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I noticed the Oracle database download page has two groups of clients for users to download. There is a thing called "client" and has 32-bit version and 64-bit version. Also, there is a thing called "client home", which also has both 32-bit and 64-bit version. What are the differences between them? When should I use which?

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Update

The download page URL is https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/enterprise-edition/downloads/oracle19c-linux-5462157.html

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LINUX.X64_193000_client.zip is a fully featured installer where you can choose what to install and where, then the installer copies the files to the destination and registers the client.

LINUX.X64_193000_client_home.zip is an "image" of and "Administrator" type installation, that you unzip to the destination folder then register it.

Simplified Image-Based Oracle Database Client Installation

Starting with Oracle Database 19c, the Oracle Database client software is available as an image file for download and installation. You must extract the image software into a directory where you want your Oracle home to be located, and then run the runInstaller script to start the Oracle Database client installation. Oracle Database client installation binaries continue to be available in the traditional format as non-image zip files.

As with Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure image file installations, Oracle Database client image installations simplify Oracle Database client installations and ensure best practice deployments.

About Image-Based Oracle Database Client Installation

Starting with Oracle Database 19c, installation and configuration of Oracle Database Client software is simplified with image-based installation.

To install Oracle Database Client, create the new Oracle home, extract the image file into the newly-created Oracle home, and run the setup wizard to register the Oracle Database product.

You must extract the image software (client_home.zip) into the directory where you want your Oracle Database Client home to be located, and then run the Setup Wizard to start the Oracle Database Client installation and configuration. Oracle recommends that the Oracle home directory path you create is in compliance with the Oracle Optimal Flexible Architecture recommendations.

Using image-based installation, you can install Oracle Database Client 32-bit and 64-bit configurations of the Administrator installation type.

As with Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure image file installations, Oracle Database Client image installations simplify Oracle Database Client installations and ensure best practice deployments. Oracle Database Client installation binaries continue to be available in the traditional format as non-image zip files.

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  • Hi Balazs, thanks for your answer. I'm still not sure why image-based installation is considered "better". You still need to extract the file and run an installation script, right? What's your throughs? – Just a learner Jul 29 '19 at 18:57
  • @Justalearner I have almost never used these clients and I don't plan using them. Yeah, you can save a few seconds with the "image" client compared to the full client, great. But still, it is a 2.2 GB "image". That is more than the whole operating system. 620 MB of libs, 500 MB JDK + other Java stuff, 149 MB RDBMS scripts (WTF?), 106 MB DMU, 101 MB timezone files (WTF?), 90 MB Perl, 86 MB afdboot (WTF? Noone uses AFD even on the servers), and other 100s of MB of unnecessary stuff that we don't need on 99% of client installations. Go for the Instant client. You can even yum install it. – Balazs Papp Jul 29 '19 at 19:23
  • Fully agree. I see no value whatsoever in installing that bloated full client. The instant client is good enough. Especially the latest versions who actually include basic tools like sqlldr, 'exp, imp, expdp, impdp` and sqlplus. The only thing missing (why?) is the new and improved sqlcl. But that is a small additional download. – Albert Godfrind Jul 30 '19 at 10:05
  • And what's more, the instant client is available on all platforms - including MacOS! Even MacOS on PPC which is very much totally super odd! – Albert Godfrind Jul 30 '19 at 10:08
  • @AlbertGodfrind, not true. They don't provide drivers for *BSD. So, not all platforms are supported. – Michael-O Aug 20 '19 at 16:21

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