool1 and Tool2 and you want to run only Tool1 in the response file, you mention it as follows:


You can set the install type variable to determine the install type of the currently selected top level component.

The install type variable is only generated for the top level components and only when there are more than one install type available.


You must enter a value for INSTALL_TYPE.


You can set the languages in which the components will be installed. You must use the internal name while specifying the value:

en,   : English
fr,   : French
de,   : German
ja,   : Japanese

For example, to specify Japanese:


For more information on the languages OUI supports, refer to "Product Language Selections".


The SELECTED_LANGUAGES variable is only generated when more than one language is available.


Set this Boolean variable to TRUE if you agree with the license agreement. This parameter requires you to set this variable to TRUE to indicate your acceptance of the license agreement normally accepted in the GUI. This variable is used only in silent installations. Installation cannot continue until this variable is set to TRUE.

Installing Using a Response File

Many Oracle software products provide tools and procedures for running OUI from the command line without displaying OUI screens or responding to questions during the installation.

These are called silent installations. Instead of prompting you to select a series of installation options, OUI installs the software using a predefined set of options. These options are stored in a response file (.rsp).

Consider the following information about response files:

The following sections describe how to specify a response file when you start OUI.


If you attempt to perform a silent installation on a UNIX computer where no Oracle products have been installed, you will get an error message. Before you can perform a silent installation on such a computer, you must first run the script, which is saved in the /oraInventory directory. You must run this script with root privileges. This enables OUI to set up the central inventory on a clean machine.

Refer to "About the OUI Inventory" for more information on the centralized inventory.

Specifying a Response File

To start OUI and specify the response file, enter the following command at the command line in the directory where the executable file is installed:

setup.exe -responseFile <filename> <optional_parameters> (on Windows)
./runInstaller -responseFile <filename> <optional_parameters> (on UNIX)


You must specify the complete responseFile path. If you do not, OUI assumes the location to be relative to the oraparam.ini associated with the OUI launched.

For help on command line usage, enter the following at the command line in the directory where the executable file is stored:

setup -help (on Windows)
./runInstaller -help (on UNIX)

Optional Parameters When Specifying a Response File

Optional parameters you may use with the -responseFile flag are:


Use the -nowelcome flag along with the -responseFile flag to suppress the Welcome dialog that appears during installation.

Use the -silent flag along with the -responseFile flag to run OUI in complete silent mode. Note that the Welcome dialog is suppressed automatically.

Use the -fromCluster flag for clusterware installations to specify the cluster.

Note that when the -silent flag is specified and there are no values specified to a particular variable in a dialog, then the installer will abort. The success or failure of the installation, when this flag is specified, is generated:

  • In a file named silentInstall<timestamp>.log for machines without an Oracle inventory. This file will be generated in the /tmp directory in UNIX and the directory specified by the variable TEMP in Windows platforms.

  • In the inventory logs directory for machines that already had an inventory.


    Using the -nowelcome option with the -silent option is unnecessary since the Welcome screen does not appear when you use the -silent option.

Setting Response File Variables From the Command Line

With OUI 2.1 and higher, you can specify the value of certain variables when you start OUI from the command line. Specifically, you can specify session and component variables. For specific information about the format and organization of response files, see "Modifying a Response File".

When you specify the value of a variable on the command line, that value overrides the value of the variable if it is defined in the response file.

Specifying the Value of a Session Variable

To specify the value of a session variable, use the following command syntax:

./runInstaller session:<variable_name>=<value> (on UNIX)
setup.exe session:<variable_name>=<value> (on Windows)

For example, to prevent the Universal Welcome page from displaying:

./runInstaller session:SHOW_WELCOME_PAGE=false (on UNIX)
setup.exe session:SHOW_WELCOME_PAGE=false (on Windows)

Note that the "session:" tag is optional and is used mainly to remove any possible ambiguity.

Specifying the Value of a Component Variable

To specify the value of a component variable, use the following command syntax:

./runInstaller <component_name>:<component_version>:<variable_name>=<value> (on UNIX)
setup.exe <component_name>:<component_version>:<variable_name>=<value> (on Windows)

For example, to modify the value of a the variable VAR1 in version 1.1 of a component called COMP2:

./runInstaller COMP2_1.1_VAR1="test" (on UNIX)
setup.exe COMP2_1.1_VAR1="test" (on Windows)

Note that the "<component_name>:" and "<component_version>:" tags are optional and are used mainly to remove any possible ambiguity. If there are two variables with the same name for different components/versions, then use these tags to distinguish between them.