Which version of Oracle Linux should I pick for Oracle server product installations?


linux-tuxOracle certifies many of their latest products for installation on Oracle Linux 6 and 7, so I guess the obvious question is, which should you pick?

I tend to have a dual approach to this. I always use the latest versions of everything for my play kit, but I tend to be a little conservative for production deployments, preferring to use the OS version the product was developed against. I’ve noticed Oracle Cloud and some VM templates are still using Oracle Linux 6, which makes me think Oracle are being a little conservative too.

We were lucky enough to get some time with Wim Coekaerts during the ACE Director briefing at Oracle OpenWorld 2015. During Wim’s session I asked this very question and (to paraphrase his response) he said, the products are written on Oracle Linux 6, so that’s a safe bet. The products are certified and supported on Oracle Linux 7, so you are fine to choose that, but it doesn’t really matter if you prefer to stick with Oracle Linux 6.

You might be asking yourself, why would I stick with such an old distribution? If you are using Oracle Linux you should be using Oracle’s kernel (currently UEK3), so even if the main distribution is older, you are still getting the latest and greatest kernel updates. This is very different to RHEL, where the kernel functionality is essentially fixed when the distribution is released, then just patched for critical updates. For a database or application server, the kernel is the important thing. You’re not bothered about having the latest version of Firefox on the server. :)

Oracle Linux 6 is supported until 2021, so there is no hurry to get rid of it any time soon. If you are doing new installations, the likelihood is your hardware replacement cycle will kick in before Oracle Linux 6 is out of date. If virtualized, you will probably rebuild your VMs as part of your application software updates within this time-scale also. :)

So in conclusion, don’t be afraid to make the jump to Oracle Linux 7, but equally, don’t be afraid to stick with Oracle Linux 6… Neither choice is a bad one in this case.



PS. For non-Oracle installations, there may be other more pressing reasons to jump to version 7. I’ve intentionally avoided mentioning systemd and firewalld. I don’t have time for that war. :)

Fedora 23 and Oracle 11gR2/12cR1


A few months ago I mentioned doing some Fedora 22 installations. At the time I did some pre-emptive installations on the Alpha release of Fedora 23 also.

Now the final release of Fedora 23 is out, I’ve run through the articles again to make sure things are all ship-shape.

It’s pretty much as it was before, with the nice bonus that the “MATE Desktop” package group has been fixed. Happy days! :)

As always, installations of Oracle server products on Fedora are not a great idea, as explained here.

If you do like playing with this stuff, knock yourself out… :)



Oracle Linux 7.1 Preinstall Packages available for 11gR2 and 12cR1


Every so often I have a nose around the contents of the Oracle Linux public yum repositories and guess what I found in the OL7.1 base and OL7 latest repositories.


The datestamps suggest they’ve been around since the 5th February, but I think these only became available with the release of OL7.1.

On the positive side, this means installations of 11g and 12c just got a whole lot easier on Oracle Linux 7. On the downside, I’ve got some minor rewrites to do. :)



Fedora 21 : Upgrading from Fedora 20


I just did an upgrade of my old desktop from Fedora 20 to Fedora 21. The process was similar to this old blog post, but there were some variations, so I’ll list the procedure here.

  • Update your current Fedora 20 system by issuing the “yum update -y” command and restart once it is complete.
  • Install the latest “fedup” package using “sudo yum –enablerepo=updates-testing install fedup”
  • Run the “sudo fedup-cli –network 21 –product=nonproduct” command.
  • If you are using Dropbox, disable the repository using the “yum-config-manager –disable Dropbox” command. Re-enable it once the Fedora 21 repository is available.
  • Run the following clean up commands.
    sudo rpm --rebuilddb
    sudo yum distro-sync --setopt=deltarpm=0
    sudo yum install rpmconf
    sudo rpmconf -a
  • If you are using Chrome, uninstall and reinstall Chrome.

It seemed to go fine!



Oracle 11gR2 and 12cR1 on Oracle Linux 7


I did a quick update of my Oracle installation articles on Oracle Linux 7. The last time I ran through them was with the beta version OL7 and before the release of

The installation process of on the production release of Oracle Linux 7 hasn’t changed since the beta. The installation of on Oracle Linux 7 is a lot neater than the installation. It’s totally problem free for a basic installation.

You can see the articles here.

There is a bold warning on the top of both articles reminding you that the database is not supported on Oracle Linux 7 yet! Please don’t do anything “real” with it until the support is official.

Note. I left the fix-it notes for the installation at the bottom of the 12c article, but now is available from OTN there is really no need for someone to be installing other than for reference I guess.





Oracle Linux 7 Released


With all the excitement around the release of Oracle Database 12.1.02, it’s easy to forget that there is other stuff going on as well.

I’ve just noticed that Oracle have announced the release of Oracle Linux 7. You can download it now from eDelivery.

Just remember, it takes quite a while to get products certified on this stuff, so although I’ve already tried installations on the beta versions, I would not install any Oracle products on this stuff “for real” until the official certification is announced for each product.



Oracle Linux and MySQL : Progress


A few months ago I wrote about some MySQL on Oracle Linux migrations we were working through. It’s been a long time coming, but last weekend was the go-live for this batch of migrations. So far so good! :)

Most of the elapsed time since my last post on this subject has been spent with the developers and users testing the migrations.

The process has taken a bit longer than some people would have liked. Rather than doing a quick and dirty upgrade, I’ve been pushing to get things done properly. Since I was the person who set up the infrastructure, I’ve been extremely anal about levels of privilege I’m granting. This has caused some minor rewrites of applications, which were essentially relying on admin privileges to perform some actions. Not any more! :)

I’m no MySQL guru, but I think what we have now is pretty darn decent, especially compared to where we started. I guess time will tell how bold a statement that is. :)

Onwards and upwards…



Oracle 11gR2 and 12cR1 on Oracle Linux 7 beta


I’ve been having a play with Oracle Linux 7 beta over the weekend. Not surprisingly my first thoughts were to install the Oracle database on it.

As expected, the installations were almost identical or Fedora 19.

I’ve put a warning on the front of the OL7 articles, but I’m sure it won’t stop some Muppets using it in production then trying to blame me. :)

I don’t know how long it will be until OL7 goes to production and I’m sure it will be a long time before anything is certified against it, but it’s always nice to see what’s coming… :) I’ll update the articles when anything significant happens…



RHEL7 and Oracle Linux 7 beta


Nearly two weeks ago, Oracle announced the Oracle Linux 7 Beta 1. Being the Linux fanboy I am, I downloaded it straight away from here.

Oracle Linux is a clone of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution. The RHEL7 beta, and therefore OL7 beta, distro is based on a cut of Fedora 19, although depending on who you ask, it’s possibly more a mix of Fedora 18, 19 and 20… Suffice to say, there are a lot of changes compared to the RHEL6/OL6 distribution.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, my desktop at home is running Fedora 20, so I’m pretty used to most of the changes, but I’ve not written much about them, apart from the odd blog post. It’s not a high priority for me, since I’m not a sysadmin, but I’ll be updating/rewriting a few of the Linux articles on the site to include the new stuff.

When Surachart Opun mentioned having to look at systemd and firewalld, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to update my firewall and services articles. You can see the new versions here.

RHEL7/OL7 is only in beta, and even after the production release I’m sure it will be a long time before Oracle actually certify any products against it, but if you are not a Fedora user, it’s probably worth you having a play around with this stuff.



Oracle Linux and MySQL


I’m in the process of taking on some of the MySQL databases in my company. The first ones are MySQL 4.1 running on Windows, so we are upgrading them to MySQL 5.6 on Oracle Linux. As with many of our systems, these will be running on VMware virtual machines.

Since the current installations are so old, we are planning on dumping out the data and creating fresh installations on the new systems. Based on the advice I got from Ronald Bradford and Sheeri Cabral, we are also taking this opportunity to switch to InnoDB and utf8, rather than MyISAM and latin1 that are currently used.

We are using the MySQL yum repository for the installation, so we can be on the latest MySQL version, rather than that shipped as part of Oracle Linux (or RHEL) 6.5. The other neat thing about this is it takes care of point release upgrades as part of the “yum update” process.

So far all my testing has been done on VMs running on my PC, but we are soon going to start rolling this out. It should be an interesting piece of work. The developers are doing a bunch of testing with InnoDB and utf8 to see what issues we come up against…



Update. For those new to MySQL, you might like to read this post by Patrick Hurley.