Silent installer on unix still needs X windows until 10g

It’s not always easy to get X windows properly, or to get hold of X windows emulator software for Windows PCs. So it was a bit of a step backwards when the installer moved away from the ugly but effective clunky text display that it had in version 7 and below.

Running the installer in silent mode should have been a way around the need for X displays, but in fact it still fails (v8 through 9iR2) with an error like:

Exception java.lang.NullPointerException occurred..

So, even though you’re not going to use the installer GUI, oracle (for those versions) makes you have X windows all set up anyway. Quite annoying.

But – it’s fixed in 10g!

So oracle versions up to 7, and then from 10gR1 and above, don’t need X windows to install. Versions 8 up to 9iR2 do.

10gR2 Installation Guide says:

A.1.1 Reasons for Using Silent Mode or Noninteractive Mode
Use silent mode if you want to:

  • Complete an unattended installation, which you might schedule using operating system utilities such as at
  • Complete several similar installations on multiple systems without user interaction
  • Install the software on a system that does not have X Window System software installed on it

And 10gR1 Installation Guide for Unix Systems:

Automated Installation Methods Using Response Files
By creating a response file and specifying this file when you start the Installer, you can automate some or all of the Oracle Database 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.

To run an install in silent mode, copy a template response file from Disk1/response/*.rsp on the installation media, and edit it to include the install choices you want. Then run the installer with options:

./runInstaller -silent -responseFile filename.rsp

Actually there’s a little more to it than that, but see the installation guide for the full details.

February 2, 2007

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