This is the first time I have had to install the Oracle9i Client software on Linux for a development team. The version of Linux is SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 (SLES 9). SUSE publishes an installation guide for installing both the Oracle9i and Oracle10g Client software on SLES 9.
One of the steps requires you to download and install (as root) an rpm called orarun which simplifies the pre-installation tasks for the OS. Metalink Note 266049.1 provides a good description on what the orarun package provides such as:
-> sets the Oracle environment variables for each user, like ORACLE_HOME and PATH
-> sets the recommended kernel parameters, e.g. SHMMAX
-> provides for automated start/stop of Oracle processes at system startup/shutdown
Before installing, LD_ASSUME_KERNEL environment variable needs to be set.
The Client base installation for Linux x86 was version 184.108.40.206. I installed the 220.127.116.11 patch on top of that without any problems.