Install Oracle SQL Developer on Ubuntu Karmic & Lucid

If you want to install Oracle’s SQL Developer on Ubuntu (or another DEB based system such as Debian) you can do one of the following:

  1. Download the RPM package and install using rpm (not advisable).
  2. Download the RPM package and convert to a DEB package using alien
  3. Download the ZIP file titled “Oracle SQL Developer for other platforms” and manually install
  4. Use the make-sqldeveloper-package to convert the ZIP file into a DEB package

I used the make-sqldeveloper-package, which is available for Debian and Ubuntu and it’s derivatives. However, the man page and the instructions are little unclear on how to use it. You need to download the zip file available at Oracle’s (and not the RPM file nor any of the other packages) and then use the make-sqldeveloper-package to convert it to a DEB which you can then install using the dpkg command.

This is preferable to using rpm or alien as you can more easily manage the package using Debian’s and Ubuntu package management tools, plus it will integrate SQL Developer into Gnome’s Menu System . Plus, when Oracle updates their version you can use make-sqldeveloper-package to create an updated DEB package and easily update the version you have installed. The procedure outlined below works on Ubuntu Karmic and should also work on any Debian version that has the make-sqldeveloper-package.

As the man page states:

This utility will require you to download the “Oracle  SQL  Developer  for  other  platforms”  archive  from  <‐ucts/sql/> to create the Debian package from.

1. Download the ZIP file from Oracle’s site

You will need to accept Oracle’s license agreement and download the ZIP file, titled “Oracle SQL Developer for other platforms”, from:

2. Install the make-sqldeveloper-package package

sudo apt-get install sqldeveloper-package

You will need Ubuntu’s multiverse software repository. See the instructions on how to do so.

2.a. Install the tofrodos package

sudo apt-get install tofrodos

Create symbolic links to the tofrodos commands to allow the sqldeveloper-package to work:

sudo ln -s /usr/bin/fromdos /usr/bin/dos2unix
sudo ln -s /usr/bin/todos /usr/bin/unix2dos

Thanks to Miles for the tofrodos tip.

3. Convert the ZIP file to .DEB package

The format of the command is:

make-sqldeveloper-package -b BUILD_LOCATION LOCATION_OF_ZIP_FILE

In my example, I’m going to use /tmp/ORA as the build location and the ZIP file has been download to my Desktop (~Desktop).

make-sqldeveloper-package -b /tmp/ORA/ ~/Desktop/

The command will create the build directory and remove it when the command finishes. If the command completes successfully you’ll see the following output after a minute or two:

make-sqldeveloper-package: Building sqldeveloper package in "/tmp".

The DEB file will be created in the current directory. In my example I had changed directories to /tmp and that’s where the DEB file will be:


See the man page for more information about the tool:

man make-sqldeveloper-package

4. Install the package

sudo dpkg -i sqldeveloper_2.

5. Run SQL Developer

After installing there should he an entry in Gnome’s menu to start the SQL Developer. It’s located under:

Applications->Programming->SQL Developer

Note: You will need a JVM installed for the tool to run.

Obligatory Screen Shot:

Oracle SQL Developer

Updated September 27th 2010. Added instructions from Miles on installing dos2unix alternative for Ubuntu Lucid. The dos2unix command is not available in Ubuntu Lucid.

28 thoughts on “Install Oracle SQL Developer on Ubuntu Karmic & Lucid”

  1. I got an error when running make-sqldeveloper-package, complaining that I didn’t have dos2unix installed. dos2unix isn’t available through apt-get, but I was able to find the package: tofrodos. This package installs: fromdos. Link that to dos2unix and it works. Here are the commands:

    sudo apt-get install tofrodos
    sudo ln -s /usr/bin/fromdos /usr/bin/dos2unix

  2. Thank you greatly for your help.
    The only problem that i came across was the following error using the guide on Ubuntu10:
    /usr/bin/make-sqldeveloper-package: 1050: dos2unix: not found

    but this was resolved using the following fix;
    #sudo ln -s /usr/bin/fromdos /usr/bin/dos2unix

    Again, thank you for sharing :)

  3. I got the following error when running make-sqldeveloper-package:

    dpkg-deb: control directory has bad permissions 777 (must be >=0755 and <=0775)
    dh_builddeb: dpkg-deb –build debian/sqldeveloper /home/rafa/Downloads returned exit code 2
    make: *** [binary-indep] Error 9
    debuild: fatal error at line 1316:
    couldn't exec debian/rules:

    does anyone know how to fix this?

    appreciate it

  4. 1 for the “dos2unix” fix described by Miles.

    I had previously been using install option 3, and I must say that this (option 4) is much better. Thank you Mick, and thank you Miles. :)

  5. While creating the Debian pkg. you’ve to make sure “debhelper” is installed already; else, you’ll get the following error:

    dpkg-checkbuilddeps: Unmet build dependencies: debhelper (>= 7)
    debuild: fatal error at line 1304:
    You do not appear to have all build dependencies properly met.

    RESOLUTION: install “debhelper” and continue the step

  6. Thanks! On Ubuntu 10.04.3 I made soft links to dos utils, but make-sqldeveloper-package tell about dependency to debhelper >=7. I simply install debhelper, and buid the package.

  7. Oracle SQL Developer
    Copyright (c) 1997, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

    Type the full pathname of a J2SE installation (or Ctrl-C to quit), the path will be stored in ~/.sqldeveloper/jdk

    That is what worked for me on the new sqldeveloper 3

  8. Thanks for the comment Saulustiano, I was wondering if this would still build on the latest versions of Ubuntu. I build SQLDev a few years ago and I’ve been upgrading my system a few times and SQLDev still works for me without me having to reinstall.

  9. Note from 12.04 amd64 installation,
    – dependency to debhelper was missing (sudo apt-get install debhelper)
    – make-sqldeveloper-package script failed.
    I am not sure why the row “# Set executable bit
    ${FIND} “${OPTDIR}” ! ( -type d -o -name “*.jar” ) |${XARGS} ${XARGS_OPTS} ${FILE} ${FILE_OPTS} |${GREP} ${GREP_OPTS} “shell script text executable” |${CUT} ${CUT_OPTS_FUNC_CLEAN} |${XARGS} ${XARGS_OPTS} ${CHMOD} ${CHMOD_OPTS}” failed but I removed the chmod part and succeeded.
    – After installation is complete the start script of SQL Developer (/usr/share/sqldeveloper/ did not have the executable bit set perhaps due to the last step. I don’t know why, haven’t checked.

  10. Great instructions! Unfortunately, the current make-sqldeveloper-package script didn’t work with sqldeveloper- I did some searching and found this patch: source/sqldeveloper-package/ bug/985810. Applying the patch made it work.

    sudo apt-get install sqldeveloper-package on LMDE gave me this version:

    # make-sqldeveloper-package –version
    make-sqldeveloper-package 0.2.3

    Applying the patch built the .deb file.

  11. Here’s the patch to which Jim refers. It’s needed to address the issue mentioned by Henrik above.

    Apply it to directly to the make-sqldeveloper-package script (ver. 0.2.3) , which for me could be found under /usr/bin, by replacing line 381 with the patch revision which adds an additional grep in order to identify the missing chmod options.

    The Ubuntu forum for bug #985810 contains additional details but this was enough to get me going.

    Thanks for the post!

    ${FIND} “${OPTDIR}” ! ( -type d -o -name “*.jar” ) |${XARGS} ${XARGS_OPTS} ${FILE} ${FILE_OPTS} |${GREP} ${GREP_OPTS} “shell script” | ${GREP} ${GREP_OPTS} “text executable” |${CUT} ${CUT_OPTS_FUNC_CLEAN} |${XARGS} ${XARGS_OPTS} ${CHMOD} ${CHMOD_OPTS}

  12. Not working after 2.

    make-sqldeveloper-package: Building sqldeveloper package in “/home/administrator”.
    dpkg-checkbuilddeps: Unmet build dependencies: debhelper (>= 7)
    debuild: fatal error at line 1312:
    You do not appear to have all build dependencies properly met.
    You can use mk-build-deps to generate a dummy package which
    Depends on all the required packages, or you can install them
    manually using dpkg or apt using the error messages just above
    this message.

  13. Got the following error:
    make-sqldeveloper-package chmod: missing operand after `755′

    Fixed by replacing line #381 with:
    ${FIND} “${OPTDIR}” ! ( -type d -o -name “*.jar” ) |${XARGS} ${XARGS_OPTS} ${FILE} ${FILE_OPTS} |${GREP} ${GREP_OPTS} “shell script” | ${GREP} ${GREP_OPTS} “text executable” |${CUT} ${CUT_OPTS_FUNC_CLEAN} |${XARGS} ${XARGS_OPTS} ${CHMOD} ${CHMOD_OPTS}

    Found on this post:

  14. Just FYI, leaving an update since I posted about the bug earlier. All is working with the latest release. I just installed on Ubuntu 13.04 with no issues. It just worked!

  15. I get this error:
    > make-sqldeveloper-package -b builddir

    make-sqldeveloper-package – func_upstreamversion(): File “builddir/sqldeveloper/usr/share/sqldeveloper/jdev/bin/” not found, returning…

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