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How should I go about migrating my Oracle database from Unix to Linux?

Here is the problem: My existing system is on Open Unix, running Oracle 7 Database and Oracle forms as the front end. Now I want to migrate that database from Unix to Linux (any version) running Oracle 8i.

Here are my questions:

  1. How do I migrate the database from Unix to Linux?
  2. How do I migrate Oracle Forms from Unix to Linux?
  3. Do I need to install Oracle developer for Linux?

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In your situation, It's definitely a plus that the database you are looking to move over is Oracle, as Oracle was the first commercial database that was cut over to Linux (1999) and has a good history with the product. As far as I know, all Oracle software products will run on Linux. Oracle itself trusts Linux enough to run many of their internal systems on Linux (I.E. mail and Web servers). They have also contributed to the Linux kernel with various reliability and performance enhancements, including work on clustered filesystems, memory and process scheduler improvements.

Start with doing an assessing of what you have. Break down this assessment by hardware, application data and network. Regarding your hardware, make sure it is fully supported by your flavor of Linux and that you have all the necessary drivers. Make sure you have installed the Linux packages you'll need to migrate over. Unlike most Unix distributions, Linux software will let you pick whatever packages you really need to run. The database itself is platform independent, so you shouldn't really have any issues as far as the application. If you have custom code, make sure you bring this code over and recompile if necessary.

Since you are already migrating to a newer version of Oracle (which is a good move), you may actually want to consider going to 9i, as that is the latest and greatest. Make sure you plan your Oracle upgrade carefully, as there are considerations with upgrading to a newer version of Oracle. Either way, you'll need to install Oracle for Linux on your Linux box. If you do not know Oracle well enough to do this, now is the time to start lining up your support.

When the Oracle environment is built on the Linux platform and you have moved the data over, start testing gradually and try to take some time to understand this platform before going to production. Though there certainly are enough similarities between Linux and Unix to help ease the pain for a Unix admin, there are also enough differences that should warrant the support person attending a training class on Linux to increase their ability to support this environment.

There is a lot of useful information on the Web that could help you. Start with this URL from Oracle: http://www.oracle.com/technologies/linux/. If you haven't yet determined which Linux variant to pick, you may want to consider Red Hat, as they have a good partnership with Oracle and they are really eager to help folks these days, especially with Oracle migrations.

Regarding your question about Oracle Forms: I'm not sure, though I would imagine that the application itself would have to be reinstalled and the developer would need to be installed if you would be using it. Perhaps you can log a ticket with Oracle stuff. There is also an entire Linux section on the Oracle Website that should be very helpful to you.

This was first published in December 2003

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