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Upcoming change to Oracle Linux package channels

What is changing?

On July 5th, 2018 channel and repository changes will go into effect on Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and Oracle Linux yum server. Be advised that if you rely on specific, older versions of packages, deployed via configuration management tools such as Chef, Puppet, Ansible or other custom scripts, that you may need to review this code to ensure it will still work when the channel changes take effect. Similarly, if you use Spacewalk for Oracle Linux or maintain a local mirror of ULN based on the uln-yum-mirror script, make sure that you include the appropriate archive channel by subscribing to it via ULN if needed.

Changes to Latest Channels

The coming changes will affect the Latest channels for Oracle Linux 6 and Oracle Linux 7: packages that predate the current Oracle Linux update level, e.g. Oracle Linux 7 Update 5 or Oracle Linux 6 Update 9 will be moved to newly created archive channels. In summary for Oracle Linux 7:

  • Before July 5th 2018: Oracle Linux 7 Latest channel contains every version of every RPM ever released since Oracle Linux 7.0
  • After July 5th 2018: Oracle Linux 7 Latest channel will contain only the RPMs released in the latest update’s base and patch channels. All the other tens of thousands of RPMs will move to Oracle Linux 7 Latest Archive

Similarly for Oracle Linux 6:

  • Before July 5th 2018: Oracle Linux 6 Latest channel contains every version of every RPM ever released since Oracle Linux 6.0
  • After July 5th 2018: Oracle Linux 6 Latest channel will contain only the RPMs released in the latest update’s base and patch channels. All the other tens of thousands of RPMs will move to Oracle Linux 6 Latest Archive.

New Channels

The following channels will be created on ULN and the Oracle Linux yum server:

ULN

  • ol7_x86_64_latest_archive
  • ol6_x86_64_latest_archive

Oracle Linux yum server

  • ol7_latest_archive
  • ol6_latest_archive

In the future, we may also create archives for other channels, including Oracle Linux 7 Latest Optional Packages (x86_64) - ol7_x86_64_optional_latest.

Why are we making this change?

By periodically archiving packages from the latest channel to the archive channels, we will be able to significantly reduce its overall size as well as the size of the metadata files. This will result in reduced network traffic and substantially better performance when using ULN or the Oracle Linux yum server.

What happens when an update to Oracle Linux is released?

When a new update release of Oracle Linux becomes available, the latest channel will be brought up to date with the set of packages that ship on its installation media and all packages that do not match these criteria will be moved to the archive channel. Thus the latest channel for each Oracle Linux release will only contain the set of packages from the most recent release as distributed on the installation media for that release (available on the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud or from one of our Oracle Linux download mirrors) together with all updated packages (errata) following that release.

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