I did find however that the way the instant client deploys its files can break makefiles and so on if you are doing C/C++ development.
I wrote a simple script (see installInstantClient.sh) to install and cleanup an Instant Client and take care of a few things like:
- move executables into a /bin subdirectory
- move libraries into a /lib subdirectory
- create links for commonly know library names
- create a default network/admin/tnsnames.ora
- suggest appropriate environment settings for your .bash_profile
Note that the script is written to explicitly handle the basic+sdk+sqlplus installation. If you want to use it for a different combination of kits it will need some simple modification.