How to Setup Oracle DB 12.2 Docker Container

Update: I've moved my setup process to Dockerize Oracle and APEX to Github. It will be maintained with the latest steps I'm using it. The repository is docker-oracle-setup.

I recently had a need to do a Proof of Concept (POC) on a new feature released in Oracle 12c R2 (12.2). My first instinct was to go to my DBAs and ask them to give me access to a 12.2 environment. Thankfully I was at the Oracle ACE annual Oracle Open World dinner and Gerald Venzl (aka Mr.Oracle-Docker) was there and convinced me otherwise. I must thank Gerald for both pushing me to start using Docker again and also for some support when I ran into issues.

The following post will cover how to get a 12.2 instance up and running using the Oracle Container Registry for your own personal instances


  • If you haven't already done so, go install Docker. If you've never heard of Docker before I suggest reading a bit about it so you have some understanding of what is and how it works.
  • Go to and use your Oracle Technology Network (OTN) login and register.
    • One logged in go to Database > Enterprise and read and if you agree to the Terms and Conditions click the Accept button


The following steps will pull the appropriate image(s) and setup your docker instance. I've added inline comments to describe each step. If you're new to Docker please read my comments rather than blindly running the code.

# Some Docker versions may complain about login credentials when calling the pull command
# If you aren't auto prompted for login credentials run the following and use your OTN credentials
# docker login

# They're various docker 12c images. To help reduce the number (and size) of images on my laptop I only needed the 12.2 version
# This will take a while to run as the image size is around 3.5 GB
docker pull

# For all the examples below the name "OracleDB" was used.
# You can use any name you want or just use the docker container ID to reference it

# To run the image the documentation says to just use the -P option for something like:
# docker run -d -it --name OracleDB -P
# This will auto map a local port on your laptop to the container's Oracle 1521 port.
# The problem with this approach is that each time you stop and start the container you may get a new local port
# To get around this restriction you can use the the "-p" option for a statically defined port.
# In this example I chose 32711
docker run -d -it --name OracleDB -p 32711:1521

# It takes some time for the Oracle container to fully boot up. Before trying to connect to it check the container status by running:
docker ps

# Look in the STATUS column for the container. During "boot" time it will say "... (health: starting)".
# Wait until it says (healthy) before trying anything else.

# To review/confirm the port mapping run:
docker port OracleDB
# Should result in something like: 1521/tcp ->

Your docker container should now be running. The following code shows how to connect to the instance using SQLcl along with creating a test account on the PDB. You can take the connection strings in the SQLcl demos and apply to SQL Developer.

# Note on my laptop I renamed "sql" to "sqlcl". Adjust the scripts accordingly or call sqlplus
# The difference between : and / at the end of the connection strings is :SID /SERVICE_NAME
# Note: Oradoc_db1 is the default password for the image

# To connect to the CDB (you probably won't need to do this)
# sqlcl sys/Oradoc_db1@localhost:32711:orclcdb as sysdba
# You'd then need to connect to PDB in SQL: alter session set container = orclpdb1;

# To connect to the PDB to create schema to develop with
sqlcl sys/Oradoc_db1@localhost:32711/orclpdb1.localdomain as sysdba

In SQL>:

-- Create account to develop with
define new_user = 'martin'

create user &new_user. identified by &new_user. container = current;
grant connect, resource, create any context to &new_user;
alter user &new_user quota unlimited on users;


Connect to the PDB

sqlcl martin/martin@localhost:32711/orclpdb1.localdomain

Note: In SQL Developer this connection looks like:

{% asset_img docker-sql-developer.png %}


-- Create the emp and dept tables (note: only works in SQLcl / SQL Dev. Not SQL*Plus)

You can now do/test whatever you want to do in your PDB!

Common docker commands

So now that you've started your Docker instance, and established a working connection to the PDB how do you manage the Docker container? Here are some useful Docker commands:

# See all containers (running or otherwise)
docker ps -a

# Stop the docker image
# docker stop OracleDB
# From Gerald Venzl: By default docker will kill the container after just 10 seconds.
# That usually means that your database will die and has to run through recovery when it restarts.
# I always do a "docker stop -t 100 <container name>". That gives it a minute and 40 secs.
# It won't need that, usually 30 - 40 secs is enough.
# Docker will shutdown as soon as the database is down as well.
docker stop -t 100 OracleDB

# Start the docker image
docker start OracleDB

# *** Cleanup ***

# Delete container
docker rm OracleDB

# Delete Image
docker rmi

Final Thoughts

I've just started to use the Docker 12.2 image and may launch a 12.1 container as well (will blog instructions if I do it).

If I run into any issues doing my tests and "learning" development (i.e. kicking the 12.2 tires) I'll write another article and link below. I also plan to look into upgrading APEX on the 12.2 container along with creating a simple web server container to test APEX with some 12.2 features. If I get this working I'll blog about it.

Update: Role Hartman wrote a followup post to this article that I highly suggest reading. I will update this article with some of his suggestions on how he sets up his Docker Oracle DB container.