This post was written before Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6) shipped. If you're interested in an installation guide for Oracle 10gR2 on Snow Leopard, Raimonds Simanovskis has provided instructions on his blog.
In the wake of a small flurry of announcements yesterday about the release of Oracle 10gR2 for Mac OS X Intel (almost two weeks after April Fools' Day, so knock it off with the jokes already ;-)), I decided to try a test installation on my Macbook Pro. The good news is that it works, even if you aren't running OS X Server 10.5.4 as specified in the release notes:
For the record, this is Mac OS X Leopard, desktop version 10.5.6. I'm still considering whether or not to post an "install guide," since everything more or less worked as advertised. And really, does the Internet need another dozen screenshots of OUI and DBCA doing their usual thing? I feel guilty enough for the screenshot above.
Install guide updates, 12-13 April 2009:
So now what?
Apart from the novelty of it all, is this a worthwhile exercise? I'm not sure yet. I've been using the "Oracle in a VM" approach for a really long time, and I really like the flexibility of being able to play around with system configurations, etc. without worrying about doing any damage to my host system. With snapshots enabled, I don't even have to worry very much about permanently damaging the VM itself. Also, as stated in the release notes (and called out in this thread on the OTN Apple forum, where hope springs eternal and no one is ever bitter or cranky), the list of supported features for the OS X version is a bit shorter than one might expect. On the other hand, "unsupported" doesn't always mean "won't work," and the memory footprint of a native database is a bit less than that of a full OS + database running in a virtualized environment. My expectation is that for quick testing and tinkering, the native database install could fit a niche, but VM still rules for more advanced stuff like RAC, ASM, 11g, etc.
What's encouraging is that it appears that Oracle hasn't abandoned OS X as a platform. Feature set aside, I suspect they'll need to do more frequent releases before many people would be very comfortable using this in an enterprise setting. But this also opens the possibility of different licensing options...Express Edition for OS X, anyone? OSXXE?
If someone manages to port this to iPhone, though, let me know. That would rock.