Thursday Feb 11, 2016

Training Thursdays: What Linux Sys Admins Need to Know

There are some key skills that you need if you want to be a Linux system administrator. The Oracle Linux System Administration courses teach you these skills. The objectives of these courses are to:

  • Install Oracle Linux
  • Load and configure the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel
  • Install software packages from Unbreakable Linux Network and other repositories
  • Use Ksplice to update the kernel on a running system
  • Configure system logging
  • Load kernel modules and configure kernel module parameters
  • Perform User and Group administration
  • Create Ext, XFS, and Btrfs file systems
  • Maintain swap space
  • Use Logical Volume Manager (LVM)
  • Configure RAID devices
  • Configure File Sharing services (NFS, FTP, OpenSSH)
  • Perform Security Administration (firewalld, iptables, chroot, TCP wrappers)
  • Prepare Oracle Linux system for Oracle database
  • Troubleshoot problems and perform corrective action

Those interested in Linux 7 should take the Oracle Linux 7: System Administration course. You can take this course as a:

  • Live-Virtual Event: Attend a live event from your own desk, no travel required. Choose from a selection of events on the schedule to suit different time-zones including 14 and 15 February, 7, 14 and 28 March, 4 and 18 April, and 9 May 2016.
  • In-Class Event: Travel to an education center to take this class. Below is a selection of the in-class events on the schedule.

 Location  Date  Delivery Language
Vienna, Austria
15 February 2016 German
Reading, England
7 March 2016 English
Paris, France
6 June 2016 French
Jakarta, Indonesia
25 April 2016 English
Utrecht, Netherlands
9 May 2016 English
Makati City, Philippines
18 April 2016 English
Moscow, Russia
15 February 2016 Russian
Cape town, South Africa
29 February 2016 English
Johannesburg, South Africa
29 February 2016 English
Pretoria, South Africa
11 July 2016 English
Bangkok, Thailand
23 May 2016 English
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
3 April 2016 English
Dallax, TX, United States 25 April 2016 English
Those interested in Linux 5 or 6 should take the Oracle Linux 5 & 6 System Administration course. You can take this course as a:
  • Training-on-Demand: Start training within 24 hours of registering, following lecture delivery at your own pace through streaming video and booking a time that suits you to perform lab exercises.
  • Live-Virtual Event: Attend a live event from your own desk, no travel required. Choose from a selection of events on the schedule to suit different time-zones including 7 March, 4 and 18 April, and 18 May 2016.
  • In-Class Event: Travel to an education center to take this class. Below is a selection of the in-class events on the schedule.

 Location  Date  Delivery Language
Melbourne, Australia
4 April 2016 English
Sydney, Australia
18 April 2016 English
London, England
14 March 2016 English
Hamburg, Germany
11 April 2016 German
Athens, Greece
15 February 2016 Greek
Milan, Italy
12 December 2016 Italian
Rome, Italy
2 May 2016 Italian
Turin, Italy
27 June 2016 Italian
Amman, Jordan
15 May 2016 English
Utrecht, Netherlands  11 April 2016 English
Johannesburg, South Africa
27 June 2016 English
Istanbul, Turkey 9 May 2016 Turkish
Dubai, United Arab Emirates 21 February 2016 English
Atlanta, GA, United States 2 May 2016 English
Reston, VA, United States 15 February 2016 English
The Oracle Linux 5 & 6 System Administration course is one step in your preparation to sit the Oracle Linux 5 & 6 System Administrator Oracle Certified Associate exam.

To register for an event or to learn more about the Oracle Linux curriculum, go to http://oracle.com/education/linux.

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.

Friday Jan 08, 2016

Announcing the general availability of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 4

The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce the general availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 4 for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7.  This release, based on the 4.1 mainline kernel, delivers many important new features and enhancements engineered for modern cloud infrastructure.  

  • Significant performance improvements through enhancements to features like automatic NUMA balancing and CPU schedulers, and the introduction of new features like zswap, zram, the LZ4 compression algorithm, network batch transmissions and low-latency network polling.
  • More options for boosting the security of systems and the applications they host. UEK Release 4 now includes kernel address space randomization, a new random number system call and updates in key areas like SELinux, nftables, SHA256 and SHA512.
  • Real-time kernel and userspace patching with Ksplice for Oracle Linux to simplify managing cloud infrastructure and improve security.
  • Support for key cloud technologies. Xen host and guest domain feature and performance enhancements, Open vSwitch and VXLAN improvements for networking, cgroups and namespace enhancements for linux containers and Docker.
  • Enhancements to Oracle Linux DTrace for dynamic, real-time system tracing on production systems
  • The production release and support of Ceph Storage for Oracle Linux Release 1.0, based on the upstream Firefly release
  • New real-time kernel features including timerless (tickless) multitasking and the addition of the deadline scheduling class
  • Enhanced infiniband features including improved protocols, drivers and firmware.
  • A number of updates to key areas such as XFS, Btrfs, Ext4, NFS, FUSE and the Overlay file systems.
  • A number of driver updates supporting the latest hardware.

This has been a major engineering effort that can benefit every Oracle Linux customer. For more information on this release, please review the release notes here.

Oracle Linux is available to download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud and the Oracle Yum repos.

Friday Dec 18, 2015

FRIDAY SPOTLIGHT: Oracle Linux Newsletter December 2015 Issue Out

The latest issue of the Oracle Linux Newsletter - December 2015 issue is out. It comes with great new videos, demos, whitepapers and partner news. 

Read it today and subscribe to get it sent to your email bi-monthly.


Monday Nov 02, 2015

New Userspace Patching with Oracle Ksplice!

Last week, Larry Ellison introduced userspace patching with Oracle Ksplice. This is a groundbreaking addition to the already extensive capabilities of Ksplice, giving administrators the tools they need to cope with security threats and other issues without impacting running systems.

If you're unfamiliar with Ksplice, it provides zero-downtime patching (also known as “live patching") for Linux. With Ksplice, updates and errata (CVEs, etc.) can be applied to running systems without restarting applications or rebooting. This is a boon for organizations since scheduling downtime across a server farm is a significant event, and many companies using a variety of operating systems only perform patches periodically in a regular cycle. But being able to apply critical updates immediately–or remove them, if necessary–without impacting servers even under heavy load allows administrators to reduce the window of vulnerability for security issues to the bare minimum, making systems more secure. A fantastic primer on Ksplice can be found in Wim Coekaerts' blog post The Magic of Ksplice.

While Ksplice has been a great tool for applying patches without downtime, it has been focused exclusively on kernel patches. That is, until last week with the announcement of userspace patching for Ksplice.

Why is userspace patching important? Well, patching the kernel as Ksplice has done for years solves a number of issues. It lets you patch security vulnerabilities at the kernel level, it allows you to apply patches to do diagnostics, and so on. But applications rely on services available above the kernel (in “userspace”) to do many of their tasks. For example, glibc, the GNU C Library, is the standard C and C++ library used by applications on Linux. And OpenSSL provides secure networking services for applications so applications don’t have to implement these features from scratch. But patching the kernel doesn’t help with changes that need to be made in these system wide libraries.

These standard libraries are very useful because they allow the community to optimize and standardize on how common tasks are accomplished. But since they are used by so many applications, a flaw in one of these libraries creates widespread exposure. Just such an exposure happened with the Heartbleed Bug, where an issue with OpenSSL left thousands of servers at risk.

With userspace patching in Ksplice, Oracle can now provide you with the tools to patch these userspace libraries without downtime. At Oracle OpenWorld last week, we were showing attendees in the Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, and OpenStack Showcase how we can apply userspace patches for the Ghost and Heartbleed vulnerabilities, check that the systems were indeed secured, and then roll those patches back to their unsecured state, all in a couple of minutes and without stopping running applications. This is the power of the new userspace feature of Ksplice. In this first release of userspace patching, the focus is on glibc and OpenSSL since this will cover many of the security related issues customers will run into. 

With the addition of userspace patching, a great tool just got even better. Ksplice can now patch the running Linux kernel and also patch userspace glibc and OpenSSL without downtime. Userspace patching is a huge development in zero-downtime patching, and another tool in the toolbox for administrators needing to cope with critical updates. This brings the magic of Ksplice from the kernel up to userspace, making your systems safer.

Userspace patching for Ksplice is available now in the enhanced Ksplice client for customers with Oracle Linux Premier Support. You can read about it in the latest Ksplice documentation and when you’re ready to try it out, you can enable it on the Unbreakable Linux Network and install it on your systems.

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

Wednesday Jul 29, 2015

Announcing the general availability of Oracle Linux 6.7

We're happy to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 6 Update 7, the seventh update release for Oracle Linux 6. You can find the individual RPM packages on the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and our public yum repository and ISO installation images are available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud.

Oracle Linux 6 Update 7 ships with the following kernel packages:

  • Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 3 (kernel-uek-3.8.13-68.3.4.el6uek) for x86-64
  • Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 2 (kernel-uek-2.6.39-400.250.7.el6uek) for i386 
  • Red Hat Compatible Kernel (kernel-2.6.32-573.el6) for i386 and x86-64
By default, both the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel and the Red Hat Compatible Kernel for the specific architecture (i386 or x86-64) are installed and the system boots the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

Notable features in this release include:

  • Open Security Content Automation Protocol (OpenSCAP), including the oscap utility for enhanced security auditing and compliance
  • Load Balancing and High Availability with Keepalived and HAProxy, supported under Oracle Linux Premier Support subscriptions
  • Enhanced SSSD support for Active Directory, including:
    • Dynamic updates to DNS
    • Group and user lookups of NetBIOS names
    • site discovery of domain controllers
    • User and group resolution, including user authentication for trusted domains within a single AD forest
  • Updates to the hyper-daemons package , which contains hypervfcopydhypervkvpd, and hypervvssd

For more details on these and other new features and changes in Oracle Linux 6 Update 7, 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 Jun 26, 2015

Friday Spotlight: A busy week, and Spacewalk and Ksplice

Happy Friday!

With Oracle OpenWorld Latin America with several Oracle Linux and virtualization sessions and demos, and our booth at Red Hat Summit, it’s been a busy and fun week here at Oracle.

For today's spotlight, I’m going to reach back into the archives to highlight something that I think is particularly cool. You probably know about Spacewalk for managing your Linux deployments, and you also probably know about our Ksplice feature that allows for zero-downtime kernel updates. Taken together, these tools give you a streamlined way to keep your Oracle Linux systems up to date. And, in fact, this past winter we did a webcast on this exact subject, which is available as an archive. It would be nice background listening as you wrap-up your Friday afternoon:

Spacewalk and Ksplice: Keeping Oracle Linux Systems Up to Date and Secure (webcast archive)

See you next week!

-Chris


Friday Apr 17, 2015

Friday Spotlight: The Power of The Ksplice Feature of Oracle Linux Video

Happy Friday!

I'm really excited to share this week's Friday Spotlight with you. Oracle Senior Vice President of Linux and Virtualization Wim Coekaerts sat down with Director of Product Management Michele Casey and Senior Development Manager Jamie Iles to talk about Ksplice.

In the video, they go into a lot of detail about why Ksplice is a production-ready tool for keeping systems up to date. A highlight for me is the discussion featuring a real world example of an Oracle Linux 6.2 system from 2011, and how a system like that can be patched over time with all the important CVEs and security updates without a single reboot -- no rebooting literally for years. For production systems, you can just keep the system up and running, and still be up to date. Click this screenshot to head on over to Oracle Media Network to watch the video:

We'll see you next week!

-Chris 

Thursday Mar 19, 2015

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 Quarterly Update 5 Now Available

We are pleased to announce the availability of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 Quarterly Update 5 (UEKR3U5) for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7. This is the fifth quarterly update release for UEK Release 3 (Version 3.8.13-68) and includes driver updates and a consolidation of fixes for bugs and security issues.

Some notable highlights include:

  • The turbostat tool is now included with the kernel and can be used to provide information on processor topology and statistics, such as temperature and frequency.
  • Updates to the bonding driver to enable the ethtool command, which shows useful data like link aggregate speed and duplex mode.
  • The SHA-512 hash algorithm is now available for signing kernel modules during installation.
  • The ability to use swap files that reside on NFS shares is available as a technology preview.
  • Xen EFI support has been added.
  • Device driver updates (e.g. storage devices, network cards) from key partners, such as:
    • Broadcom
    • Cisco
    • Emulex
    • HP
    • Intel
    • Mellanox
    • Microsoft

For more details, please review the release notes.

The source code is available on our public git repository

Thursday Mar 12, 2015

Announcing General Availability of Oracle Linux 7.1

We're happy to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 7 Update 1, the first update release for Oracle Linux 7. All packages are currently available on ULN and public yum; ISO installation images will be freely available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud soon.

Oracle Linux 7 Update 1 ships with the following kernel packages:

  •     Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Release 3 (kernel-uek-3.8.13-55.1.6.el7uek) for x86-64
  •     Red Hat Compatible Kernel (kernel-3.10.0-229.el7) for x86-64

Oracle Linux 7 update 1 provides the latest features and innovations, such as:

  • Linux container support using either Docker or LXC with UEK Release 3
  • Comprehensive dynamic tracing with DTrace and UEK Release 3
  • Production support for Btrfs with UEK Release 3
  • The latest 3rd party hardware support

For more details on these and other new features and changes in Oracle Linux 7 Update 1, 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.  

For customers with Oracle Linux Premier Support, you also receive support for Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux and access to zero-downtime kernel updates with Oracle Ksplice, at no additional charge. Oracle Ksplice is fully supported and has been providing live kernel updates to production systems since 2009, delivering more than 1 million patches to mission critical systems without a single reboot.  For more information, please visit ksplice.oracle.com.

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

Wednesday Feb 18, 2015

Update Your Oracle Linux Kernel with Ksplice

With Ksplice you can update the kernel on a running system applying the latest kernel security errata. Patches are effective immediately without any need to reboot. Ksplice applies updates in the background without halting the system or restarting applications.

Watch this 12 minute video and learn to:

  • Subscribe an Oracle Linux system to the Ksplice channel on Oracle's Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN)
  • Install the Ksplice uptrack software package using the yum utility
  • Use the Ksplice uptrack utility to install Ksplice kernel updates without any need to reboot
  • Use the Ksplice web interface 

This is one topic you can learn about in the Oracle Linux System Administration curriculum. To learn more about the available training, go to http://oracle.com/education/linux

Friday Feb 13, 2015

Friday Spotlight: New Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database

Happy Friday!

In last week's Oracle Virtualization Spotlight, Honglin Su discussed new Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database. Here's an excerpt:

The Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database provides a framework that fully automates the creation of a Single Instance, Oracle Restart (Single Instance/HA) or Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) configurations in an Oracle VM environment. In a matter of minutes the versatile and powerful Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database can be cloned into any number of VMs which could be deployed as a Single Instance, Oracle Restart (Single Instance/HA) or Oracle RAC of any number of nodes.

Of course, this is the Oracle Linux blog, so why am I referencing new Oracle VM Templates? Because these templates of course run Oracle Linux! Here are the highlights of the new templates:

NEW in 2015 Templates:

  • Yum@Deploy support(11gR2 & 12c) - Allows running yum install/update during first boot/deployment and subsequent re-builds.
  • Multi-Diskgroup support for Oracle ASM
  • Support for multiplexed Controlfile & REDO logfiles
  • Default kernel boot is Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK3) 3.8.13-55, seamless transition to HVM mode
  • Oracle Linux 7, BTRFS & Ksplice Ready!

You can read Honglin's full post over at the Oracle Virtualization Blog, or you can go directly to the Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Database page.

Have a great week and we'll see you next Friday! 

Friday Dec 05, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Tips on Managing and Designing Your Deployments

Happy Friday!

Over the last couple of weeks, we've done two fantastic live webcasts giving you tips on how to better manage your Oracle Linux environments. We discussed using Docker, Linux Containers, OpenStack, Spacewalk, and more. If you're looking to get a primer on how these technologies can help you, have a listen to the following on demand versions at your convenience.

Building the Modern Cloud-Enabled Data Center

Spacewalk and Ksplice: Keeping Oracle Linux Systems Up to Date and Secure

Have a great week, we'll see you next Friday!

-Chris 

Friday Nov 21, 2014

Friday Spotlight: Get The Story Straight From The Source

Happy Friday!

One of the great things about webcasts is that you get to hear directly from Oracle experts and even ask questions about your own environment. They are a great way to get in-depth information straight from the source, especially if you weren’t able to come out to Oracle OpenWorld this year.

Coming up next Tuesday, we have an excellent webcast hosted by Oracle Linux Product Management Director Avi Miller, “Spacewalk and Ksplice: Keep Oracle Linux Systems Up to Date and Secure.” In the webcast, Avi will explain the details on using Spacewalk and Ksplice with Oracle Linux. And you’ll be able to ask Avi questions through the chat interface. And since Avi is based in Australia, we’ve scheduled this webcast at 3PM PST, allowing our friends in that part of the world to be able to tune in at a reasonable hour.

Spacewalk and Ksplice: Keep Oracle Linux Systems Up to Date and Secure
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
3:00PM PST

And thank you to those of you that joined our webcast this past Tuesday on Building the Modern Cloud-Enabled Data Center! If you missed that one, it’s a great introduction to Linux Containers, Docker, OpenStack, and more. The replay is just over 20 minutes, so you can head on over and check it out for a very concise overview of these technologies:


Have a great week!
-Chris
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