Oracle releases something called the "Oracle Instant Client" which is nice, in that it requires very little work by the sysadmin to install. [1] [2] [3] [4] Unfortunately, it does require users to do a little work to load it into their environment.

setup

Generally, you will need to setup these environment variables:

$ORACLE_HOME
$LD_LIBRARY_PATH
$LIBPATH
$LIBPATH if you're on AIX, $LD_LIBRARY_PATH everywhere else
$TNS_ADMIN if your tnsnames.ora is located somewhere other than $ORACLE_HOME/network/admin/
$PERL5LIB if you have Perl scripts that need to use DBD::Oracle
$PATH add "$ORACLE_HOME/bin/"

TODO: explain how I find the proper values of these

clear settings

To clear the Oracle settings from your environment (for instance, before you load some different settings), run: