Still on CentOS Linux 7? Easily switch to Oracle Linux, a stable RHEL-compatible alternative

December 12, 2022 | 3 minute read
David Gilpin
Principal Product Manager
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Customers are seeking ways to reduce IT expenditures. Standardizing on a reduced number of operating systems is one goal to cut costs. For CentOS users, this goal is difficult to achieve. CentOS Linux 8 has been discontinued and replaced with CentOS Stream 8, a continual upstream beta distribution. Many customers are reticent to use CentOS Stream 8 for serious workloads and have switched to other compatible distributions such as Oracle Linux 8. If you find yourself in this quandary, you'll want to keep reading.

Oracle Linux is a Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) compatible distribution that powers Oracle Engineered Systems and Oracle Cloud. It can handle a wide variety of workloads including heavy-duty databases, application servers, and DevOps. While remaining compatible with RHEL, Oracle Linux includes many features that are not available in CentOS and other RHEL compatible distributions.

As part of your streamlining efforts in consolidating Linux distributions, consider switching CentOS Linux 7 to Oracle Linux 7. Oracle provides a quick and easy migration path for CentOS 7 users to switch to Oracle Linux 7, and we provide a convenient hands-on lab and tutorial to help you learn the process.

Here are a few reasons why you should switch your CentOS systems to Oracle Linux:

Oracle Linux is free to download, use, and distribute

Since 2006, Oracle Linux has been completely free to use and easy to download. Major and minor update releases have been free for more than 16 years, and errata releases have been freely available since 2012. Free source code, free binaries, free errata, freely redistributable and free to use in production—all without having to register or sign any documents with Oracle.

Oracle Linux Support is available for purchase, and you get to decide which support coverage, if any, is best for each system. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure subscribers receive Oracle Linux Support at no additional cost.

Compatible, yet better

Oracle Linux is 100% application binary compatible with RHEL.

Oracle offers a choice of two kernels: the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) for Oracle Linux or the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK). Both are supported by Oracle. UEK offers extensive performance and scalability improvements derived from stress testing in our engineered systems and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Whether running on UEK or RHCK, Oracle Linux remains fully compatible with RHEL.

Designed for all workloads

Oracle Linux is designed for all workloads including development, testing, and production use. It is compatible with a broad range of systems, including x86 and Arm. Oracle Linux is designed to optimally support both Oracle and third-party applications on your choice of Oracle or third-party hardware, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, or other public clouds.

Oracle Linux gives you access to great additional features

Here are a few features available with Oracle Linux that are not available with CentOS:

Leapp to Oracle Linux 8

Once you are running Oracle Linux 7 your Linux instance may qualify to use Leapp to perform an in-place upgrade to Oracle Linux 8. The Leapp utility, included with Oracle Linux 8, is a framework for upgrading operating systems. This system upgrade feature can save time and ease administrative efforts when performing an in-place upgrade. Leapp includes a pre-upgrade tool to help discover and mitigate issues before running the actual upgrade process.  The Oracle Linux 7 to Oracle Linux 8 upgrade time is dependent on a number of factors, but typical upgrades using Leapp take from 30 to 45 minutes. You can find more details in the Leapp documentation, and watch this video for a Leapp demonstration.

Make the switch

To help you understand the process, Oracle has created a hands-on lab and associated tutorial showing how to easily switch CentOS 7 to Oracle Linux 7. It's time to discover all the benefits of Oracle Linux, so try the lab and tutorial and make the switch today.


David Gilpin

Principal Product Manager

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