Installing Oracle SQL Developer on Ubuntu

Update: As I switched to Linux Mint, I ran into an permission problem. To have it working, follow the procedure available at, which provides additional steps.

On my current project, we use Oracle database. The best free tool I have found so far to work with the database as a Java developer is Oracle SQL Developer.

Oracle does not provide a package for Debian based distros. I tried to run the tool from the generic archive but it failed to run because it seems to be aiming at another environment with respect to the Swing look and feel that it failed to load.  After some googling, I found that there is a package to make a package (sqldeveloper-package)out of the archive to make it installable as such.

Here is how to use it.

Download Oracle SQL Developer

As the download requires that one have an Oracle account, I download it from the browser at the following address:

Install Java

See my post Install Sun JDK 6 on Ubuntu 11.10

Install the sqldeveloper-package and its dependencies

$ sudo apt-get install sqldeveloper-package debhelper

 Install dos2unix

$ sudo apt-get install tofrodos

It is necessary to create the following symlinks for the tool to work:

$ sudo ln -s fromdos dos2unix
$ sudo ln -s todos unix2dos

Make the deb package

It seems that the -b switch can be used to indicate where to generate the .deb but it does not seem to work (Or I did not spend enough time trying to get it to work). The tool will generate the .deb in the working directory.

$ cd ~/Downloads
$ make-sqldeveloper-package ~/Downloads/

Install the package

$ sudo dpkg -i sqldeveloper_3.1.06.44+0.2.3-1_all.deb

The tool is now available in Applications->Programming->Sql Developer

Install Sun JDK 6 on Ubuntu 11.10

Update 2011-12-20: Following up on comments on the post, I added a section on how to  configure the Java Browser Plugin in manual installation

Update 2011-11-25: I added the information regarding the configuration of the JDK as in my previous post  Configuring Java on Kubuntu 10.10

Since Ubuntu 11.10, there is no longer an official package for the Sun/Oracle JDK. The package sun-java6-jdk is no longer officially available.

Method 1: Install a package provided by a PPA

There is a PPA (Personal Package Archives) made available by Roberto Ferramosca. To add this PPA, run the following command from the command line:

    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ferramroberto/java
    $ sudo apt-get update

You can now install the JDK with the following command:

    $ sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk

I you’d like to install the JRE or the Java Plugin along with the JDK, use the following:

sudo apt-get install sun-java6-jdk sun-java6-jre sun-java6-plugin sun-java6-fonts

You must now set the Sun JDK as the default. You can see how to achieve this in a previous post Configuring Java on Kubuntu 10.10.

The benefit of this method is that the JDK will be updated when a newer version of the package is made available.

Method 2: Installing the JDK manually

This method consists of downloading the adequate JDK from the Oracle Web site. The file is a bin file, e.g. jdk-6u29-linux-x64.bin

The first step is to create a temporary folder where we’ll download the file.

    $ mkdir -p ~/tmp/jdk-6u29
    $ cd ~/tmp/jdk-6u29

Once downloaded, make the file executable and run it.

    $ chmod +x jdk-6u29-linux-x64.bin
    $ ./jdk-6u29-linux-x64.bin

Now copy the file to the preferred target location, e.g. ~/dev/jdk

    $ mkdir -p ~/dev/jdk
    $ cd ..
    $ mv jdk-6u29 ~/dev/jdk/

Let’s now create a symbolic link so that we can easily update with newer versions in the future.

    $ cd ~/dev/jdk
    $ ln -s jdk-6u29 jdk-6

The next step is to add to the ~/.bashrc the path to our JDK binary files.

    #Use the symbolic link
    export JAVA_HOME="~/dev/jdk/jdk-6"
    export PATH=$PATH:$JAVA_HOME/bin

That’s it.

The benefit of this method is that one can install any version of the JDK (6 or 7). The downside is that one must manually upgrade the JDK.

Manually configuring the browser plugin

To configure the plugin, you need the JRE that comes with the JDK. If you installed the JDK in $JAVA_HOME, the JRE is located in $JAVA_HOME/jre.

Based on some documentation that I found on Oracle Web Site, the solution is simply to create symlinks to the plugin. The plugin can be found in

  • $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/amd64/ for 64bit machines
  • $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/i386/ for 32bit machines

You can go to to check that the plugin works fine.

Configuring the plugin for Firefox

Create a symlink to the plugin

$ sudo ln -s $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/amd64/ /usr/lib/firefox-addons/plugins/

This shall do the trick.

Configuring the plugin for Chromium

Create a symlink to the plugin

$ sudo ln -s $JAVA_HOME/jre/lib/amd64/ /usr/lib/chromium-browser/plugins/

With Chromium, it is necessary to enable plugins. You can just launch it from the command line once to enable the plugins with the following command

$ chromium-browser --enable-plugins %U

If you now naviate to chrome://plugins/, you shall see something like:

Java – Version:
The next generation Java plug-in for Mozilla browsers.

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