Installing Oracle for PHP

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Installing Moodle on Windows with Oracle Express Edition


This section explains how to install Moodle with Oracle Express Edition on Windows. I'm using it for debugging purpose. It's definitively not a production environment. The goal is to setup easily and quickly a Moodle/Windows/Oracle environment.

Install Oracle

  1. Download Oracle Express Edition on Oracle web site.
  2. You will also need the Instant client from here (free account sign up needed). Copy everything from the unzipped folder into apache/bin.
  3. Install both.
  4. Access to the oracle console at (Login=SYS Password=the_one_you_entered_during_the_installation).
  5. Create a new user and give it all rights (including DBA).
  6. Go to the SQL Commands page and grant your new user the dmbs_lock permission...

grant execute on dbms_lock to XXXXX; ...where XXXXX is the username of your new user.

  1. Log out and log in as the new user.
  2. Run the script found in the Moodle codebase at /lib/dml/oci_native_moodle_package.sql. If you can not run this script directly, you can run its parts (separated by slashes) independently via the SQL Commands page.

Note: Oracle Express Edition 10g is limited at one database called 'XE'.

Set up your Oracle extension

This document does not explain how to setup apache/php for Oracle. You can have more information on Oracle Documentation.

Edit your phi.ini file, uncomment (remove the leading semicolon) the php_oci8 extension. In a WAMP setup, this is listed as...


Also, if you are going to use the installation for development/testing purposes, uncomment the following line and set the value to zero. It's not needed for normal operations (it causes a BIG slowdown of the system!).

oci8.statement_cache_size = 0

You may also need to uncomment php_oracle, php_pdo_oci, php_pdo_oci8 in some set-ups.

Install Moodle

On the database setup page:
Driver: Oracle oci8 (in the config file it should read "oci8po" for a 1.9.x install and "oci" for a 2.0.x install)
Host: empty the field
Database: //localhost:1521/XE
User: the user that you created
Password: the password you gave to the user

Configure Apache

If you're running Moodle on Oracle with Apache on Linux, you might have issues with PHP being able to see the system environment variables. To resolve this, you can edit /etc/sysconfig/apache2 and add the following lines to the bottom:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/oracle/instantclient_11_2# Set LANG Variables for UTF-8


Also need to add those two lines to ~/.bashrc so that the PHP command-line client can see it too.

Installing Oracle Express on Ubuntu

I needed to test an installation of Oracle with Moodle, here's what I did

  • Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS 64 bit
  • Oracle 11g Release 2 Express Edition
  • SQL Developer

Oracle Express and SQL Developer

Ignore all other sites and follow these instructions -

Log out of Chrome before doing this bit though because Chrome uses the same folder and it will instantly crash.

sudo rm -rf /dev/shm
sudo mkdir /dev/shm
sudo mount -t tmpfs shmfs -o size=4096m /dev/shm

Also, change 4096m to whatever half your memory is.

If you get a fatal error when running sqldeveloper then

gksudo gedit /opt/sqldeveloper/sqldeveloper/bin/sqldeveloper

and add these 2 lines at the top


Found the answer here

After installing and when creating a connection, the default username is SYSTEM and use the password created in the step sudo /etc/init.d/oracle-xe configure

In gnome classic - The menus for Oracle are under Other, sqldeveloper is under Programming

Create a user

Probably easiest to use the application express:

  • Go to "Get Started With Oracle Database 11g Express Edition" - either from the applications -> other menu (in gnome) or via the desktop icon that was created when installing.
  • This will open a page in your browser.
  • Login as SYSTEM
  • Click on the application express tab
  • Create a user and password
  • Then go to SQL Developer (In Gnome classic - go to applications -> programming -> sqldeveloper) and create and open a connection using the newly created user


Follow these instructions -

Add to both /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini and /etc/php5/cli/php.ini otherwise the client php cron won't work

Restart apache2

Then test with this


error_reporting( -1 );
ini_set( 'display_errors', 1 );

$conn = oci_connect('USERNAME', 'password', 'localhost/XE');
if (!$conn) {
    $e = oci_error();
    trigger_error(htmlentities($e['message'], ENT_QUOTES), E_USER_ERROR);

// Prepare the statement
$sql = "SELECT * FROM atable"; // Change this.
$stid = oci_parse($conn, $sql);
if (!$stid) {
    $e = oci_error($conn);
    trigger_error(htmlentities($e['message'], ENT_QUOTES), E_USER_ERROR);

// Perform the logic of the query
$r = oci_execute($stid);
if (!$r) {
    $e = oci_error($stid);
    trigger_error(htmlentities($e['message'], ENT_QUOTES), E_USER_ERROR);

// Fetch the results of the query
print "<table border='1'>\n";
while ($row = oci_fetch_array($stid, OCI_ASSOC+OCI_RETURN_NULLS)) {
    print "<tr>\n";
    foreach ($row as $item) {
        print "    <td>" . ($item !== null ? htmlentities($item, ENT_QUOTES) : " ") . "</td>\n";
    print "</tr>\n";
print "</table>\n";


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