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Oracle Linux support included for Red Hat Enterprise Linux instances in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Julie Wong
Product Management Director

Many IT managers and developers rely on Linux as the foundational operating system (OS) environment for their applications in the cloud. A popular choice is Oracle Linux. It’s a proven operating environment that’s optimized for performance, scalability, reliability, and security. Oracle Linux is used extensively by tens of thousands of customers globally and is certified to run software from thousands of independent software vendors. If you’re considering deploying or already running Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) instances on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), we show you how you can take advantage of the same features and benefits that Oracle Linux provides and receive OS support at no extra cost.

Full binary compatibility

Oracle Linux is open source and fully binary compatible with RHEL. Enterprises have been running Oracle Linux with no compatibility bugs logged since it was launched in 2006. Oracle supports RHEL installations through Oracle Linux Premier Support, which is included with an OCI subscription. By switching yum to receive updates from the Oracle yum server, you can immediately take advantage of all the features and benefits that Oracle Linux provides. Oracle provides updates as Oracle Linux binaries, which are fully compatible with RHEL and work without reinstallation or other coding changes. You can rely on Oracle Linux support for your RHEL installations and be confident about OS and application reliability.

Choice of kernels

Oracle offers a choice of two kernels for Oracle Linux. You can use the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux or the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK), which are both supported by Oracle. Whether running on RHCK or UEK, Oracle Linux is 100% application binary compatible with RHEL. UEK offers extensive performance and scalability improvements to the process scheduler, memory management, file systems, and the networking stack.

UEK is the default kernel with Oracle Linux. To change the kernel and boot into an older or other kernel such as RHCK, follow the steps as outlined in the document Oracle Linux–How to Change the Default Kernel.

Higher security and reliability

Oracle Ksplice is an exclusive feature included with your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure subscription. This technology applies zero-downtime security updates for the kernel and key user space libraries, such as glibc and openssl. Ksplice works while the system is running, without requiring a reboot, and without stopping applications. In addition, Ksplice detects and notifies you of known exploit attempts made on privilege escalation vulnerabilities that it has patched. Ksplice helps keep your systems secure and reliable by staying up to date with vulnerability patches and alerting you to suspicious activities.

Ksplice is supported for Oracle Linux, RHEL, CentOS, and Ubuntu instances hosted on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure at no extra cost. To use Ksplice, refer to the Installing Ksplice Uptrack within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure section of the Ksplice user guide.

Lower costs

When you subscribe to OCI, your RHEL instances are supported through Oracle Linux Premier Support services, so there is no need to pay RHEL support fees. Furthermore, you save on operational costs by reducing system disruptions with automated Ksplice zero-downtime patching. No extra costs are incurred when you use Ksplice or switch to Oracle Linux on OCI.

Obtaining Oracle Linux updates is easy

It takes only minutes to obtain Oracle Linux updates. Oracle provides updates for RHEL instances from the local Oracle Linux yum server mirrors in OCI, so updates are fast and don’t incur network charges. All security and bug fix errata are provided as Oracle Linux binaries. You can refer to the Getting Started–How to Connect to Oracle Linux Yum Server guide on how to connect to the Oracle Linux yum server and obtain software updates for Oracle Linux and for compatible Linux distributions, such as RHEL. You might need to follow more steps to cancel support from Red Hat. Oracle recommends Oracle Linux consulting services to assist with your transition.

In the following video, learn why NTT Data Intellilink made the switch to Oracle Linux:

Get started today

To get started, sign up for an OCI account and claim your Oracle Cloud Free Tier account. Explore the RHEL options to improve security, reduce downtime, simplify operations, and save money with Oracle Linux and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

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