Ubuntu 12.04: Installing Oracle SQL Developer

SQL Developer is another tool that I have found very helpful.  I have been toying with my own SQL Access tool, but SQL Developer is much more full featured.

Update: I have a new post with notes for installing SQL Developer 4.0 on Ubuntu 13:10 — Fixing SQL Developer 4.0.

Here’s how I installed it:


You can easily download it from Oracle’s SQL Developer Download Page.  Just make sure that you pick the correct version for your OS.  Ubuntu does not use RPM packages, so you will have to download the zip file.


First, you simply need to extract the zip file.  I like to place it in my ~/bin directory.  You can either use the unzip command or double click on the zip file and open it with file roller.

You have to make the launch script executable.  You can use chmod ($chmod +x sqldeveloper.sh), or you can right click on the file and edit the properties.

You will have to run the program from the command line the first time because you will have to choose a JVM.  It will prompt you to type the path to your Java installation.

You can see what JVMs you have installed by looking in the /usr/lib/jvm/ directory.  I believe that you want to select a 1.6 version.  It complains about Java 7.

Creating the Shortcut in the Menu

To make launching the program easier, you will want to add it to the Main Menu program.  So, launch Main Menu.  I placed it under Programming.  Then, click the New Item button.

You will find the sqldeveloper.sh and the icon both in the directory where you unzipped the package you downloaded.

9 thoughts on “Ubuntu 12.04: Installing Oracle SQL Developer

  1. First install a Java 6 JDK. You can try any of these instructions:

    Here’s an easier alternative via a repository:

    Here’s the simple commands:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install oracle-java6-installer

    Look in /usr/lib/jvm for the installation directory.

    Does that help?

      1. The JDK path goes in the file $HOME/.sqldeveloper/jdk. In that file I have /usr/lib/jvm/java-6-openjdk-amd64.

        If you run SQL Developer from the command-line the first time, it should prompt you.

        Or, you can run this:
        gedit $HOME/.sqldeveloper/jdk

        Here’s what my system shows:
        skp@chestnut:~$ cat ~/.sqldeveloper/jdk

        I hope that helps. Sorry for responding so late.

  2. Hello, there is a packe for the installation:
    apt-get install sqldeveloper-package
    make-sqldeveloper-package ~/Downloads/sqldeveloper-

    Path to java should be /usr/lib/jvm/default-java which is set by update-alternatives.

    Is there an Ubuntu theme for Oracle SQL Developer?

    How to make the menu move to unity bar?

    1. @Hans

      Thank you very much for pointing that out. I wasn’t aware of that package.

      I made an attempt at walking through installing via that package: http://linuxsagas.digitaleagle.net/2013/03/11/updated-way-to-install-sql-developer-on-ubuntu/

      It wasn’t as easy as I liked. I would like to see a package similar to WebUpd8’s Java package, but we’ll see if that ever happens.

      As for an Ubuntu theme and moving the menus, I don’t know of any. I am not even sure if moving the menus is possible. I did find a bug request out for it: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/sqldeveloper-package/+bug/1135609

  3. Hi everyone,

    i have installed on WM Ware following:

    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64bit – ok!

    Java JDK – ok! (Java 7 Oracle)

    SQL Developer – ok!

    Java Path configuration -ok!

    After installation of SQL Developer i started the SQL Developer and configured the connection. Everything works fine!

    But if i close the SQL Developer, i can not start it again. And i receive no error maseges

    Please help me, i have spend alot of time with this problem


    1. Eugen,

      I am getting the same problem. I am not sure if I was getting it to run correctly even the first time. I did notice a crash file in the /tmp directory, but I haven’t gotten farther than that. I am guessing it has something to do with the new 4.0 version.

      I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out.



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