Friday Apr 29, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 Quarterly Update 1 is now available

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4 Quarterly Update 1 (UEKR4U1) for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7. This is the first quarterly update release for UEK Release 4 (Version 4.1.12-37.2.1) and includes driver updates and a consolidation of fixes for bugs and security issues.

Highlights include:

  • LXC has been updated from 1.07 to 1.1.5
  • btrfs-progs has been updated to 4.2.2-3
  • Several DTrace improvements have been included in this release, including multiple probe firings of a Statically Defined Tracing (SDT) probe
  • Xen improvements, including updates to pciback driver
  • Device driver updates from partners, such as:
    • Broadcom
    • Intel®
    • Microsoft
    • PMC-Sierra
    • VMware

For more information about this release, please refer to the release notes

The source code is available on our public git repository

Monday Apr 04, 2016

Announcing New Features for Ksplice

Offline Support for userspace patching is now available in Ksplice.

For customers hosting their own yum repositories, or those with restricted access to outside update channels, you can now integrate Ksplice userspace patches into your existing offline Ksplice patching procedures.  This expands the initial support with online patching capabilities and provides the maximum flexibility and choice for customers managing critical updates.

If you have wanted to use Ksplice for userspace but were restricted by the online service, you are now able to take full advantage of all the services and features available.

 Let us know what you think. 

Friday Mar 18, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Saving time in a Cloud-Enabled DataCenter

Happy Friday everyone,

We have an awesome new  Oracle Infrastructure blog where we will be covering the Oracle Infrastructure products like, servers, engineered systems, OSes, storage and more. Subscribe to get the latest updates and news.


Here's the latest blog about "Saving time in a Cloud-Enabled DataCenter".

"When I talk to Linux administrators about the one thing they hate doing, it has to be patching. 

Certainly one of the reasons is finding a time to take a system down to patch is next to impossible. That usually means having to miss your kid’s soccer game, your favorite sports team’s match on TV, or a rare night out with friends.  And just how do you find time when you’re running systems in the cloud?  

That’s why Oracle KSplice is such a game-changer—it allows for zero-downtime kernel updates.  And that’s not even the whole story about Oracle Linux, with support for Docker, Linux Containers, OpenStack, Oracle Clusterware for High Availability (HA), and more—at no additional charge with an Oracle Linux Premier Support contract.  In addition to the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK), Oracle supplies the optimized Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK), which was first developed to support highly scalable Oracle Engineered Systems. ..."

Read more in the newly launched Oracle Infrastructure Blog.  

Friday Mar 04, 2016

Friday Spotlight: TechCast Interview with Greg Marsden about UEK

In today's Friday blog, we want to spotlight the TechCast video that our OTN community manager, Logan Rosenstein had recorded. In this interview, Greg Marsden, Software Development Senior Director for Oracle Linux Kernel Development, talks about the development of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, open source maintainers in Oracle and how kernel engineers work with the community. Don't miss this insightful interview.

Watch now. 

Friday Feb 26, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Hot off the Press - Oracle Linux Newsletter February 2016

Hi everyone, 

Happy Friday to you all! We want to highlight the Friday issue of our Oracle Linux Newsletter in this Friday blog.

It is full of great news, videos and training information.

Read more. 

 Read and subscribe to newsletter.

Friday Feb 19, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: CVE-2015-7547 - Ksplice solves glibc flaw with zero-downtime and no disruptions

This week we have seen a new vulnerability making the rounds involving glibc. The issue at hand involves a couple of libraries (libresolv and libnss_dns), which are used commonly with tasks like DNS lookups. Using the function getaddrinfo() could generate a stack buffer overflow with larger replies, which in turn could be used maliciously to trigger an exploit through attacker-controlled domain names, attacker-controlled DNS servers or man-in-the-middle attacks.

The glibc upstream project released a patch for this issue and most distributions (including Oracle Linux) have released updated glibc packages containing this fix.  Since glibc is a core system library that is used by almost every application on a system, updates to the package typically require restarting applications and best practices would suggest a system reboot.  

Oracle Linux customers with premier support have the advantage of our Ksplice services, which makes it possible to install both kernel and user space updates without the need to restart applications or reboot the system.  If you would like more information about Ksplice and Oracle Linux, please visit our website.

Friday Jan 22, 2016

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Announcing User Space Support for Ksplice on Oracle Linux 6

During Oracle OpenWorld 2015 Oracle released new features for Oracle Ksplice which introduced groundbreaking capabilities to patch user space libraries in Oracle Linux 7 without rebooting. This new feature, plus the extensive zero-downtime kernel patching capabilities already included in Oracle Ksplice, make it an ideal choice for keeping your Oracle Linux infrastructure up to date and secure.

Today, Oracle is pleased to announce user space patching with Oracle Ksplice is now available for Oracle Linux Premier Support customers using Oracle Linux 6. Now you can take advantage of this cutting edge technology to keep key user space libraries up to date on Oracle Linux 6 or Oracle Linux 7. And, of course, Oracle Ksplice continues to provide critical kernel patches so you can patch both kernel and user space without ever needing to reboot.

Read about the user space patching capabilities of Oracle Ksplice in the updated documentation, and get the latest Oracle Ksplice packages with your Oracle Linux Premier Support agreement from the Unbreakable Linux Network.

Wednesday Nov 25, 2015

Announcing the general availability of Oracle Linux 7.2

We're happy to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 2, the second update release for Oracle Linux 7. You can find the individual RPM packages on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux Yum Server and ISO installation images are available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud.

Oracle Linux 7 Update 2 ships with the following kernel packages:

  • Red Hat Compatible Kernel (kernel-3.10.0-327.el7) for x86-64
  • Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 3 (kernel-uek-3.8.13-98.7.1.el7uek) for x86-64 
By default, both the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel and the Red Hat Compatible Kernel are installed and the system boots the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

Notable features in this release include:

  • The, makedumpfile can now use sadump format for kernel dumps of more than 16 TB of physical memory
  • During non-graphical installations, kdump can now be configured at the time of install
  • MySQL 5.6 Community Edition can now be installed directly with the Anaconda installer or kickstart
  • OpenSCAP has been upgraded to version 1.2.5
  • Administrators may now configure kdump during non-graphical installations

For more details on these and other new features and changes in Oracle Linux 7 Update 2, please consult the release notes in the Oracle Linux Product Documentation Library.

Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge and all updates and errata are freely available. For support, you decide which of your systems require a support subscription.  This makes Oracle Linux an ideal choice for your development, testing and production systems.  You decide which support coverage is the best for each of your systems individually, while keeping all of your systems up-to-date and secure.  For customers with Oracle Linux Premier Support, you also receive access to zero-downtime kernel updates using Oracle Ksplice and support for Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux.

 For more information about Oracle Linux, please visit www.oracle.com/linux

Friday Nov 13, 2015

Announcing the general availability of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 Quarterly Update 7

We are pleased to announce the availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 Quarterly Update 7 (UEKR3U7) for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7. This is the seventh quarterly update release for UEK Release 3 (Version 3.8.13-118) and includes driver updates and a consolidation of fixes for bugs and security issues.

Some notable highlights include:

  • For Oracle Linux 7 installations, support has been included for network teaming, which includes active-backup, broadcast, load-balancing and round-robin modes
  • Continued enhancements for Linux containers including the introduction of the new LXC flag --privileged=rt which allows the administrator the ability to run real-time processes
  • Support for Intel® Broadwell processors
  • Xen improvements, including updates to netfront and netback drivers
  • Device driver updates (e.g. storage devices, network cards) from key partners, such as:
    • Broadcom
    • Chelsio
    • Emulex
    • Intel®
    • Mellanox
    • QLogic
    • VMware

For more information about this release, please refer to the release notes

The source code is available on our public git repository

Friday Nov 06, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: We are Sponsoring LISA'15 | USENIX Conference


USENIX’s LISA conference is the premier meeting place for professionals who make computing work efficiently across a variety of industries. If you’re an IT operations professional, site-reliability engineer, system administrator, architect, software engineer, researcher, or otherwise involved in ensuring that IT services are effectively delivered to others—this is your conference, and we’d love to see you there.

This year, Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris teams are sponsoring the event.  Our vendor talk this year is:

Cutting-edge Linux Kernel Development on New SPARC Systems

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 2:45pm-3:30pm

Join Wim Coekaerts, SVP of Linux and Virtualization at Oracle for an exclusive session at LISA15 on how his team has been driving Linux development on SPARC.  Get insights on how we have modernized the tool chain and enabled brand new SPARC M7 features like silicon secured memory.  See how you can use our latest development code on the new M7 servers or try it on existing SPARC machines you have. We will be covering what's in the development code and what's coming. 

Don't miss it. Mark your calendar to attend this important session. We will also have great giveaways during his talk as well as at the Booth #103 where you can stop by to talk to one of the Oracle experts.

See you at LISA | USENIX 2015 !

Thursday Jul 30, 2015

Announcing the general availability of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 Quarterly Update 6

We are pleased to announce the availability of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 Quarterly Update 6 (UEKR3U6) for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7. This is the sixth quarterly update release for UEK Release 3 (Version 3.8.13-98) and includes driver updates and a consolidation of fixes for bugs and security issues.

Some notable highlights include:

  • Driver for Intel Sandy Bridge memory controllers (sb_edac) version 1.0.0 included
  • New hardware support for SGI UltraViolet 3 platform
  • LXC Improvements in kernel and userspace including a new --privilege option when creating containers
  • Xen improvements such as preventing soft lockups due to long-running hypercalls and preventing memory leaks in the Xen block driver
  • DTrace improvements for using User-Level Statically Defined (USDT) probes in 32-bit applications on 64-bit hosts
  • Support for more than eight PTP hardware clocks (PHC)
  • Device driver updates (e.g. storage devices, network cards) from key partners, such as:
    • Adaptec
    • Broadcom
    • Cisco
    • Emulex
    • Intel
    • QLogic
    • VMware

For more information about this release, please refer to the release notes

The source code is available on our public git repository

Friday Jun 12, 2015

Friday Spotlight: Understanding NVMe Support on Oracle Linux

Non-volatile memory express, also known as NVMe or NVM Express, is an interface specification that aims to enable a solid-state drive (SSD) to make the most effective use of the high-speed Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) bus in a computer. 

NVMe has been supported in the mainline upstream release of Linux since kernel 3.3. Check out the commit log message for NVMe, and you can find pages of updates going back to 2011. The first distributions to support NVM Express focused on the add-in card form factor (without support for hot plug). 

Oracle was the first vendor to support NVMe hot-plug in a Linux distribution and today hot-plug is supported in all Oracle Linux releases beginning with Oracle Linux 6.4.

Oracle Linux NVMe Support *

Oracle Linux includes inbox support for NVMe SSDs beginning with Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 3 in October 2013. UEK R3 is supported in Oracle Linux 6.4 (or later) and Oracle Linux 7 (or later), and is enhanced to provide NVMe feature support consistent with mainline kernel 3.19, including hot-plug support (although without the block_mq feature).


Oracle Linux with UEK R3

Release date

Kernel (as of April 2015)

Oracle Linux 6.4

October 2013

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 6.5

November 2013

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 7 GA

July 2014

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 6.6

October 2014

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 7 Update 1

March 2015

3.8 with nvme feature support consistent with 3.19

Oracle Linux 6.7

TBA

TBA

Oracle Linux 7 Update 2

TBA

TBA

Read this document Linux NVMeByRelease_May2015.pdf  from Intel to understand NVMe better.


*This blog is a partial abstract from Frank Ober’s article about “NVM Express: Linux driver support decoded”

Friday May 22, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Getting Started with Docker on Oracle Linux

Happy Friday everyone! 

We have a great technical article for you this Friday.  In this article, you learn how to customize a Docker container image and use it to instantiate application instances across different Linux servers. This article describes how to create a Dockerfile, how to allocate runtime resources to containers, and how to establish a communication channel between two containers (for example, between web server and database containers). 

Ginny Henningsen quotes "Docker is exciting because it can easily capture a full application environment into a virtual container that can be deployed across different Linux servers. System administrators and software developers are learning that Docker can help them deploy application images on Linux quickly, reliably, and consistently—without dependency and portability problems that can inject delays into planned deployment schedules. Docker containers can define an application and its dependencies using a small text file (a Dockerfile) that can be moved to different Linux releases and quickly rebuilt, simplifying application portability. In this way, "Dockerized" applications are easily migrated to different Linux servers where they can execute on bare metal, in a virtual machine, or on Linux instances in the cloud. "

As shown in Figure 1, Docker containers consume fewer resources than "heavyweight" hypervisor-based solutions. Hypervisor-based solutions host a full-blown operating system instance in each virtual machine guest, but this also allows them to support different operating systems. (Oracle VM, for example, can host Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, and Microsoft Windows in virtual machines.) 

Read more 

Friday May 15, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Oracle and Intel Engineers Share their Stories in this Podcast

Intel and Oracle have worked together for over 20 years to ensure that hardware and software are optimized to work together for maximum performance and reliability. In this podcast, listen as two engineering experts from Oracle Linux team and Intel discuss how they work closely together to solve problems and create opportunities for their customers with co-developed technologies.

In this podcast, Guru Anbalagane, Director of Linux Kernel Development at Oracle, and Dave Hansen, Kernel Engineer at Intel’s Open Source Technology Center, trade stories about how the two companies draw on deep co-engineering relationships to deliver mission-critical-ready engineered solutions.  

The years of close cooperation between Intel and Oracle deliver more than just enhanced performance and reliability. All the changes and updates from this collaboration gets loaded into mainline Linux kernel and which is available to all the open source community. 

Listen to this podcast to hear more about the stories.

Read Intel's blog about this podcast. 



Friday May 08, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT:Oracle Linux and Intel: The Power and Freedom to Innovate

Enterprise infrastructure based on Oracle Linux and the Intel® Xeon® processor E7-8800/4800 v3 product families delivers state-of-the-art performance and mission critical reliability, on a cost-effective and truly open platform. Building on over 20 years of collaboration between Oracle and Intel, the technology stack brings out the best of hardware and software that are engineered to work together.

IT organizations searching for ways to do more with less are implementing open-standards infrastructure based on Oracle Linux and Intel® Xeon® processors. As a single consolidation target to replace multiple technologies and Linux* variants, these systems offer a flexible, powerful platform for innovation that is based on highly optimized combinations of hardware and software building blocks.

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