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News, tips, partners, and perspectives for the Oracle Linux operating system and upstream Linux kernel work

Q&A About the Latest Oracle Linux Releases

We sat down with Monica Kumar, Senior Director, Oracle Linux, Oracle Virtualization, and MySQL Product Marketing, to discuss the latest update on Oracle Linux.


Q. What are the latest Oracle Linux
releases? 

A. Oracle Linux 5.9 and Oracle Linux
6.4 represent the latest releases of Oracle Linux. These releases are built on top of Oracle Linux 5 and 6 respectively and
include updates supporting new hardware and driver features, as well as bug
fixes and security updates. For additional details, please see the
5.9 release notes and 6.4 release
notes
.

Q. Why would customers want to
update their Oracle Linux systems to the latest release? What advantages will
it give them?

A. Updates play a critical role
in the overall lifecycle of an operating system release. An update release provides an opportunity for customers to leverage new
hardware features as well as apply critical bug fixes and security
updates. Oracle Linux 5.9 is also a
consolidation of previously released errata published since the release of 5.8
– and the same holds true for 6.4. As part of Oracle Linux, we also offer an
innovative and modern kernel – Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. The
combination of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel with the latest bug fixes and new hardware support helps improve
performance, enhance stability and enable systems to remain secure.

Q. Why do customers choose Oracle
Linux? What do they get from Oracle Linux that they couldn't get by using
RHEL or SUSE or a non-commercially supported distribution?

 A. Oracle Linux offers many
benefits. Key benefits include:

  1. Technology:
    Latest innovations (with tracking mainline, optimizations from Oracle Engineered
    Systems, and Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is the culmination of
    this technology excellence, offering enhanced performance, reliability and
    a more modern Linux distribution), as well as unique features such as
    Ksplice, DTrace, and support for popular file systems including ocfs2
    besides the others.
  2. Testing/
    Deployment best practices
    : over 100,000 hours of QA/day using Oracle
    Linux – most tested distribution with enterprise workloads and over 160
    validated configurations.
  3. Support: 24/7
    world-class Linux support in 145 countries; by far the widest and largest
    support network over Red Hat or SUSE
  4. Cost: Lowest cost support
  5. Free Access to
    software:
    free download of binaries and patches

Read detailed information regarding RHEL vs
Oracle Linux

Q. What does Oracle give back to the
Linux kernel community?

A. New
Linux kernel development is focused on working with Linus and the mainline
kernel community, where we, like other Linux distribution vendors, contribute
significant amounts.  Over time, those mainline development projects
trickle down into an OS distribution like Oracle Linux 6 through Unbreakable
Enterprise Kernel which is a great vehicle – and how we introduce new
Linux kernel features into Oracle Linux and provide it to customers.
Oracle has a long history of developing
open source projects and working with the Linux kernel community. We are active contributors to many features
found in the mainline kernel today, including OCFS2, Btrfs, NFS, XEN, to name
just a few. In addition, our business
model for Oracle Linux is to focus on providing the best operating system for
mission critical workloads, and contributing the work we do back to the
mainline community. Our git repository for
the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is publicly available on
oss.oracle.com/git so anyone can see our development work and
our contributions. In addition, we make
Oracle Linux freely available, including all of our errata, whether you have a
support subscription or not.

See this link
for more on Oracle’s contributions to Linux.

Q. Why is Oracle Linux better for customers than using the most
current version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux? What's the value for customers?

A. Oracle Linux including the Unbreakable
Enterprise Kernel  is developed to provide high performance and stability for
mission-critical applications. Users
benefit from the innovations and improvements occurring in the mainline Linux
community, which we deliver rapidly with Oracle Linux. In addition, Oracle Linux is the most well
tested distribution for enterprise workloads, especially Oracle workloads. We
conduct over 100,000 hours/day of testing at Oracle using Oracle Linux. Additionally, support of Oracle’s Engineered
Systems plus the enterprise application knowledge that we have, is unmatched by
our competitors.

The technical support we provide
with Oracle Linux also includes important bug fixes that Red Hat may choose not
to release. For our customers, these
fixes are critical and it is one of the many reasons they choose Oracle
Linux. In addition, with capabilities like
zero-downtime kernel updates through Ksplice, they receive features that are
not offered by Red Hat.

Q. What is being planned for the
next release and what is the predicted timing of the next release?

A. Oracle continues to focus on
features which improve performance and the innovations found in the mainline
Linux community. We are currently
working on the next generation of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle
Linux.

We expect update releases for both Oracle
Linux 5 and Oracle Linux 6 and a new release of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel in calendar year 2013.

If you want to know more about Oracle Linux, check these resources.

Resources:

Oracle Linux Overview: Animated Demo

Oracle Linux Website

Linux Cost
Calculator
(RHEL vs Oracle Linux)

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