1 Introduction to Oracle Universal Installer

This chapter is designed to aid developers, administrators, and all other users who install Oracle software by understanding the system requirements, features, and key concepts of Oracle Universal Installer.

This chapter includes the following sections:

System Requirements

The minimum system requirements for Oracle Universal Installer are as follows:

  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) — Automatically installed with Oracle Universal Installer on most platforms. Check the Release Notes or installation guide of the products that you are installing for the required version.

  • Memory Requirements — Memory requirements vary depending on the number of components installed. Check the Release Notes or installation guide for the products that you are installing for details. 32 MB is the minimum recommended on all platforms.

  • Disk Space Requirements — Oracle recommends at least 60 MB for Oracle Universal Installer files on Windows platforms and 70 MB on UNIX. (UNIX requires more memory because of the difference in JRE sizes for the platforms.) You may need up to 1 MB for the related inventory files.

    When you run Oracle Universal Installer from an NFS-mounted user home, especially for Linux, execute the quota command to check the space availability. Never perform an installation on a user home for which space is allocated based on quota.

Key Features

Oracle Universal Installer 11g Release 1 (11.1) offers the following features:

  • An XML-based centralized inventory.

    The XML format allows third-party Java applications to query the inventory for information about installed software. For backward compatibility, the Central Inventory continues to maintain the binary versions as well.

  • Cloning of existing Oracle homes.

    Allows you to copy an existing Oracle home to another location and "fix it up" by updating the installation configuration to be specific to the new environment. Cloning makes it easy to propagate a standard setup without having to install and configure installation after installation.

  • Better support for cluster environments.

    Oracle Universal Installer now replicates its inventory to all nodes that participate in a cluster-based installation. You can invoke Oracle Universal Installer from any node on the cluster that is part of the installation. You can then upgrade, remove, or patch existing software from any node.

  • True silent capability.

    When running Oracle Universal Installer in silent mode on a character mode console, you no longer need to specify an X-server or set the DISPLAY environment variable on UNIX. No GUI classes are instantiated, making the silent mode truly silent.

  • Ability to record your Oracle Universal Installer session to a response file.

    This feature makes it easy to duplicate the results of a successful installation on multiple systems. All the options you selected during the installation are saved in the resulting response file. For information about recording your Oracle Universal Installer sessions, see "Creating a Response File With Record Mode".

  • More accurate disk space calculations.

    Oracle Universal Installer now uses a more accurate method of calculating the disk space your Oracle products require. This feature reduces the risk of running out of disk space during an installation.

  • Automatically launched software after installation.

    Some Oracle products now take advantage of a new feature that allows the software to launch automatically immediately after the installation.

  • Cleaner deinstallation and upgrades.

    Deinstallation completely removes all software, leaving no "bits" behind. This also completely removes files associated with configuration assistants and patchsets. Oracle homes can also be removed from the inventory and registry.

  • Integrated prerequisite checking.

    Provides a prerequisite checking tool to diagnose the readiness of an environment for installation. The prerequisite checks are run as part of the installation process, but can also be run as a separate application.

  • Support for single-click installation.

    Provides a facility where you can perform single-click installations for certain products for basic configurations. You also have an advanced mode for more options.


Oracle offers two utilities for software deployment:

Oracle Universal Installer

Oracle Universal Installer 11g Release 1 (11.1) is a Java-based installer that enables you to install Oracle components from CDs or from a staged HTTP location. It performs component-based installations as well as complex installations, such as integrated bundle and suite installations, and installations over the Web.


OPatch is an Oracle-supplied utility that assists you with the process of applying interim patches to Oracle's software. OPatch 11.1 is a Java-based utility that can run on either OUI-based Oracle homes or standalone homes. It works on all operating systems for which Oracle releases software. For more information on OPatch, see Chapter 7, "Patching Oracle Software with OPatch".

Actions Performed by the Utilities

Oracle Universal Installer and OPatch performs the following activities:


Installation is the process of choosing products from a release or stage area and deploying them in the target directory. There are four modes of installation, which are explained in the section "Modes of Installation".


Deinstallation is the process of removing an installed product from the installation area. A de-installation can be cancelled, resumed or rolled back. It can be executed either interactively or silently.


Cloning is the process of copying an existing installation to a different location while preserving its configuration. You can install multiple copies of the Oracle product easily on different computers using cloning. During cloning, Oracle Universal Installer is invoked in clone mode to adapt the home to the target environment. Oracle Universal Installer in clone mode replays all the actions that have been executed to originally install the Oracle home. The difference between installation and cloning is that during cloning, Oracle Universal Installer runs the actions in the clone mode. Each action decides how to respond during cloning. For more information on cloning, see Chapter 6, "Cloning Oracle Software".


During patching, a small collection of files are copied over an existing installation to fix certain bugs. OPatch is an Oracle-supplied utility that facilitates Oracle software patching. For more information on OPatch, see Chapter 7, "Patching Oracle Software with OPatch".

Upgrades and Patchsets

Oracle Universal Installer enables you to upgrade a product from one version to another version. An upgrade is a major product enhancement that often requires installation of the upgraded software. For example, you may want to convert your Oracle Database 10gR2 (10.2) to Oracle 11gR1 (11.1) Database, which is called an upgrade.

A group of patches form a patchset. For example, you may want to convert your Oracle 11gR1 (11.1) Database from version 11.1.1 to version 11.1.2, which is called applying a patchset.

Adding Nodes

You can install an Oracle home on multiple nodes in a cluster. You can extend the cluster for a particular Oracle home using the -addNode flag of Oracle Universal Installer. You can add more than one node to the Oracle home. The Oracle Universal Installer with the -addNode flag is always run on the local node and not on the node(s) to be added. You can add nodes to an Oracle Clusterware node or a Real Application Clusters node depending upon whether the node addition is being performed at the Oracle Clusterware layer or the Real Application Clusters database layer. You can use $OH/oui/bin/addNode.sh to add nodes.

For more information on adding nodes, see "Installing Cluster Environments".

Inventory Operations

Oracle Universal Installer supports the following inventory operations:

Attaching Oracle Homes

Oracle Universal Installer uses the -attachHome flag to attach an Oracle home to the inventory to set up the Central Inventory or to register an existing Oracle home with the Central Inventory. You can use attachHome.sh (bat) from an Oracle home as well as from the shiphome.

For more information, see "Creating the Central Inventory".

Detaching Oracle Homes

Oracle Universal Installer uses the -detachHome flag to remove an Oracle home from the Central Inventory. You can use detachHome.sh (bat) from an Oracle home.

For more information, see "Detaching Oracle Homes from the Central Inventory".

Updating the Node List

Oracle Universal Installer uses the -updateNodeList flag to get the list of nodes and update the inventory.xml file. If the CRS flag is set to TRUE, then the oraclehomeproperties.xml file is updated with the Oracle Clusterware home information.

For more information, see "Updating the Nodes of a Cluster".

Major Entities Created

The following major entities are created when you run Oracle Universal Installer.


The Oracle Universal Installer inventory stores information about all Oracle software products installed in all the Oracle homes on a host, provided the product was installed using Oracle Universal Installer. The inventory is organized as follows:

  • Central Inventory

  • Oracle home inventory

For more information on the inventory and the structure of the inventory, see "Oracle Universal Installer Inventory".

Oracle Home

An Oracle home is the system context in which the Oracle products run. This context consists of the following:

  • Directory location where the products are installed

  • Corresponding system path setup

  • Program groups associated with the products installed in that home (where applicable)

  • Services running from that home

For more information on Oracle homes, see Chapter 2, "Managing Oracle Homes".

Modes of Installation

You can run the Oracle Universal Installer in the following modes:

Interactive Mode

You can use the interactive mode to walk through the installation by providing information in the dialogs when prompted. This method is useful when installing a small number of products in different setups on a small number of hosts.

Suppressed-Interactive Mode

You can use this mode to supply the necessary information by using a combination of a response file or command line entries with certain interactive dialogs. This is useful when an installation has a common set of parameters that can be captured in a response file, in addition to the custom information that you must enter manually.

Silent Mode

You can use this mode to bypass the Graphical User Interface (GUI) and supply the necessary information in a response file. This method is useful when installing the same product multiple times on multiple hosts. By using the response files, you can also automate the installation of a product for which you know the installation parameters.

For more information on silent installation, see Chapter 3, "Customizing and Creating Response Files".

Cluster Mode

A cluster installation uses Oracle Universal Installer to install software on the nodes of a cluster that are network-reachable and bound together by Oracle Clusterware. You can use Oracle Universal Installer to extend the Oracle home of a product installation to include additional nodes on the cluster. You need to install Oracle Clusterware for a cluster installation.

For more information on cluster installations, see Chapter 5, "Installing Cluster Environments".