Oracle 11gR2 Express Edition ("XE") Beta is now downloadable for Linux x86_64 and Windows (32-Bit). Oracle XE is a free, slimmed down version of the full Oracle DB. Documentation for XE 11gR2 is here.
One of the Oracle features retained by XE 11gR2 is DRCP support. This is the first XE release with DRCP so now you can make the most of limited resources using PHP again a small footprint DB.
The big XE change for Linux users is that it is now 64-bit instead of 32-bit. With Linux production systems really rooted in a 64-bit world it makes sense for XE to head in that direction too.
Report any XE 11gR2 Beta issues at the dedicated OTN forum.
To compile PHP with XE 11gR2 Beta code, edit
$ORACLE_HOME/lib/sysliblist and remove the references to the two libraries
-lipgo -lsvml (Oracle bug 12318656). Before the Beta release I had picked up on another compilation gotcha but didn't spot this sysliblist issue. Dang. Luckily, that's what Beta programs are for!