This article is from 2007. Since Oralce has taken over Sun, you can now grab a pre-built VM with everything installed and ready to use:
Well, at least on an Intel Mac it is now possible to run and use the Oracle 10g Express Edition, the free version for small projects and software development, which unfortunately does not exist for Mac OS X.
Thanks to virtualization you can install Oracle 10g Express on a Linux or Windows VM and use it from the Mac side (your Java application, Eclipse,…).
I used Ubuntu Ultimate 1.4 on VMware Fusion. Before you can install Oracle 10g express, you have to increase the swap size. In my case the installer reported that the Express Edition requires 750 MB of swap space. I followed these instructions and increased the swap space to 800MB. Since I wanted to use the universal release, I used ‘apt-get install oracle-xe-universal’ to install Oracle (Oracle also offers RPM packages). The rest is straight forward. Just follow the instructions. As you can see in the screenshot, I can contact the 10g database from SQL Developer running on Mac OS X on the same machine. The Ubuntu windows shows the web-interface of Oracle.
I ran the same maven build again (clean install with database scripts and full tests) and now the time went down to 2:50 (from 3:30 with a remote database). The Core 2 Duo of my MacBook Pro had to work hard and memory usage went up to 1.5 GB, but there was enough room to continue working.
So, this is great. Now I have a completely independent mobile software development platform.