file permissions: 10.2.0 on unix, vista issues

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A critical element in computer problem trouble shooting is checking correctness of permissions. Are file permissions correct? What about database permissions? Group membership of operating system ids? And so on. We computer geeks will be doing more of this now that software comes installed with increased attention to security and permissions.

Here are two new wrinkles I ran across today, both involved with installing Oracle.

On a unix host I was trying to enable a unix user id to be able to login and use sqlplus and export/import utilities, but I did not want this id to belong to the dba unix group. I was working on Solaris with Oracle However, each time the user invoked sqlplus, “Permission denied” errors resulted. Clearly a permission problem, but I did not want to perform trial and error chmod commands on various files. Metalink yielded an exact match for my problem. Permission Denied Errors for users other than “oracle”, docid 443638.1. Turns out that in Oracle 10.2.0 and higher, the Oracle installers sets file permissions quite restrictively for security reasons. There is a script that one can run to relax permissions. It’s $ORACLE_HOME/install/

The other permission issue concerned installing an Oracle client on Vista. (Side note: you have to do Oracle or higher to get Oracle client to work on Vista.) I was using an automated script to install the client and had added to the script some file copy statements to get the correct sqlnet.ora, tnsnames.ora and ldap.ora files on the client machine. Vista didn’t like that since the User Account Control (UAC) feature was turned on. UAC blocks file copy/delete via scripts, and throws up lots of confirmation dialogs if you are manipulating files via GUI tools. But you can disable UAC. My Digital Life and The How To Geek explain how on their blogs. For good measure, I’ll copy and paste what they provided below. Involves updating registry keys.

Disable UAC
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /k %windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 0 /f

Enable UAC
C:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe /k %windir%\System32\reg.exe ADD HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System /v EnableLUA /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Getting Rails Working: Vista, mongrel, sqlite

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For kicks I wanted to Ruby on Rails working. Here’s the combination of stuff I was using:

  • Windows laptop running Vista.
  • Mongrel web server which I think comes with default install of rails
  • sqlite database. I didn’t want to put mysql or something else on this machine quite yet.

Here are the steps I followed.

  1. Went to Clicked on the Download tab and followed the steps to download stuff.
  2. First item was ruby, which I installed to C:\ruby. Ruby comes with an installer. It was ruby186-26.exe for the version I downloaded.
  3. Then it was on to gems. You download the file, extract it, then run ruby setup.rb.
  4. I installed rails. That just involves typing in gem install rails –include-dependencies.
  5. Step 4 above might have been enough to install mongrel, a web server that rails can use. However, I ran gem install mongrel just to be sure.
  6. To get sqlite working, I downloaded sqlite from I put sqlite3.exe, sqlite3.dll and sqlite3.def in c:\sqlite. HOWEVER, to get things working with ruby and rails, I copied these three files to c:\ruby\bin. THIS was critical.
  7. Then install the ruby/sqlite interface. Do that with: gem install sqlite3 .
  8. At this point I was ready to run rails. I made a new app people by doing
    the following:

Yea!!! It worked.