Announcing the Release of Oracle Linux 8

July 18, 2019 | 5 minute read
Simon Coter
Director, Oracle Linux and Virtualization Product Management
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Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 8.


With Oracle Linux 8, the core operating environment and associated packages for a typical Oracle Linux 8 server are distributed through a combination of BaseOS and Applications Streams. BaseOS gives you a running user space for the operating environment. Application Streams provides a range of applications that were previously distributed in Software Collections, as well as other products and programs, that can run within the user space.

Notable new features in this release

Oracle Linux 8 introduces numerous enhancements and new features. Highlights include:

  • Application Streams
    • Oracle Linux 8 introduces the concept of Application Streams, where multiple versions of user space components can be delivered and updated more frequently than the core operating system packages. Application Streams contain the necessary system components and a range of applications that were previously distributed in Software Collections, as well as other products and programs. A list of Application Streams supported on Oracle Linux 8 is available here.
  • System Management
    • Dandified Yum, a new version of the yum tool based on DNF technology, is a software package manager that installs, updates, and removes packages on RPM-based Linux distributions
    • Cockpit, an easy-to-use, lightweight and simple yet powerful remote manager for GNU/Linux servers, is an interactive server administration interface that offers a live Linux session via a web browser
  • RPM Improvements
    • Oracle Linux 8 ships with version 4.14 of RPM, which introduces many improvements and support for several new features
  • Installation, Boot and Image Creation
    • inst.addrepo=name boot parameter has been added to the installer. You can use this parameter to specify an additional repository during an installation
    • By default, the Oracle Linux 8 installer uses the disk encryption specification LUKS2 (Linux Unified Key Setup 2) format
  • Kernel
    • The modinfo command has been updated to recognize and display signature information for modules that are signed with CMS and PKCS#7 formatted signatures
    • A set of kernel modules have been moved to the kernel-modules-extra package, which means none of these modules are installed by default; as a consequence, non-root users cannot load these components, as they are also blacklisted by default
    • Memory bus limits have been extended to 128 PiB of virtual address space and 4 PB of physical memory capacity. The I/O memory management unit (IOMMU) code in the Linux kernel is also updated to enable 5-level paging tables
    • The early kdump feature enables the crash kernel and initramfs to load early so that it can capture vmcore information, including early kernel crashes
  • Containers and Virtualization
    • New container tools:  podman, buildah and skopeo, compatible with Open Container Initiative (OCI), are now available with the Oracle Linux 8. These tools can be used to manage the same Linux containers that are produced and managed by Docker and other compatible container engines.
    • Q35 machine type, support for KVM, which is a more modern PCI Express-based machine type, is now available for KVM
    • Additional information is included in KVM guest crash reports, which makes it easier to diagnose and fix problems when using KVM virtualization
  • Filesystem and Storage
    • Enhanced Device Mapper Multipathing
    • SCSI Multiqueue driver enables block layer performance to scale well with fast solid-state drives (SSDs) and multi-core systems
    • Stratis, an easy solution to manage local storage
    • XFS support for shared COW data extents, shared copy-on-write (COW) data extent functionality, whereby two or more files can share a common set of data blocks. This feature is similar to Copy on write (COW) functionality that is found in other file systems, where if either of the files that are sharing common blocks change, XFS breaks the link to those common blocks and then creates a new file
  • Identity Management
    • Several major identity management (IdM) features and enhancements, including session recording, enhanced Microsoft AD integration and new password syntax check
    • IdM server and client packages are distributed as a module; the IdM server module stream is called the DL1 stream and it contains multiple profiles (server, dns, adtrust, client, and default)
  • Networking
    • iptables network packet filtering framework has been replaced with nftables; the nftables framework includes packet classification facilities, several improvements and provides improved performance
    • iptables-translate and ip6tables-translate commands are now available to convert existing rules to their nftables equivalents, thereby facilitating the move to Oracle Linux 8
    • IPVLAN virtual network driver enables network connectivity for multiple containers by exposing a single MAC address to the local network
    • Networking, UDP, and TCP updated to release 4.18 with improved performance
  • Security
    • OpenSSH updated to release 7.8p1, enhancing access security 
    • LUKS2 (Linux Unified Key Setup) is now the default format for encrypted volumes
    • OpenSCAP has been updated to the release 1.3.0 with improvements to the command-line interface as well as consolidation of OpenSCAP API have been addressed
    • SELinux now supports the map permission feature, to help prevent direct memory access to various file system objects and introduces new SELinux booleans
    • Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3 is enabled by default in major back-end cryptographic libraries


Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used, and distributed free of charge and updates and errata are freely available. Customers decide which of their systems require a support subscription. This makes Oracle Linux an ideal choice for development, testing, and production systems. The customer decides which support coverage is best for each individual system while keeping all systems up-to-date and secure.

Customers with Oracle Linux Premier Support also receive support for additional Linux programs, including zero-downtime kernel updates using Oracle Ksplice, Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager and Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment.

Oracle Linux Premier Support is included with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure subscriptions at no additional cost.

Further information

Oracle Linux 8 installation software is now available as:

Additional Oracle Linux 8 software options are also available on:

Oracle Linux 8 ships with the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) kernel package kernel-4.18.0-80.el8. It is tested as a bundle, as shipped on the installation media image. The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK), which is being built from a more current upstream kernel version, is undergoing final development.

Oracle Linux 8 offers developers the opportunity to get started with 8.0 capabilities as well as get updates for free.

Oracle Linux maintains binary compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), which is independent of the kernel version that underlies the operating environment. Existing applications in user space will continue to run unmodified on Oracle Linux 8 and no re-certifications are needed for applications already certified with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. 



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Simon Coter

Director, Oracle Linux and Virtualization Product Management

A 19-year Oracle veteran, Simon Coter is an experienced product manager and open source community member. He leads a team responsible for several Oracle Linux and Virtualization offerings, including Oracle Linux, the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Linux, Oracle Cloud Native Environment, Oracle Linux KVM, Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager, Oracle Linux Automation Manager, Gluster, Oracle VM, and VirtualBox. Prior to this, Simon was a technical consultant focused on project management, architectures definition, sizing and implementation, best practices, and technical references for customers.

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