How to install oracle instantclient and pdo_oci on ubuntu machine?

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How to install oracle instantclient and pdo_oci on ubuntu machine? – Here in this article, we will share some of the most common and frequently asked about PHP problem in programming with detailed answers and code samples. There’s nothing quite so frustrating as being faced with PHP errors and being unable to figure out what is preventing your website from functioning as it should like php and oracle . If you have an existing PHP-based website or application that is experiencing performance issues, let’s get thinking about How to install oracle instantclient and pdo_oci on ubuntu machine?.

I need to install PDO_OCI in ubuntu machine, there is no default package that I could install with apt-get.

There are a lot of tutorials showing how to do it, but when I follow them, I have problems related to compilation (configure, make,…)

Here what I did:

  1. I followed this Tutorial to install instant client

  2. Install oci8

    pecl install oci8

    I get error:

    error: oci.h not found

  3. Install PDO_OCI

    mkdir -p /tmp/pear/download/
    cd /tmp/pear/download/
    pecl download pdo_oci
    ./configure –with-pdo-oci=instantclient,/usr,11.2


    pdo_driver.h not found …

Please do you have any serious tutorial that works perfectly on UBUNTU 12.04?

Solution :

The answer is a replication of this article (in Russian) which is in turn based on this post with some corrections. After several days of fruitless search it worked smoothly for me.


You should have administrator privileges

You should have php5 installed with the following packages:

sudo apt-get install php5 php5-dev php-pear php5-cli
sudo pecl install pdo

You should have libaio1 library installed:

sudo apt-get install libaio1

Installation of Oracle Instant Client

Dowload Oracle instant client for your processor architecture and OS from Oracle website (

For Linux there are 2 options of instant client:
RPM package for Linux, CentOS, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Mandriva Linux, SUSE Linux, etc.
ZIP archive — for all others not supporting RPM.

There are 2 files to be downloaded:

instantclient-basic — Oracle instant client itself

instantclient-sdk — set of libraries for application development

Create directory for Oracle instant client ( /opt directory reserved for software extensions suits well for this purpose):

sudo mkdir -p /opt/oracle/

Move downloaded files to /opt/oracle and switch to destination folder (assuming that you downloaded “zip” archives to your user “downloads” directory):

sudo mv ~/downloads/instantclient-*.zip /opt/oracle/
cd /opt/oracle/

Extracting downloaded archives:

sudo unzip instantclient-basic-*-*.zip
sudo unzip instantclient-sdk-*-*.zip

Finally we have instantclient_11_2 directory created in /opt/oracle for Oracle instant client Rename this directory to instantclient (pay attention to version number) and switch to it:

sudo mv instantclient_11_2 instantclient
cd instantclient

Next we’ll have to create several additional directories and symlinks (pay attention to version number):

sudo ln -s /opt/oracle/instantclient/* /opt/oracle/instantclient/
sudo ln -s /opt/oracle/instantclient/* /opt/oracle/instantclient/
sudo ln -s /opt/oracle/instantclient/ /opt/oracle/instantclient/lib

sudo mkdir -p include/oracle/11.2/
cd include/oracle/11.2/
sudo ln -s ../../../sdk/include client
cd -

sudo mkdir -p lib/oracle/11.2/client
cd lib/oracle/11.2/client
sudo ln -s ../../../ lib
cd -

Create configuration file containing name of directory where Oracle instant client libraries are to be searched for and enable it:

echo /opt/oracle/instantclient/ | sudo tee -a /etc/
sudo ldconfig

As far as there is not directory /usr/include/php in Ubuntu, but the client is still searchin for it, we’ll create symlink to it’s equivalent – php5:

sudo ln -s /usr/include/php5 /usr/include/php

Installation of OCI8

After previous actions oci8 extension is installed with pecl command:

sudo pecl install oci8

you will be prompted for path to Oracle instant client, respond with:


Creating extension connection file:

echo "; configuration for php oci8 module" | sudo tee /etc/php5/conf.d/oci8.ini
echo | sudo tee -a /etc/php5/conf.d/oci8.ini

Installation of PDO_OCI

For installation of PDO_OCI download it from pear repository (

Update pear packages list:

sudo pecl channel-update

Download and place archive to temp directory:

sudo mkdir -p /tmp/pear/download/
cd /tmp/pear/download/
sudo pecl download pdo_oci

Extract archive contents:

sudo tar xvf PDO_OCI*.tgz

Here we’ll have to ammend config.m4 file as it does not contain information on our version of Oracle instant client. Open the file and add changes marked with “+” (pay attension to version number):

sudo vim config.m4

Below is the diff of 2 files:

*** 7,12 ****
--- 7,14 ----
if test -s "$PDO_OCI_DIR/orainst/unix.rgs"; then
PDO_OCI_VERSION=`grep '"ocommon"' $PDO_OCI_DIR/orainst/unix.rgs | sed 's/[ ][ ]*/:/g' | cut -d: -f 6 | cut -c 2-4`
+ elif test -f $PDO_OCI_DIR/lib/libclntsh.$SHLIB_SUFFIX_NAME.11.2; then
elif test -f $PDO_OCI_DIR/lib/libclntsh.$SHLIB_SUFFIX_NAME.10.1; then
elif test -f $PDO_OCI_DIR/lib/libclntsh.$SHLIB_SUFFIX_NAME.9.0; then
*** 119,124 ****
--- 121,129 ----
+ 11.2)
+ ;;
AC_MSG_ERROR(Unsupported Oracle version! $PDO_OCI_VERSION)

Prepare environment for php extension with phpize ( command:

sudo phpize

Configure package installer and install package (pay attention to version number):

sudo ./configure --with-pdo-oci=instantclient,/opt/oracle/instantclient/,11.2
sudo make
sudo make install

Create connection file for it:

echo "; configuration for php PDO_OCI module" | sudo tee /etc/php5/conf.d/pdo_oci.ini
echo | sudo tee -a /etc/php5/conf.d/pdo_oci.ini

Restart apache and check if extensions were installed:

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
php -m

This guide might help to compile the pdo_oci module from source, since PECL version is now obsolete. I wrote the original post for CentOS 6.6, PHP v5.3.3 and Oracle Instant client v.12.1, but it should be easy to apply it for your case also.

Install PHP development package

$ apt-get install php-devel 

Download PHP source code

$ cd /usr/local/src
$ mkdir php_source
$ cd php_source/
$ wget
$ gunzip php-5.3.3.tar.gz
$ tar xvf php-5.3.3.tar

Prepare PDO_OCI for compilation

Make sure that you have $ORACLE_HOME environment variable set. In my case it was pointing to /usr/lib/oracle/12.1/client64

Browse to folder where extension source files are located:

$ cd php-5.3.3/ext/pdo_oci

Since we are running an Oracle client version 12.1, which is not supported out-of-box by the extension, we need to do some hacking. Our Instant Client version number needs to be added to config.m4 file, otherwise configure will fail with the following error message

Oracle version... configure: error: Oracle required OCI8 libraries not found under /usr/lib/oracle/12.1/client64

Open the config.m4 file and look for SUPPORTED_LIB_VERS (line 5 or so), add 12.1 to the list of versions. Also find case $PDO_OCI_VERSION in line (could be line 134) and add |12.1 to the list of versions below it. Save the file and that is all we need here.

Prepare, configure and make the extension

$ phpize
$ ./configure
$ make

Now, make will most probably fail complaining that it cannot find the Oracle header files, e.g. oci.h. That is because, unless you installed the Oracle server, or Instant client in developer mode, the files do not exist on the server.

Go to, Instant Client Downloads for Linux page and get the Instant client SDK package for your version:
Instant Client Downloads for Linux

In my case I downloaded this file:

Unpack the file in any location of your choice. The header files we need are in sdk/include folder. Copy all these files to the include folder of the extension: /usr/local/src/php_source/php-5.3.3/ext/pdo_oci/include

Now the make should pass:

$ make

As the end result you will get a compiled module in /modules subfolder of your extension directory:

Move and enable the compiled module

Find out where PHP stores it’s extensions on the server

$ php -i | grep extension_dir

Copy the extension ( to that directory.

Now there are a couple of ways to enable the module. One is by including it in the main php.ini file, but in my case I created a separate .ini file in a folder where other .ini files of other modules are residing and which are included by PHP upon startup.

So I created a file /etc/php.d/pdo_oci.ini with the following contents:

; Enable pdo_oci extension module

Alternatively the same line can be added to your php.ini file.

Restart Apache and check

$ /etc/init.d/httpd restart

In case you have PHP CLI installed, you can check the list of loaded modules, otherwise create a PHP file with phpinfo() in it and check the outputs. If you see PDO_OCI in the output – congratulations!

$ php -m


Thanks to Mattias Geniar for the original post on how to compile PHP extensions from source:

The PDO, PDO_OCI extensions from pecl install are obsolete because latest PHP version has them built-in its core & installation these extensions by this way mostly failed.

I’ve spent a lot of time to try to do this following several approach with no luck, and finally find it out by myself a clean way to do this: compile & install the extensions from PHP source.

During the compilation, there are some tricks as well, I’ve described the process in detail in my post:

Short steps are listed here:

  1. Download & install Oracle instant Client, then export ORACLE_HOME environment variable
  2. Download & compile PDO_OCI (and OCI8 if needed) form PHP source packages, there are some tricks that you need to applied here, including:

    sudo ln -s /usr/include/php5/ /usr/include/php

    and edit the Makefile:

    EXTRA_INCLUDES = -I/usr/include/oracle/11.2/client64

  3. Enable the extensions and restart web server

This has been tested for Debian 7.6 as well

Hope this helps.

installing with PECL is deprecated, don’t use it. Here is a good tutorial step by step how to install PDO_OCI and Oracle instant client on linux machine:

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