Free X windows emulator for running Oracle Installer

It’s often a pain getting X windows GUIs like the Oracle Installer and DBCA to run on Micrsoft Windows PC clients. Emulators like Reflection-X, KEA-Term, and Exceed work ok, but they cost money to licence and require source media and local admin rights to install. Those things can take an age to organise in large bureaucratic organisations.

An easy way round this is to download and run “DSL (Damn Small Linux) embedded”. It’s like having a linux desktop, but runs as a program inside Microsoft Windows. It’s free, and works as well or better than the commercial emulators for me – except on one old laptop without much memory where mouse control back inside Windows became erratic.

“DSL embedded” can be downloaded from here (look for dsl-[VERSION] Unzip that and run “dsl-base.bat” to start it up under Microsoft Windows. While using it, “Ctrl+Alt” switches back to Microsoft Windows applications. To close it, right click its desktop and select “power down”.

More details at

Update: use the -X option in DSL’s terminal, e.g. ‘ssh -X oracle@‘ – thanks to Horace in comments for pointing that out.

If you need to preserve -X option after sudo, then Jianming Li’s instructions work well.

April 19, 2007

  • Another workaround for this is to use one of the many vncserver implementations.

    -Bob T.

  • how to start the Oracle installer in remote server ? I just install DSL and I have no idea about it. The remote server cannot recognise the virtual IP of the DSL desktop. How to set DISPLAY value in remote server which the Oracle software installation kit being mount?

  • Hi Horace,
    If you run DSL, it has its own ssh/terminal window that you can use to ssh onto the database server. So instead of ssh-ing on using Putty, ssh onto the database server from your DSL ssh/terminal window. DISPLAY should automatically be carried over in that DSL window, but if not type ‘who’ at the database server shell prompt to see value to set for DISPLAY.

  • Dear Andrew,

    I try your method to ssh to my db server using the command ‘ssh oracle@dbserver -p22’ and try to start the ‘runInstaller, but still failed. The error message is OUI-10025:Unable to start an interactiveinstall sssion and said DISPLAY not set. I try to export DISPLAY value to my PC IP with ‘0.0’ as suffix, but not successful.

    Is there any problem of my software setup like xVesa?


  • Hi Andrew,

    My problem is fixed. I opened a terminal session in DSL and ssh to database server with ‘-X’ option (e.g. ssh -X oracle@ -p 22) and execute the X program and it works now. 🙂


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