Oracle Database 11g : Installing Oracle - Set Up the Operating System

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After Linux is installed and rebooted, information screens walk you through the license information and an option to create a user. Taking this opportunity to create another user besides root is a recommended practice. This is because the Oracle user is needed along with groups for the Oracle software inventory and dba group. Oracle software should be installed under the Oracle user created here, but additional users can also be created now, as needed, for supporting different pieces of the software or for different options that may be installed.

Figure 1 shows the creation of groups using command line in the terminal window that is needed for Oracle installs. The groups are created using the groupadd command and then associated with a user id using usermod with the listed parameters and options. Also seen in this figure are the ways that the passwords for the user can be easily changed with the passwd command. Adding another ID, such as osasm to manage the Automatic Storage Management instance, can be accomplished with the command useradd.

Figure 1. Create groups and users

The users and groups can be reviewed and managed using the User Manager in System Tools. This interface is also available for creating new users and for associating the groups to the user instead of using the command line in the terminal window. Any users created using this tool and even the users created by the command line, as in Figure 2-4, also have a home directory that is created for them at the same time they are created. The Add User and Add Group in the User Management Tool do the same task as the useradd and groupadd commands; the tools in Linux make it easy to perform these tasks in a way that is most familiar, with either the command lines or user interfaces.

Ask the Expert

Q:Are there security concerns with adding users? Do you really need any other users besides root and oracle?
A:Security for the operating system is important. Make sure that logins are created for users to install the Oracle software and that additional users are created for the purpose of allowing database administrators to log in and maintain Oracle and the database. Anyone logging into the system should have their own user ID; use of the Oracle login should be limited to installation and patching of the software. Different users should have permissions to access only areas that they should be allowed to access in order to perform tasks as needed. File system permissions should only be granted to the groups and users that need the access, and should be limited where possible. Research best practices for security and don’t share logins or root passwords. Keep the environment secure by limiting access to the Oracle software directories; make sure it is not open to just any user who is able to log into the server.

The Oracle user needs certain other permissions along with resource permissions for the software to run well. This is done by adding the Oracle user to the /etc/security/limits.conf and session information to the /etc/pam.d/login file. The file limits.conf, as listed next, shows that the Oracle user has been added with resources to nproc and nofile parameters at the end of the file. These files can be edited with Notepad or a similar editing program when you open the files by using Explorer windows:

limits.conf file:
#<domain>          <type>          <item>           <value>
oracle             soft            nproc               2047
oracle             hard            nproc              16384
oracle             soft            nofile              1024
oracle             hard            nofile             65536
# End of file

/etc/pam.d/login file:
auth [user_unknown=ignore success=ok ignore=ignore default=bad]
auth               include          system-auth
account            required
account            include          system-auth
password           include          system-auth
# close should be the first session rule
session            required close
session            include         system-auth
session            required
session            optional
# open should only be followed by sessions to be
executed in the  user context
session            required open
session            optional force revoke
session            required        /lib/security/
session            required


Now the operating system is installed and users and groups are created and configured with the needed permissions. You still need to verify (and possibly update) some configurations needed by the kernel parameters so that they match at least the minimum requirements for Oracle. The Oracle Quick Installation Guide is the reference for these requirements. We hope that you are starting to see the importance of these documents and why these pieces of information should be gathered before you start the installs.

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