Oracle Universal Installer Concepts Guide
Release 2.0.1

Part Number A88812-01
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Silent Install Using Response Files

This chapter presents an overview of how to use a response file for silent installations.


Silent install is recommended when no user interaction is intended or if non-graphical terminals are used for installation.

You can customize an installation by supplying a response file to the Oracle Universal Installer. A response file contains answers to dialogs that otherwise would be provided by the user in an interactive installation session. Response files provide values for variables which are used in the component installation definition. For example, values for Oracle home or Install Type can be set automatically using a response file. For more information on variables, refer to the Oracle Software Packager User's Guide.

When a variable is initialized, the Oracle Universal Installer reads the response file to see if a value has been assigned for the variable. If a value is assigned, this value is used for the variable.

Response file templates are generated when building an installation using Oracle Software Packager during the Stage Verification Phase. 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. Response files can then be modified by end-users to customize an installation to suppress some or all installation dialogs.

Refer to "Sample Response File" on page A-1 for a sample response file.

Response File Format

Before you attempt to modify a response file, you should understand the organization of information within the file and the types of information included within each section of the file.

How a Response File is Organized

Response files are divided into sections. Each section has a specific purpose and specific keywords and variables you can define.

Sections of a Response File

Each section of a response file begins with a line, in brackets, that specifies the section name.

For example: [GENERAL] for the General Section, [INCLUDE] for the Include section, and [Session] for the Session section.

Response File Sections  Function 


The General Section contains the version number of the response file. 


The Include section contains a list of response files that are included in this response file. Refer to the "Include Section of the Response File" on page 3-4 for more information. 


The Sessions section lists various dialogs of the Oracle Universal Installer. 


Component sections define public variables. They can also define installer variables. 

Values Within a Section

Values for variables are specified as <name> = <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 <name> = <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 below:

Type  Represented As 




true or false (either case can be used) 



String List 

{"value1", "value2"} 

<recommendation> 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.

For example of the format of values is shown below: InstallType=Default:"Minimum"

Comments Within a Section

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"}

Headers Within a Section

The header is a comment which 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 in 
Unix platforms.
#Example : UNIX_GROUP_NAME = "install"
UNIX_GROUP_NAME=<Value Unspecified>

General Section of the Response File

A General section appears in the beginning of a response file, providing the version number of the response file. There is only one General section per response file.

The General Section consists of the following variables

RESPONSEFILE_VERSION = <version_number>

Include Section of the Response File

The Include section is not automatically generated when you create a response file. If you want to include other response files in your main response file, you must add an Include section with a list of response files.

For example:


The values in the main response file take priority over the included response files.


Ensure that the [session] section is in the included file. The Oracle Universal Installer ignores any values that are assigned outside of a section. 

Session Section of the Response File

The Sessions section lists pre-defined (generic) dialogs of the Oracle Universal Installer and shows whether the dialogs are visible to the user.

The dialog appears if the value is set to true. The dialog does not appear if its value is set to false.

An example is shown below:


The install progress page will be shown during installation.

The Sessions section also lists global variables that are set during one installation session (from the start of the installation to the end of installation). These variables include top level component, languages, and others.

Currently, the following variables are generated under the Sessions section.


"From" Location in the installer. The location of the source of the products to be installed.

Note: You must enter a value for FROM_LOCATION for a complete silent install.


FROM_LOCATION_CD_LABEL is used in multi-CD installations. It includes the label of the Compact Disk where the file "products.jar" exists. The label can be found in the file "disk.label" in the same directory as "products.jar".


Complete path to other disks.

For example: LOCATION_FOR_DISK2 = "..\..\Disk2"


If there are more than two disks, the above variable will be repeated as LOCATION_FOR_DISK3 and so on.

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

  1. The Oracle Universal Installer 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{DiskNumer}/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 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.

Example: NEXT_SESSION = true


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

Example: NEXT_SESSION_ON_FAIL = 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, the Installer ignores the value of this variable.

Example: NEXT_SESSION_RESPONSE="/private/usr2/nextinstall.rsp"


"To" Location in the installer 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 for Win32 platforms.

Note: 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 unselected. 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 Required Configuration Tools page in the installer must be shown. The Required Configuration Tools page shows the list of required configuration tools that are part of the 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.

Example: SHOW_SPLASH_SCREEN = true


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.

Example: SHOW_WELCOME_PAGE = false


The name of the component (products) and the version as string list.

Note: 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 and the second representing the version.

For example, rdbms 8.1.5 is 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.

Components Section of the Response File

The remaining sections in the response file are component sections, which are identified by a component's internal name and version.

In order to find a value for a variable, the Oracle Universal Installer looks under the appropriate component section to which the variable belongs.

A typical example of a component section is shown below:



Ensure that the /var/opt/oracle/oraInst.loc exists. The response file for Unix has a public variable, setunixinstallgroup, which only takes effect when it is the first Oracle Universal Installer installation and the oraInst.loc file is not already present in /var/opt/oracle.  

Apart from the public variables defined in a component, each component can define the installer variables listed below:


The DEPENDENCY_LIST is the list of dependees on which the component depends on. These dependee components represents the list of components that appear as "selected" during installation.

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. The selection is always defaultSelection (user specified selection in Oracle Software packager) or present in (DEPENDECY_LIST).

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

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

A typical example is shown below:



The PROD_HOME is the product location of the component on the target machine.

If you have an Oracle home component, the path specified must be in the Oracle home.

Note: The PROD_HOME variable is only used for non-Oracle Home components.


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.

Note: 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, oracle.server has tool1 and tool2 and you want to run only tool1 in the response file, you metion 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.

Note: 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: COMPONENT_LANGUAGES = {"en"}

Note: the COMPONENT_LANGUAGES variable is only generated when more than one is available.

Specifying a Response File for the Oracle Universal Installer

To enable the Oracle Universal Installer to use the Response file, at the command prompt, type in the command to invoke the installer and specify the response file as a parameter: -responseFile <filename>.

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 the Universal Installer in complete silent mode. Note that the Welcome dialog is suppressed automatically.

Note that when the -silent flag is specified to the Universal Installer and if 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 called silentInstall.log. This file will be generated in the /tmp directory in Solaris and the directory specified by the variable TEMP in Win32 platforms.

To start Oracle Universal Installer and specify the response file on Windows NT, enter the following command at the command line in the directory where the Universal Installer is installed:

setup.exe -responseFile <filename> -silent


setup.exe -responseFile <filename> -nowelcome

On Solaris, enter the following command at the command line in the directory where the Universal Installer is installed:

runInstaller -responseFile <filename> -silent


runInstaller -responseFile <filename> -nowelcome


You must specify the complete responseFile path. 


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

Silent Install When Using Character Mode Consoles

When character mode consoles are used, Oracle recommends that you use the silent install, which is available with 8.1.5 and 8.1.6. Most (if not all) UNIX systems have the X packages by default. No additional installation is required.

In 8.1.5 and 8.1.6 versions of the Oracle Universal Installer, the Database Configuration Assistant and Net8 Configuration Assistant require that the X software runs. They all instantiate some GUI classes, but no GUI needs to be displayed if you running in silent mode. An installation can be run from a console (non-X-Window system or a telnet/dial up session) as long as the target system has X started.

Error Handling

The Oracle Universal Installer treats wrong context, format, or type values as if no value were specified. Basically, these are ignored.

Variables which are outside of any section are ignored.

Validation of Values from Response file

All the values that are retrieved from the response file are validated through the regular variable validation process.

Calculation and validation are specified using the Oracle Software Packager (OSP) and performed at install time by the Oracle Universal Installer.

Failure of the validation process can result in the termination of installation.

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