I have installed Oracle 10g on RH9. The installation seemed to go OK but in the last phase, configuration of the...
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database the install hung. When I ran DBCA I got the error, "OPW-000001 Cannot open password file." The password file exists with permissions --rwSr, owner oracle, group orinstall. Have you ever experienced this problem? I've got a 10g installation on Red Hat (EL) that doesn't experience this error. You can always try not having a password file (set remote_login_passwordfile to none in the "All Initialization Parameters" screen in DBCA) and then create one later yourself if you'd like. Also, I've seen some strange bugs that only happen when you run DBCA as part of the installation. If you complete the installation (software only), exit the installer, then run DBCA, those problems don't happen. The issue you describe isn't specifically one of those I've seen, but you might try that method if you're not already.
Additionally, you can also have the DBCA save scripts that will create the database and then run them later. That's especially useful when you want to see what's going on behind the scenes. In this case, I expect that the scripts (regardless of whether or not you have a passwordfile configured) will work just fine.
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