Do you have Oracle s/w for installing the client on the linux box? That’s the first step. Then is configuring the tnsnames.ora, listener.ora and sqlnet.ora files (help is around, such as http://www.orafaq.com/faqnet.htm). (I assume you ping the box, if not, you should get that to work first) You will need to ask for the database admin for the database info to open a connection to the database you are interested in.
First get tnsping to work, then a SQL login. Then try a simple app on the linux box to debug getting any data.