Creating an Oracle Linux instance in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is easy. For the most part it is the same as creating your own image from the install media but we have done a few extra things that are very useful and you should know about :)
- with recent images, the yum repo file points to a local OCI mirror of yum.oracle.com (and a few repos that are only available on linux.oracle.com for subscribers - but since all OCI users' instances are technically subscribers -> remember - Oracle Linux support is included with OCI instances at no additional cost or no extra button to click or anything)
So downloading RPMs or using yum on an OCI instance is very, very fast and it does not incur any network traffic to the outside world.
- a number of repos are enabled by default - ol7_UEKR4, _developer, _developer_EPEL, _ksplice _latest _optional_latest _addons _software collections. This gives you direct access to a ton of Oracle Linux related packages out of the box. But consider looking at a number of other repos that we have not enabled by default. All you have to do is change enabled=0 to enabled=1 in /etc/yum.repos.d/public-yum-ol7.repo. Example : ol7_preview Alternatively you can enable a repo from the yum commandline : yum --enablerepo=ol7_preview <option>
The reason we don't enable these by default is that some of the packages in these channels are newer but, in some cases, pre-releases or developer versions of packages and we want to default to the "GA" versions but you are more than welcome to add these other packages of course. For instance, By default docker-engine gets you 17.06 but... if you want 17.12, then that's in the ol7_preview channel. So if you're looking for something new, don't forget to go look there before manually downloading stuff from a random 3rd party site. We might already have it available.
Other channels include nodejs8, gluster312, php72, MySQL8, developer_UEKR5 etc... Take a look at the repo file. You can always browse the repo content on https://yum.oracle.com. And if you want to see what's added on a regular basis, go check out the yum.oracle.com what's new page. Anyway having EPEL and software collections gives you quick access to a very wide range of packages. Again, no need to download a yum repo rpm or download packages with wget or what not. Easy to create a development environment and deployment environment.
- some tools are installed by default. For instance an OCI OL instance comes with oci-utils pre-installed. oci-utils contains a number of command lines tools that make it very easy to work with attached block volumes, handle instance metadata, find your public-ip easily, configure your secondary VNICs. I wrote a blog entry about this a few months ago.
- easy access to OCI toolkits:
Want to use terraform? No problem, no need to download stuff, just get it from our yum repo. # yum install terraform terraform-provider-oci We are typically just a few days behind the tagged releases of both terraform and the oci provider.
Want to use the OCI SDK and OCI CLI? # yum install python-oci-cli python-oci-sdk done. Same as with terraform, these packages are updated at most a few days after the github projects have release tags. No need to mess with updates or adding dependency RPMs. We take care of it and we update them for you