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

Need a stable, RHEL-compatible alternative to CentOS? Three reasons to consider Oracle Linux

Honglin Su
Sr. Director of Product Management

If you are reading this blog, you are probably a CentOS user and are in the position where you need to look at alternatives going forward.

Switching to Oracle Linux is easy, so here are a few reasons to consider why you should.

Free to download, use, and distribute — for more than 14 years

Since the debut of Oracle Linux release 4, in 2006, it has been completely free to use and easy to download. Major and update release have been free for more than 14 years. Errata releases have been freely available since 2012. Free source code, free binaries, free updates, free errata, freely redistributable and free to use in production — all without having to sign any documents with Oracle and without any need to remove trademarks and copyrights.

Oracle Linux has an equivalent release for every major Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version: 4, 5, 6, 7, and most recently 8. Oracle Linux releases consistently track Red Hat with errata typically released within 24 hours, update releases usually available within five business days, and major version releases within three months.

This makes Oracle Linux an ideal choice for development, testing, and production use. You decide which support coverage, if any, is best for each individual system while keeping all systems up-to-date and secure.

Compatible and enhanced

Oracle Linux is 100% application binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Since the 2006 launch, enterprises have been running Oracle Linux with no compatibility bugs logged.

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 to the process scheduler, memory management, file systems, and the networking stack.

We believe the source for the kernel you run should be easy to pick apart. That’s why we publish the UEK source code, complete with the original mainline changelog and our changelog on GitHub.

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

Designed for all workloads

Oracle Linux is designed for all workloads and 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 another public cloud.

It’s easy to access, try it out.

For more information visit oracle.com/linux.