Oracle announces general availability of latest Oracle Linux releases

May 24, 2023 | 4 minute read
Simon Coter
Director, Oracle Linux and Virtualization Product Management
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The latest releases of Oracle Linux enhance the user experience across on-premises, cloud, and edge deployments, with a focus on operational consistency and improved efficiency, to accelerate time-to-market for critical infrastructure assets.

Oracle Linux 9 Update 2 and Oracle Linux 8 Update 8 for the 64-bit Intel and AMD (x86_64) and 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platforms are now generally available. These releases are 100% application binary compatible with corresponding Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 Update 2 and 8 Update 8 releases. Both releases ship with the newest Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 7 Update 1 (UEK R7U1) and Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) packages. 

Oracle Linux 9 Update 2 is packaged with the following kernel options:

  • UEK R7U1, kernel-uek-5.15.0- for both x86_64 and aarch64 platforms
  • Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK), kernel-5.14.0-284.11.1 for x86_64 platform

Oracle Linux 8 Update 8 is packaged with the following kernel options:

  • UEK R7U1, kernel-uek-5.15.0- for both x86_64 and aarch64 platforms
  • Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK), kernel-4.18.0-477.10.1 for x86_64 platform

What's New

Operating system and software management

Oracle Linux now supports offline upgrades. Offline upgrades can help protect a system during upgrades by performing package installations after a reboot and before libraries that might be affected by package updates have loaded. With this enhancement, running services won’t be impacted by operating system updates.

With offline upgrades, DNF does not apply the updates directly, but it notifies the systemd process that updates need to be applied. Subsequently, when Oracle Linux reboots and systemd process starts, it checks if the package manager has prepared any updates and, if that’s the case, then systemd starts the package manager and the updates preconfigured by DNF are applied. Once the updates are completed, systemd then restarts the machine and all the services.

This feature includes the option to apply security advisory filters such as --advisory, --security, and --bugfix to limit the download of packages and their dependencies to a specified advisory.

Enhanced containerized management

Oracle Linux now includes an updated container tools package that delivers improved integration between Oracle Linux and local container runtimes; this package includes enhanced releases for Podman, Buildah, Skopeo, crun, and runc tools.

Oracle Linux 9 Update 2 and Oracle Linux 8 Update 8 both can run containerized workloads in systemd for more reliable deployments. Thisintegration allows systemd to manage service dependencies, monitor the lifecycle and service state, restart services in case of failure, and manage auto updates/rollbacks for your containers.

Podman 4.4, now included with Oracle Linux 9 Update 2 and Oracle Linux 8 Update 8, added the “podman generate systemd” command to create a unit file directly from a running container.

For a list of enhancements and bug and security fixes introduced by Podman 4.4, refer to the community Podman release notes.

Updated observability stack

Oracle Linux 9 Update 2 includes Grafana v.9, a release that improves Grafana’s ease of use, discovery of data through new visualization models, and a default Grafana Alerting experience.

Grafana, part of Oracle Linux, makes observability and data visualization easier and more accessible. It includes an enhanced navigation menu, improvements to dashboard search, advanced security and authentication features, and more. Grafana Alerting is now enabled by default and provides feature parity with legacy alerting and many additional benefits.

Facilitated security and compliance management

Cockpit, generally available for Oracle Linux 8 and Oracle Linux 9, is a graphical web desktop interface for individual servers and allows you to easily start containers, administer storage, manage KVM virtual machines, configure networks, and inspect logs. This web console introduces the option to manage encrypted disk unlocking for root filesystems using NBDE (network bound disk encryption). It provides administrators a facilitated method to leverage system-wide crypto policies and keep associated systems compliant with defined standards and policies.

Improved networking management

Updated NetworkManager 1.42.2, available with Oracle Linux 9 Update 2, includes important enhancements to properly configure and manage the network configuration on server systems:

  • Ethernet bonds (high-availability for Networks) can be configured for source load balancing
  • 802.1ad tagging in Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs) connections
  • For modern edge devices, the nmtui application can be used with Wi-Fi WPA-Enterprise, Ethernet with 802.1X authentication, and MACsec connection profiles
  • NetworkManager is updated to reject DHCPv6 leases if all addresses fail IPv6 duplicate address detection

Filesystem and storage

Oracle Linux 9 Update 2 and Oracle Linux 8 Update 8, with UEK R7U1, continue to maintain and grant support for the btrfs file system, for access to one of the most modern copy on write (COW) file systems for Linux. For details of the new features, enhancements, and changes, refer to the Oracle Linux 9 Update 2 Release Notes and Oracle Linux 8 Update 8 Release Notes.

Upgrading to the latest Oracle Linux releases

You can upgrade an Oracle Linux 7 system to the latest Oracle Linux 8 as well as upgrade an Oracle Linux 8 system to the latest Oracle Linux 9 release by using the leapp utility. For step-by-step instructions and information about any known issues that you might encounter when upgrading your system, review the following documentation for Oracle Linux 8 and Oracle Linux 9.

Download and try it now!




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Simon Coter

Director, Oracle Linux and Virtualization Product Management

A 20-years 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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