25 Apr 2014 Update: This guide has been originally written 2 years ago describing Oracle 11gR2 DB installation. Now it has been revised for the latest Oracle 12cR1 DB.
Installing Oracle DB on any Mac OS version is not an easy task. Official support was dropped from 10g onwards around the early days of Mac OS X and since then there has been endless questions online of how to go about later versions like Leopard (10.5), Snow Leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8) or Mavericks (10.9).
I have yet to find a consistent resource online of how to natively install the database and I have also tried my hands on binaries compilation and package transfers along all the previous versions with various, inconsistent results. I have to admit that this long-winded process gets too complicated for my taste and patience.
The people at Oracle have acknowledged this problem and have provided a neat solution abstracting all the complicated noise, packing up all the required tools and needed configurations in a single image file readily to be hosted as a VM in VirtualBox.
This is old news and although VirtualBox is well documented I haven’t again found a single resource that is describing the process from top to bottom for my setup which is a Macbook Pro using WiFi therefore this detailed tutorial.
*General Note: As the creators suggest Oracle XE should be used for testing purposes only. Also the majority of passwords on the VM have been setup by default to oracle and should be changed for obvious security reasons.
Step 1: Getting VirtualBox
This is as simple as any other installation on a Mac. All we have to do is grab our x86 version (assuming an Intel CPU) for Mac from the official download page.
25 Apr 2014 Update: Currently VirtualBox is @ version 4.3.10 and doesn’t seem any different.
Step 2: Getting the VM file
This is the download page and the download instructions are clear. The ova VM file is big ~4G so better start the download process on a browser that has an integrated download manager like Firefox if you have a slow connection or are frequently experiencing dropped connections.
Apparently this VM has been initially created for a developer’s workshop but gets frequently updated with the latest and greatest of Oracle Client, Oracle SQL Developer and other tools. Various walkthroughs and other interesting tutorials are loaded-up on the VM awaiting to be discovered but all we care about is the Oracle 11gR2 DB which will be by default up and running when the VM is loaded into memory.
25 Apr 2014 Update: This is still the go-to place to get the OVA file. The difference is that the size of the file now spans ~ 5.22GB and has been prefixed with “OTN_” in the name. And of course it sports the latest Oracle 12cR1 DB along with the latest SQL Developer 4.
Step 3: Installing the Guest VM
Our host OS is apparently Mac OS and the guest VM is Oracle Linux 5 which is a branch off Red Hat Linux.
From the VirtualBox Menu we select File > Import Appliance
Then we make it point to the VM file we’ve just downloaded:
25 Apr 2014 Update: In the picture above as mentioned in the previous section the name should be “OTN_Developer_Day_VM.ova” and the size ~ 5.22GB.
After the import gets completed we are ready to start the VM:
Step 4: Starting the VM
Starting up the VM is as easy as inserting oracle/oracle when we are prompted for username/password:
When the OS boots up we are ready to go:
Step 5a: Making Oracle DB visible – Internet Connectivity
On the top right of the VM there should be an icon denoting Internet connectivity on the VM. If by default it is disabled it might need a kick to connect and as long as your Host OS has Internet connectivity it will connect without issues:
Step 5b: Making Oracle DB visible – Firewall
This is a tricky step that we didn’t need to perform 2 years ago on that flavour of OracleOS that was hosting 11gR2.
Basically the OracleOS Firewall is activated by default. So we have two solutions:
Solution 1 – Switch-off the OracleOS Firewall altogether
The Firewall is accessible via System(top left)>Administration>Firewall
On the Firewall Configuration panel click on the Disable button and then the Firewall disabled should look like this:
Solution 2 – Allow port 1521 in Firewall to be accessible remotely
Step 5c: Making Oracle DB visible – VirtualBox PortForwarding
By default VirtualBox > Devices > Network Adapters is attached to an internal NAT that should hopefully give you access to Internet.
My setup is a MacBook Pro that is getting Internet via WiFi therefore I’ve tried to get the Bridged Adapter via WiFi to work that is initiating a more direct connection between the Host and Guest VM but to no avail. I’ve tried several things suggested out there such as reducting the MTU to 1496 or downgrading to IPv4 but without luck.
The solution lies in the Port Forwarding option under the Network Adapters picture above:
Here we define external requests coming from localhost (127.0.0.1) to the standard Oracle communication default 1521 TCP port to be forwarded to our Oracle VM with IP address 10.0.2.15 on the same port. The IP of the Oracle VM can be found by issuing ipconfig command on the terminal (3rd line, inet addr):
Step 6a: Testing external connectivity – via Telnet
From the Host OS (Mac OS X Mavericks) we can test that we can connect to localhost at port 1521:
Step 6b: Testing external connectivity – via IDE
Also by using IntelliJ (13.1 in this example) datasource capabilities we can successfully connect to the Oracle’s Sample HR database (username: hr, password: oracle):
25 Apr 2014 Update: Note the correct connection jdbc url:
In prior version 11gR2 it used to be (but this does not work anymore):
Step 6c: Testing external connectivity – via SQL Developer
SQL Developer 4 @ Mac OS X Mavericks:
That’s a quick, clean and bulletproof way of having the most recent Oracle DB running on a Guest VM not only on Mac OS but on any OS.
PS. If you have a Synology NAS like I do, you might want to check out my detailed tutorial on how to host the VirtualBox VMs on the NAS and connect to it via the supported iSCSI protocol by VirtualBox clients installed on any home/work computer.