Oracle Linux Review

Core functionality is good, stable and can install in an hour

What is our primary use case?

I am using the solution for a project that I am trying to migrate it to the cloud. My experience with the cloud is at the beginners level. I haven't tested the solution very much yet but according to the published documentation, opinions etc., I see that Oracle Linux is the closest to my needs for future migration to the cloud.

What is most valuable?

Once installed, the product is good, I like it. The core of the software is really good.

What needs improvement?

The installation documentation needs to be improved, especially the current installation guide. For example it states that it is needed to format and to store the installation ISO on a DVD, but this is not possible to do in 8.0+ versions, as the ISO files are 7-9GB - greater than 4GB and the regular DVDs do not support it. The actual 8.3 version ISO cannot be put on USB either, as a file  as the setup requires the 9GB ISO also as a file, but this imposes the use of exFAT instead of FAT32, which is not supported by the system boot. Therefore I installed 8.1 from USB, which went just fine and upgraded to 8.3 afterwards with YUM.

My network card is supported by 5.3 kernel (UEK), but not supported by the 4.x RedHat kernel used too, which I had to realize by chance. My video and network cards are not completely supported in the 8.1-8.3 versions, better compatibility with up-to-date hardware is needed. When looking for compatible drivers, there was no clear statement which drivers are supported. Better directions are needed regarding hardware drivers and how to obtain them.

From my experience with Oracle, I completely rely on its documentation and its presence, completeness and reliability was one of the reasons to choose Oracle Linux. The documentation I see worked for 8.1 or 8.2 setups, but not for 8.3. It needs update - Oracle Linux  8.3 changed the installation procedure and doesn't match the documentation. My experience with Oracle is that what is written in the documentation just works. This time it did not help.

The ability to update the look-and-feel of the Desktop UI would be beneficial - the current one is pale to my taste, it is black, grey and white.

They could provide more repositories of tested software, or at least refer to them and comment on their use.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution for less than two weeks.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used CentOS for an year and a half. Now I had the chance to choose my OS considering my plans for cloud development and also the resent concerns about the future support of CentOS, I chose Oracle Linux 8.3

How was the initial setup?

In the 8.1 version, the setup works fine but it is when trying to install from an USB instead of DVD as it is written in the documentation. There were issues with the 8.3 installation - see above.

The installation of version 8.1, however, was good and worked fine. Some my attempts to install compatible drivers for my hardware failed and I had to reinstall the whole OS. The third time doing the install, it only took me one hour, it was easy. I achieved some compromise between up to date video (nouveau instead of Nvidia) and wifi (iwlwifi of Intel) drives and the system now works really fine.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I decided based on my experience with CentOS, Ubuntu, Kali Linux.

What other advice do I have?

I rate Oracle Linux an eight out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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