back to article Oracle Linux now supported on 64-bit Armv8 processors

Oracle’s announced that the version of its GNU/Linux for Arm processors is now generally available and signalled its intentions to help “build out a very viable server/cloud platform for Arm.” Big Red revealed its efforts in November 2017 with the debut of an unsupported developer release of Oracle Linux 7 Update 3. Come …

  1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Don't trust it.

    What's the catch? I'd always be concerned about some obfuscated lock-in

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Don't trust it.

      "What's the catch?"

      That it involves Oracle? And that support is over $2000 / server / year.

      1. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: Don't trust it.

        AFAIK "oracle linux 7 u 4" is rebranded redhat EL 7u4. Without support from redhat who build all the rpms but you pay for support to Oracle.

        Presumably oracle remove MariaDB and insert mysql since they inherited the brandname from Sun for mysql but dont develop it.

        1. s2bu

          Re: Don't trust it.

          Yes, OL is pretty much RHEL (just like CentOS and Scientific Linux).

          Ironically enough, they don't remove MariaDB at all. They do provide MySQL as a separate "channel" (repo) though!

    2. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: Don't trust it.

      The catch is that Oracle basically filched Red Hat's code base and slapped Oracle and enormous fees on top of it. Somebody might say they're entitled to do it under the GPL but that doesn't make it any less skeezy.

  2. EmperorFromage

    Where is the Oracle Instant client for ARM ?

    Still no download available for generic Linux / ARM systems :

    http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-technologies/instant-client/downloads/index.html

    What gives ?

    1. Steve the Cynic

      Re: Where is the Oracle Instant client for ARM ?

      Still no download available for generic Linux / ARM systems

      It was on this very journal that I read stories about Linus T's enswearified rants about ARM devices and non-discoverable buses. I'm guessing that nothing yet has changed in the world of ARM SoCs to change that state of affairs.

      Whatever its faults, PCI is discoverable. You can interrogate it to find out what devices are where on the bus, and what resources they expect and so on. Many ARM SoCs have devices that aren't available like that, and you have to infer them from the fact that you have SoC type X, therefore you have devices A, B, C. That's a major obstruction to the construction of a generic ARM kernel for any OS.

      1. AdamWill

        Re: Where is the Oracle Instant client for ARM ?

        "It was on this very journal that I read stories about Linus T's enswearified rants about ARM devices and non-discoverable buses. I'm guessing that nothing yet has changed in the world of ARM SoCs to change that state of affairs." aarch64 is generally somewhat better than 32-bit ARM there. Especially with server-class hardware as opposed to dev boards.

      2. Phil Endecott Silver badge

        Re: Where is the Oracle Instant client for ARM ?

        “rants about ARM devices and non-discoverable buses. I'm guessing that nothing yet has changed in the world of ARM SoCs to change that state of affairs.

        Whatever its faults, PCI is discoverable.”

        ARM servers, if they ever really come to exist at all, will almost certainly use discoverable buses like PCI and USB in much the same way as x86 servers do.

        For other devices more tightly coupled to the processor they’ll tend to use ACPI, again in much the same way that x86 servers do.

        The nondiscoverable rantyness is largely for devices like phones, tablets, TV boxes etc. and (unfortunately) many of the “hacker” boards that are built using the same chips. The problem should largely go away for server systems.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: We’ve asked but aren’t holding our breath as Oracle’s not chatty.

    don't you mean

    We’ve asked but aren’t holding our breath as Oracle’s not a charity and it will cost you $$$

    Given their recent push for $25/month for Java SE I would not put it beyond them to charge more than RedHat does for its support.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It’s based on Oracle’s unbreakable kernel"

    It should be noted that "unbreakable linux" is what Oracle marketing named their repackaged redhat clone. As they are occasionally behind with fixes (including security patches), it's arguably more breakable then RH.

    1. Bob Ajob

      Not just repackaged?

      Unsure if that is a fair assessment or not but is the UEK open source and can you see how many lines of code differ from the RHEL default? I've run perfectly legal dummy kernel packages for Red Hat (to fool it into thinking its running Oracle Linux) and they allow the (arguably EULA breaking) preinstall packages for Oracles products that automatically fix all the prerequisites for you but the UEK is a different beast altogether and allows hot patching of the kernel which I think the default RHEL one doesn't. Support for Oracle Linux is an interesting argument, especially depending on which hypervisor it might be sat on. RHEL support is only around $2k so pales into insignificance against most Oracle product (not OS) licensing and support costs.

      1. s2bu

        Re: Not just repackaged?

        Yes. All of the SRPMS for the entire distribution are on their public-yum repo site (just like RHEL), and the Unbreakable Kernel source is even on github. They pretty much have to supply the code because of GPL.

        While the UEK does provide kSplice, Oracle only provides the updates to people who have premier support, sadly.

    2. s2bu

      While I agree with Oracle bashing, I can honestly say that lagging on updates is one thing I haven't seen them do. Obviously for upstream fixes (eg, ones from RHEL) they can't possibly release them *before* RH does, but their turnaround has always seemed pretty fast.

      After the first Intel microcode fiasco, Red Hat stopped providing microcode updates in the distro itself, while Oracle has continued to do so. So in one respect, they're "better" than RHEL for people who are running servers where their vendor has failed to provide updated BIOS releases with newer microcode embedded.

      The "Unbreakable" branding currently only applies to their kernel, not the distro itself (which is just simply called 'Oracle Linux'). It IS a stupid name though!

  5. karlkarl Bronze badge

    Aren't ARM servers so incredibly niche?

    Surely there is more of a market for running Oracle Linux on MacBooks and Thinkpads and yet not many are on the certified hardware list.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the company that owns SPARC are pushing ARM, how does that work then?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: So the company that owns SPARC are pushing ARM

      They obviously think that SPARC has no long term (or even mid term) future.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: re: So the company that owns SPARC are pushing ARM

        Although, they're still happily simultaneously selling Solaris and Linux support

    2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Stop

      So the company that owns SPARC

      Oracle does not own SPARC, SPARC International owns it.

      Oracle, like Fujitsu, simply licenses and manufactures SPARC chips, which is much the same model ARM uses.

      1. Skoorb

        Oracle recently announced that they are stopping direct development of SPARC over the next few years.

        However, they will still sell Solaris on SPARC and SPARC solutions, it's just that Fujitsu will make the boxes. Their website has already been updated to list a load of Fujitsu servers.

        Basically, Fujitsu will be the only Serious Money still going into SPARC. This isn't necessarily the end of SPARC, as IBM is the only Serious Money going in to Power and The Z processors, and Power is still chugging along.

        Fujitsu's SPARC roadmap actually looks pretty impressive tbh.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Oracle recently announced..."

          Oracle recently announced that they are stopping direct development of SPARC over the next few years.

          Did I miss the overt announcement on this? I mean, it's quite obvious that's what they're doing; I just don't remember a formal announcement.

          Heh, I just looked at their latest roadmap. It reminds me of the ending to Infinity War.

          https://www.oracle.com/assets/sparc-roadmap-slide-2076743.pdf

  7. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    EPARSE

    so adds MySQL, Docker, Java efforts under way too

    Oracle adds MySQL, Docker and Java?

    MySQL, Docker and Java efforts are under way?

    Which is it?

    Oh hang on, that "too" confuses the matter further, with the implication that something else has happened in addition to the [whatever] that has happened with MySQL, Docker and Java.

    That kind of unparseable headline (in this case subheading) is truly infuriating. Can't someone proofread those things before going to press?

    1. Paul J Turner

      Re: EPARSE

      Proofreading, on The Reg'? The day someone makes a decent AI Grammar Checker for free maybe.

      "A developer preview of Docker that will run on the OS is in a developer preview." You don't say?

  8. Victor 2

    Interesting

    So, the OL port for SPARC was scrapped, Fujitsu is showing it's post-K architecture based on ARM and now Oracle presents OL for ARM.

    I wonder when will they merge the rest of the stuff from Solaris into OL...

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