1 Installation Overview

This chapter describes the different types of Oracle Client installations that you can perform, and issues that you should consider before installing the software. It includes information about the following topics:

1.1 Overview of Client Installation

The Oracle Client installation process consists of the following phases:

  1. Read the release notes: Read the Oracle Database 10g release 2 (10.2) release notes before you begin the installation. The release notes are available with the platform-specific documentation. The latest version of the release notes is available on Oracle Technology Network at:

  2. Planning the installation: This chapter describes the Oracle products that you can install and issues that you must consider before starting the installation.

    You can also refer to Appendix D which covers frequently asked questions about installing Oracle Database components, such as how to install Oracle Database if the site uses Oracle applications or if you need multiple Oracle Database client connections.

  3. Completing preinstallation tasks: Chapter 2 describes preinstallation tasks that you must complete before installing the product.

  4. Installing software: Use the following section to install Oracle DatabaseClient:

    • Chapter 3 describes how to use Oracle Universal Installer to install Oracle Client.

    • Appendix A provides information on performing noninteractive (silent) installations, which you may want to use if you need to perform multiple installations of Oracle Database.

    • Appendix B describes globalization support information.

    • Appendix C provides troubleshooting advice in case you encounter problems with the installation.

    • Chapter 5 describes how to remove Oracle Database.

  5. Completing postinstallation tasks: Chapter 4 describes recommended and required post-installation tasks.

1.2 Oracle Client Installation Methods

You can choose different installation methods to install Oracle Client, as follows:

1.2.1 Interactive Installation Methods

When you use the interactive method to install Oracle Client, Oracle Universal Installer displays a series of screens that enable you to specify all of the required information to install the Oracle Client software.

1.2.2 Automated Installation Methods Using Response Files

By creating a response file and specifying this file when you start Oracle Universal Installer, you can automate some or all of the Oracle Client installation. These automated installation methods are useful if you need to perform multiple installations on similarly configured systems or if the system where you want to install the software does not have X Window system software installed.

When you use a response file, you can run Oracle Universal Installer in the following modes, depending on whether you specify all of the required information or not:

  • Silent Mode: Oracle Universal Installer runs in silent mode if you use a response file that specifies all required information. None of the Oracle Universal Installer screens are displayed.

  • Suppressed Mode: Oracle Universal Installer runs in suppressed mode if you do not specify all required information in the response file. Oracle Universal Installer displays only the screens that prompt for the information that you did not specify.

For more information about these modes and about how to complete an installation using response files, refer to Appendix A.

1.3 Oracle Client Installation Types

You can choose one of the following installation types when installing Oracle Client:

  • Instant Client: Enables you to install only the shared libraries required by Oracle Call Interface (OCI), Oracle C++ Call Interface (OCCI), Pro*C, or Java database connectivity (JDBC) OCI applications. This installation type requires much less disk space than the other Oracle Client installation types.

    See Also:

    Oracle Call Interface Programmer's Guide or Oracle Database JDBC Developer's Guide and Reference for more information about Instant Client

    Included in the Instant Client installation is Instant Client Light. You may want to use this version of Instant Client if the applications generate error messages in American English only. Instant Client Light is beneficial to application that use one of the supported character sets and can accept error messages in American English. The following are the supported character sets:

    • US7ASCII

    • WE8DEC

    • WE8ISO8859P1

    • WE8EBCDIC37C for EBCDIC platform only

    • WE8EBCDIC1047 for EBCDIC platform only

    • WE8MSWIN1252

    • UTF8

    • AL32UTF8

    • AL16UTF16

    The advantage of using Instant Client Light is that it has a smaller footprint than the regular Instant Client. The shared libraries, which an application must load, are only 34 MB as opposed to the 110 MB that regular Instant Client uses. Therefore, the applications use less memory.

  • Administrator: Enables applications to connect to an Oracle Database instance on the local system or on a remote system. It also provides tools that enable you to administer Oracle Database.

  • Runtime: Enables applications to connect to an Oracle Database instance on the local system or on a remote system.

  • Custom: Enables you to select individual components from the list of Administrator and Runtime components.


AL32UTF8 is the Oracle Database character set that is appropriate for XMLType data. It is equivalent to the IANA registered standard UTF-8 encoding, which supports all valid XML characters.

Do not confuse Oracle Database database character set UTF8 (no hyphen) with database character set AL32UTF8 or with character encoding UTF-8. Database character set UTF8 has been superseded by AL32UTF8. Do not use UTF8 for XML data. UTF8 supports only Unicode version 3.1 and earlier; it does not support all valid XML characters. AL32UTF8 has no such limitation.

Using database character set UTF8 for XML data could potentially cause a fatal error or affect security negatively. If a character that is not supported by the database character set appears in an input-document element name, then a replacement character (usually "?") is substituted for it. This terminates parsing and raises an exception.

1.4 Installation Considerations

This section contains information that you should consider before deciding how to install this product. It contains the following sections:

1.4.1 Hardware and Software Certification

The platform-specific hardware and software requirements included in this installation guide were current at the time this guide was published. However, because new platforms and operating system software versions might be certified after this guide is published, review the certification matrix on the OracleMetaLink Web site for the most up-to-date list of certified hardware platforms and operating system versions. The OracleMetaLink Web site is available at the following URL:


If you do not have a current Oracle Support Services contract, then you can access the same information at the following Web site:


1.4.2 Multiple Oracle Homes

This product supports multiple Oracle homes. This means that you can install this release or previous releases of the software more than once on the same system, in different Oracle home directories. Installing the Software on a System with an Existing Oracle Installation

You must install this product into a new Oracle home directory. You cannot install products from one release of Oracle Client into an Oracle home directory of a different release. For example, you cannot install release 10.2 software into an existing Oracle9i Oracle home directory. If you attempt to install this release into an Oracle home directory that contains software from an earlier Oracle release, then the installation fails.

You can install this release more than once on the same system if each installation is installed in a separate Oracle home directory.