1 Introduction to Oracle Universal Installer (OUI)

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 (OUI).

This chapter includes the following sections:

1.1 Key Features

Oracle Universal Installer offers the following features:

  • An XML-based centralized inventory

    The XML format enables third-party Java applications to query the inventory for information about installed software.

  • Cloning of existing Oracle homes

    Enables 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 after installation.

  • 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.

  • 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 enables 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.

1.2 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 200 MB for Oracle Universal Installer files on Windows platforms and 116 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.

1.3 Prerequisite Checks

A series of prerequisite checks are performed only if help is not specified. For OUI to perform the checks, include the -prereqchecker option in the command:

<command to be supplied> -prereqchecker


  • -prereqchecker option performs a set of product-specific prerequisite checks, which depend on the product being installed as well as the platform.

  • -executeSysPrereqs option checks the basic prerequisites for OUI itself (called system prerequisites, as opposed to prerequisites for the product being installed). After these checks are performed, the installer exits without installing the product.

  • -ignoreSysPrereqs option checks system prerequisites but ignores the results.

Once invoked, the prereqchecker application is opened and uses the oraparam.ini file.

1.4 OUI Launcher

Beginning with OUI release 13.1, OUI-based installers are launched either by invoking a self-extracting executable file or by invoking a Java Virtual Machine. It is no longer necessary to manually unzip one or more files before invoking the installer.


For OUI release 13.1 and later, runInstaller (UNIX) and setup.exe (Windows) are no longer present.

OUI includes a Java-based launcher, which requires Java 1.6 or later. The OUI launcher includes the following features:

  • Supports generic launching capabilities.

  • Provides an optional, platform-specific self-extracting executable.

  • Provides an optional, platform-specific binary executable.

  • Supports all options supported by the previous (C-based) version of OUI.

1.5 Actions Performed by OUI

Oracle Universal Installer performs the following activities:

1.5.1 Installation

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

1.5.2 Deinstallation

Deinstallation is the process of removing files, directories, shortcuts, start menu items, and Windows registry entries that were created by the installer. These are artifacts known to OUI and tracked by OUI. Artifacts that are not known and tracked by OUI are not removed.


This process does not remove the files and directories created either by other tools or directly by the user. For example, deinstall does not remove artifacts created by other tools, such as:
  • Domain directories ($ORACLE_HOME/user_projects)

  • Logs ($ORACLE_HOME/logs)

  • Individual files ($ORACLE_HOME/domain_registry.xml)

A de-installation can be executed either interactively or silently.

1.5.3 Cloning

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.

1.5.4 Patching

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 the Oracle OPatch User's Guide:


1.5.5 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.

A group of patches form a patchset, which allows you to upgrade a product incrementally (such as, from version 11.1 to version or version 11.2).

1.5.6 Inventory Operations

Oracle Universal Installer supports the following inventory operations:

Attaching Oracle Home

Oracle Universal Installer uses the -attachHome option to attach an Oracle home to the inventory to set up the Central Inventory (a system-specific inventory of the installations on this system) or to register an existing Oracle home with the Central Inventory. You can use attachHome.sh (cmd) from an Oracle home.

For more information, see Creating the Central Inventory.

Detaching Oracle Home

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

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

1.6 Major Entities Created

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

1.6.1 Inventory

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.

1.6.2 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 Home Directories."

1.7 Modes of Installation

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

1.7.1 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.

1.7.2 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.

1.7.3 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, "Creating and Customizing a Response File."