Friday Dec 06, 2013

Oracle Linux Friday Spotlight - December 6, 2013

Happy Friday!

By now, you've probably heard about the release of Oracle Linux 6.5. One really cool thing about this release is that Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 is installed by default, meaning you get to use all the great features of UEK R3 without needing to do a separate installation. And are there a lot of great features in UEK R3! So, our spotlight this week is on the release notes for the latest version of Oracle's Unbreakable Enteprise Kernel.

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 release notes

You'll learn about Control Groups, Linux Containers, DTrace, additional crypto options, improved diagnostics, the updated btrfs, better memory management, more networking options, improvements for performance, security, storage, and much more.

See you next Friday!

-Chris 

Monday Oct 21, 2013

Announcing Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 for Oracle Linux

We are excited to announce the general availability of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 for Oracle Linux 6. The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 (UEK R3) is Oracle's third major supported release of its heavily tested and optimized Linux kernel for Oracle Linux 6 on the x86_64 architecture.

UEK R3 is based on mainline Linux version 3.8.13. Some notable highlights of this release include:

  • Inclusion of DTrace for Linux into the kernel (no longer a separate kernel image). DTrace for Linux now supports probes for user-space statically defined tracing (USDT) in programs that have been modified to include embedded static probe points
  • Production support for Linux containers (LXC) which were previously released as a technology preview
  • Btrfs file system improvements (subvolume-aware quota groups, cross-subvolume reflinks, btrfs send/receive to transfer file system snapshots or incremental differences, file hole punching, hot-replacing of failed disk devices, device statistics)
  • Improved support for Control Groups (cgroups) 
  • TCP fast open (TFO) can speed up the opening of successive TCP connections between two endpoints
  • FUSE file system performance improvements on NUMA systems
  • Support for the Intel Ivy Bridge (IVB) processor family
  • Integration of the OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) 2.0 stack, supporting a wide range of Infinband protocols including updates to Oracle's Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS)
  • Numerous driver updates in close coordination with our hardware partners
UEK R3 uses the same versioning model as the mainline Linux kernel version. Unlike in UEK R2 (which identifies itself as version "2.6.39", even though it is based on mainline Linux 3.0.x), "uname" returns the actual version number (3.8.13).

For further details on the new features, changes and any known issues, please consult the Release Notes.

The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 3 and related packages can be installed using the yum package management tool on Oracle Linux 6 Update 4 or newer, both from the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and our public yum server. Please follow the installation instructions in the Release Notes for a detailed description of the steps involved.

The kernel source tree will also available via the git source code revision control system from https://oss.oracle.com/git/?p=linux-uek3-3.8.git

If you would like to discuss your experiences with Oracle Linux and UEK R3, we look forward to your feedback on our public Oracle Linux Forum.

Thursday Feb 28, 2013

Announcing Oracle Linux 6.4

The Oracle Linux team is pleased to announce the availability of Oracle Linux 6.4, the fourth update release for Oracle Linux 6. The individual RPM packages have already been published from our public yum repository and ISO images will soon be available from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud. Oracle Linux 6.4 includes new features and improvements, most notably a new version of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. For further details, please see the Oracle Linux 6.4 Release Notes.

Oracle Linux customers also have access to a number of recently announced unique features/benefits, including:

Support for XFS file system: Today we also announced support for XFS file system in Oracle Linux. It is now available for customers with Premier Support subscriptions using Oracle Linux 6. Read the XFS support blog article for more details.

Ksplice offline client: We recently announced a new feature in our Ksplice service, known as the Ksplice offline client. Ksplice provides zero downtime updates for your kernel and now this new option eliminates the requirement to have a direct connection to the internet to apply Ksplice patches. Read more details in Wim Coekaerts’ blog and watch this video describing updating and patching in Oracle Linux.

DTrace for Oracle Linux: Another new addition is the general availability of DTrace for Oracle Linux. DTrace is a comprehensive dynamic tracing framework available to Oracle Linux customers. It is available to download from ULN for supported customers. 

Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge, including updates and errata which are also freely available.

Wednesday Jul 04, 2012

Oracle Linux 6.3 has been released

We're happy to announce the availability of Oracle Linux 6.3, the third update release for Oracle Linux 6. ISO images can now be obtained from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud, the individual RPM packages have already been published from our public yum repository. This distribution now includes the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (2.6.39-200), Oracle's recommended kernel version for Oracle Linux. For further details, please see the Oracle Linux 6.3 Release Notes.

Remember, Oracle Linux can be downloaded, used and distributed free of charge, updates and errata are freely available. For support, you are free to decide for which of your systems you want to obtain a support subscription, and at which level each of  them should be supported. This makes Oracle Linux an ideal choice for both your development and production systems - you decide which support coverage is the best for each of your systems individually, while keeping all of them up-to-date and secure.

Wim Coekaerts recently wrote several blog posts about the benefits of Oracle Linux, which are worth a read:

Thursday Apr 05, 2012

DTrace for Oracle Linux news: new beta release and conference appearances

A new set of RPM packages of our port of DTrace for Linux has just been published on the Unbreakable Linux Network. This is another beta release of our ongoing development effort to bring the DTrace framework to Linux.

This release includes the following changes:

  • The packages are now based on the final public release of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (2.6.39). The previous beta drop was based on a development version of the 2.6.39 kernel; there is no new functionality specific to DTrace in this release. The primary goal was to get the code base in sync with the released kernel version.
  • Based on the feedback we received from some users in how their applications interact with dtrace, libdtrace is now a shared library. However, the API/ABI is not fully stabilized yet and may be subject to change.
  • As a result of the ongoing QA testing, some test cases were reorganized into their own subdirectories, which allows running the test suite in a more fine-grained manner.

As reminder, we have a dedicated Forum for DTrace on Linux, to discuss your experiences with this release.

This week, the Linux DTrace team also attendeded the second dtrace.conf in San Francisco, to talk about their work. The sessions were streamed live and recordings are also available. You can watch Oracle's Kris Van Hees' talk below:


Video streaming by Ustream

We would like to thank the dtrace.conf organizers for the speaking opportunity and for organizing this event!

This Wednesday (April 4th), Kris and Elena Zannoni also spoke on this topic at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2012 in San Francisco, CA. The slides are now available for download (PDF).

Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 has been released

We’re proud to announce the availability of a major enhancement to Oracle Linux: Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (2.6.39) has been released! The RPM packages are now available from the Unbreakable Linux Network and the public yum repositories. This kernel can be installed on both Oracle Linux 5.8 and newer as well as Oracle Linux 6.2 and newer. By simply updating the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, Oracle Linux customers can benefit from the latest improvements that have taken place in mainline Linux, without having to re-install their distribution or applications.

This release includes many new features as well as numerous performance and scalability improvements that were added to mainline Linux since the first Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel release (which is based on Linux 2.6.32). Despite the version number, the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 is based on mainline Linux 3.0.16 and includes a few selected patches from other mainline Linux versions. The source code is available from this public git source code repository.

Some key highlights in this release include:

  • Btrfs file system
  • Performance and scalability improvements
  • Virtualization improvements
  • Transparent Huge Pages and Memory compaction
  • Cgroups improvements
  • Linux Containers
  • OCFS2 improvements
  • Updated Device Drivers

For more information, please see the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 features and benefits document and consult the release notes for more For installation instructions, check out the Getting Started with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel installation guide on the Oracle Technology Network.

Now that the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 has been released, we will continue to provide support for Release 1 of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (2.6.32) in the form of critical bug fixes and security errata for another 9 months. However, new hardware enablement (e.g. by providing device driver updates) will now only be made available through the quarterly updates of Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 on the Unbreakable Linux Network. During this grace period, we encourage all customers to switch to Release 2.

Saturday Mar 03, 2012

Oracle Linux 5.8 has been released

We're happy to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux 5 Update 8. RPM packages for direct installation/upgrade are available for Oracle Linux Support Customers from the Unbreakable Linux Network. Individual packages of the initial release are also available for download from our public yum repository. ISO installation images of the distribution will be made available for download from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud (aka E-Delivery) shortly or look for external mirror sites. If you require ISO images before they are available from there, please request these via a Metalink service request or log into My Oracle Support and search for patch 13801642.

This distribution includes the latest release of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 1 (version 2.6.32-300.10.1, based on mainline Linux 2.6.32), which includes a number of important bug fixes and driver updates. Please see the release notes for a detailed list of changes and improvements.

Wednesday Feb 22, 2012

New beta release of DTrace for Oracle Linux

We have just published an updated set of RPM packages of DTrace for Linux on the Unbreakable Linux Network. This beta release of our ongoing development effort to bring the DTrace frame work to Linux is now based on the current Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (2.6.39) and includes a number of improvements and new functionality:

New features:

  • The SDT (Statically Defined Tracing) provider is implemented, providing in-kernel static probes. Some of the proc provider is implemented using this facility.

Bugfixes:

  • Syscall tracing of stub-based syscalls (such as fork, clone, exit, and sigreturn) now works.
  • Invalid memory accesses inside D scripts no longer cause oopses or panics.
  • Memory exhaustion inside D scripts no longer emits spurious oopses.
  • Several crash fixes.
  • Fixes to arithmetic inside aggregations, fixing quantize().
  • Improvements to the installed headers.

To get started, take a look at Wim's latest blog post about using DTrace on Oracle Linux. 

The DTrace port is work in progress and is still considered a "technology preview" - the usual disclaimers apply. We have created a dedicated DTrace on Linux forum where you can share your experiences with the Linux version and give feedback to us. We look forward to your comments!

Friday Jan 06, 2012

New beta drop of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2

We've published a new beta release of the Unbreakable Enterprise Linux (Release 2). The package version is kernel-uek-2.6.39-100.0.18 and is now available for both Oracle Linux 5 and 6 (64bit only).

If you're already subscribed to the UEK2 beta repository, you can simply run "yum update" to obtain the latest bits. Otherwise simply follow the instructions outlined on that page to enable this yum repository and install the updated kernel RPMs.

Some of the notable changes in this release in comparison to the first beta:

  • Updated code base from mainline Linux 3.0.6 to 3.0.13
  • Numerous Btrfs updates/fixes
  • iSCSI updates/fixes
  • Added/updated device drivers (be2iscsi, be2net, lpfc, mlx4_en, mpt2sas, netxen_nic, oracleasm, qla2xxx, qla4xxx, qlnic)
  • Xen updates
  • Lots of bug fixes

You can clone or browse our public git source tree for more details on the changes that have been made.

Thursday Dec 15, 2011

Oracle Linux 6.2 has been released

We're glad to announce the immediate availability of Oracle Linux 6 Update 2, including the latest build of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. For a detailed list of changes, features and known issues, please see the release notes.

Installable binary and source ISO images will be available on the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud shortly. As usual, these ISO images are freely available and distributable, so please spread the word and the code!

The binary RPM packages are available on the Unbreakable Linux Network and our public yum repository.

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