So downloading the 2g+ of Oracle's installer is a PITA if you wish to download directly to the server, and you work remotely. They REALLY make it difficult to download with anything other than a web browser. I have heard there are ways to get this to work with wget, but if there is a Linux desktop on the network where you wish to deliver the download, I think VNC is easier. This got me start nicely, and this is what just worked for me:
On the desktop you wish to connect to, install x11vnc / xvfb / xterm, then start up a VNC server as follows:
x11vnc -forever -rfbport 5900 -create -ncache 10
Note that I am using "-create" because there is no current user session on the machine, and I am not physically present to login, so this way VNC will create a Xvfb (framebuffer) X session for me. Also note that I have not set a password on this VNC server, as the machine is not on a public network and I am connecting over a VPN.
Then on the client (your desktop) side, run the vinagre client in VNC mode, and connect to the IP:port of the VNC server. Works like a charm.
I am one of the many who abandoned Gnome after the transition to Gnome3. All the other desktops (KDE, XFCE, LXDE) that I use are configured to have six workspaces, mapped to Ctrl-F1, F2, F3, and Ctrl-1, 2, 3. And I put specific applications in each of those workspaces, which I always want to be able to access with the same keyboard shortcuts. Default Gnome3 behavior is to "disappear" a workspace once the last app in that workspace is closed, causing all workspaces above to shift down one keyboard shortcut. Simply unacceptable.
But now I have a fix. Put this in ~/.xsession:
gsettings set org.gnome.shell.overrides dynamic-workspaces false
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-to-workspace-5 "[\"
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-to-workspace-6 "[\"