Installing EBS on Linux Part 2, companion

This is a companion piece to my second guest post on the ORACLENERD blog about installing Oracle E-Business Suite. I'll try to address questions and errata from that post here, rather than repeatedly asking Chet to tweak his blog just because I was unclear or incorrect. ;-)

What's this "port pool" business all about?

The port pool defines an offset for all of the default ports used by the various components of Oracle Applications. For example, selecting port pool 0 would leave the database listener port at the default of 1521, and the EBS login URL on port 8000. Selecting port pool 55, as I did in my example, sets the database listener port to 1576 (1521+55), and the Apps login URL's port to 8055. Advantages to using the port pool include:

  1. Configuring all of these ports manually would be quite a chore, and the risk of inadvertently introducing a port conflict is high.
  2. Using default ports is generally frowned upon from a security standpoint
  3. If you decide to run multiple EBS instances on the same server, you can set different port pools for each instance and be reasonably certain there won't be any conflicts between the services comprising those instances.

Why is the installer doing all of this unzipping? Didn't I already unzip a ton of stuff?

The unzipping you did initially just extracted the files from large DVD-sized bundles into one big staging directory. The contents of those bundles were mostly ... more zip files. The installer is extracting just the files it needs, depending on your installation type. If you were to perform a Fresh Install instead of a Vision Install, your installation time would probably be shorter, because the installer wouldn't need to extract 200GB of Vision database files.

If I'm installing all of the Oracle Applications services on one server, why should I create two separate users to run things? Couldn't the oracle user run them all?

Primarily for ease of management of the services. The OS environment settings for the owner of the database software are very different from those of the applications software owner; both accounts need to perform different tasks. When stopping and starting services, looking for log files, and performing maintenance tasks, it can be annoying to remember in which context you're operating. You probably won't do much damage to your system if you install everything with oracle (or oravis) as the owner, but you might cause yourself some aggravation when your PATH and ORACLE_HOME environment variables aren't always what you'd expect.

In a real-world situation, of course, there's an additional benefit: enabling a clearer separation of duties. Your organization's DBA and EBS Applications Administrators may not be the same people, and they wouldn't need access to both accounts.

These are a few of the the shell scripts used to manage Oracle Applications services. The first ( is a wrapper around opmnctl, a utility that will be familiar to people who have managed Oracle Application Server 10g before. It's used to start and stop the Web and Forms server components of EBS. The second script ( is used to start and stop just the Apache web server. You can read more about these and other commonly-used server process control scripts in the "Managing Server Processes" section of the Oracle Applications Maintenance Procedures manual.

I couldn't help but notice this weird reference buried in the main post, most likely because you linked it. What's an APPL_TOP? Is this some sort of freakish Mac boosterism?

The APPL_TOP is the top-level directory containing all the files associated with the EBS applications (not to be confused with the ORACLE_HOMEs for the Application Server 10g software). Within the APPL_TOP are a number of configuration and environment files, and a top-level directory ("product top") for each of the E-Business Suite modules. The values of these "top" directories are also set as environment variables for the application software owner's, for ease of navigation around the applications tier file system. For more information about the applications tier file system structure, review Chapter 2 of the Oracle Applications Concepts manual. Oh, and just for fun, log in as the applications software owner (applmgr in general, applvis in my installation example in the ORACLENERD post), source the environment file, and type 'env | grep _TOP'.

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