I managed to install and run oracle on my Centos 5.5. Just a couple of tips for everyone's benefit
1. the /etc/redhat-release should be faked to show Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5 (Tikanga). same goes for /etc/issues file.
2. I also downloaded and installed a fake rpm called centos-fake.noarch.rpm which you can get from http://ivan.kartik.sk/ - This supposedly enables the installer to run. This rpm is blank, no software. Not sure if this is mandatory.
3. I logged in to Centos as oracle to get around various display errors that pop up if I try with su approach. This also means I set a password for the oracle user, which Oracle guide does no mention or make necessary.
4. When the dbca gets stuck at 85% for a long time, keep faith and just go away for a while, do not stop task. It eventually does the job.
5. The missing prerequisities are found by the installer, so you can run it just to see what is missing and then dowload and install them using yum install. I did this for a variety of software including gcc and others that were missing. Depending on size of such installs, you can keep the installer waiting and recheck after installing the prerequisites.
Other steps are basically from the oracle website install guide for Linux so no point repeating them.
Installation and support for Oracle DB on CentOS.
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The rpm file is not more available on ivan site. You can obtain it here: https://web.archive.org/web/20100403045 ... kartik.sk/