A step-by-step construction guide to install and configure a Linux server from scratch and how to then install the Oracle 10g RDBMS on it.
It also shows you how to set up the server’s network and how to configure a Linux-based and Windows-based client environment. All you need is a cheap server or an old PC (not too old!) that has a network card on it, some memory and some disk space, the installation media and the temporary use of a keyboard, mouse and screen.
Download the complete construction guide in PDF format, follow the steps and you will have a nice Oracle box.
This guide also works with Oracle 11g. Probably the best Linux-based distro that supports Oracle is Red Hat Enterprise (which comes with bits that you have to pay for) or Centos (which is entirely free). You can also try Fedora or Ubuntu - the instruction are more or less the same.
It is also possible to get Oracle to run on Gentoo although some extra, very technical steps are required. In lieu of the existing known & working options, this is only for the adventurous.