Using Oracle DB in Ubuntu without dying

- By Yábir García


At my subject of fundaments of databases we use Oracle as database (yes I hate it). I don't have a windows machine and installing all the stuff from oracle to make my exercises is pure pain to me. So this is a guide to have fun while installing it.

What we are going to use is docker to put in a container Oracle XE and we'll install Oracle SQL Developer.

You need an account in the Oracle system to download this tool.

Install dependencies

We need to install docker. A guide for your system can be found in it's offcicial webpage. At the side nav you can find your distro.

Probably you'll need to add your user to the docker group. As described here , you can do it with

sudo usermod -a -G docker $USER

(you will need to log-out and log-in back or reboot your computer so the changes takes effect. If you used snap to install docker follow this steps )

Once you have docker installed we'll use a docker image for the Oracle XE. The one I used is this from wnameless.

What you need to do is

docker pull wnameless/oracle-xe-11g

this will download the container and then run it

docker run -d -p 49161:1521 wnameless/oracle-xe-11g

The last one will run the database listening on port 49161. As described in the container page the details for the db are

hostname: localhost
port: 49161
sid: xe
username: system
password: oracle

This method is clean and your computer won't be filled with dependencies and things that at least I'm not going to use soon (or atleast I don't want).

To install the Oracle SQL developer I followed this guide where what you need to do is

  1. Install java if you don't have it

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer
    sudo update-alternatives --config java
  2. Download SQL Developer from the official page

  3. Extract files

    sudo unzip sqldeveloper-* -d /opt/
    sudo chmod +x /opt/sqldeveloper/
  4. Create a symbolic link to the app

    sudo ln -s /opt/sqldeveloper/ /usr/local/bin/sqldeveloper
  5. Edit the start script at /opt/sqldeveloper/ so it contains

    cd /opt/sqldeveloper/sqldeveloper/bin && bash sqldeveloper $*
  6. Run sqldeveloper


You can create a icon in your launcher too but we aren't not using this again so.

You can stop the docker container using the stop option. To list your containers use docker ps.

After this you can configure SQL Developer to connect on port 49161 with the credentials provided and you

Note: If the cursos is not showing in the SQL Developer go to

Tools > Preferences > Code Editor > Fonts

and chage the font size (I use 14)