On Oracles commitment to Linux

Oracle prides itself on its strong support and commitment to Linux. On a webpage at Oracle’s site entitled Oracle’s Technical Contributions to Linux”

Oracle waxes eloquently on Oracle’s support, commitment and leadership for Linux. The paragraphs describe Oracle’s “long history of strong support and commitment to Linux, as evidenced by numerous, on-going technical contributions to the Linux community.”

The page then states that “Oracle continues to strengthen its involvement in the Linux community by providing enhancements that facilitate the development and deployment of enterprise Linux solutions. By developing enhanced capabilities and contributing code, Oracle’s Linux engineering teams continue to make the Linux experience better for all.”

Finally, the page lists a variety of projects and contributions where Oracle is involved. Very impressive stuff and I applaud Oracle for their contributions.

Ksplice is an extension of the Linux kernel which allows you to apply security patches to a running kernel without having to reboot the operating system. What’s the point in having a highly redundant clustered database that never needs to go down if it’s running on an operating system with a security hole that requires a reboot to patch? I highly recommend you read the wikipedia article I linked to above to read up how Ksplice works – it’s very cool.

From its founding in 2008 thru July 20th, 2011, Ksplice, Inc. the company that developed the Ksplice technology, provided prebuilt and tested updates for RedHat, CentOS, SuSE Enterprise Linux and other linux distributions – though not Oracle Linux.

On July 21st, 2011, support for RedHat Enterprise Linux and SuSE Enterprise Linux was dropped. It was announced that going forward this would be a feature only on Oracle Linux to customers who pay for premier support and only then when running Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK).

What happened on July 21st to cause Ksplice to drop the most popular enterprise linux distributions?

On July 21st, 2011, Oracle completed its acquisition of Ksplice, Inc.

[update] I also saw this tweet by ORCL_Linux, Oracle’s official twitter account for it’s Linux group:
“#Oracle Buys Ksplice…makes Oracle #Linux the ONLY OS with zero downtime patching bit.ly/qCZTBq ”

6 thoughts on “On Oracles commitment to Linux

  1. Add Ksplice to Oracle’s change of heart for other Linux contributions: ASMLib and OCFS2.


    I just had a conversation with an Oracle solution delivery manager over an Oracle internal questionnaire on our requirements for Oracle RDBMS support of RHEL 6 … leads me to believe Oracle is considering support for only OEL moving forward. Speculation on my part, but the trend over the past few years has been moving towards a full Oracle stack from hardware to applications.

  2. That’s definitely my suspicion as well. It also seems like it’s been an extremely long time for Oracle to certify RHEL / OL 6 for Oracle databases compared to the RHEL/OEL 5 days. I do wonder if that’s intentional to encourage people to use Oracle’s OEL 5 UEK (which is the same kernel level as RHEL /OL 6).

  3. We’ve had a recent, in-depth discussion on this very topic (sandbagging the port to RH6) on the OakTable internal email list. Fellow members find that OEL adoption is lagging because most sites aren’t willing to change their 10,000 RH servers to OEL just because of the couple hundred x86 servers running Oracle. My *personal speculation* is that OEL+UEK will be deemed good enough for the rest of the life of 11g and that 12g will be available first on OEL+UEK, then EL6 and then at some time after that RH6. I’d further speculate that it will be 12gR2 that makes it to RH6 and that would only be if enough Oracle customers jump and scream. Oracle customers would do well to stop acting the “silent majority” otherwise they are going to have some really, really small percentage of their x86 servers running OEL and the vast majority running RH and that doesn’t sound like a very fun operations environment.

    I’m only reading tea leaves.

  4. Has there been any news from Oracle on RH6? It’s now 2012 and rh6 is at 6.2. From the conversations I have had with Oracle, they are still making no comment or commitment to RH6. Has anyone heard anything one way or another?

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