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Oracle Linux OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Oracle Linux is the #5 ranked solution in our list of top Operating Systems for Business. It is most often compared to Ubuntu Linux: Oracle Linux vs Ubuntu Linux

What is Oracle Linux?

Oracle Linux and Oracle Virtualization are powerful open source foundation products optimized for building both Private and Public Cloud Infrastructure. They provide a secure, scalable, and flexible platform for running both legacy and next generation Cloud Native Applications. As the foundation for Oracle’s Public and Managed Clouds, customers benefit from the comprehensive co-engineering which ensures a robust and highly manageable platform that is battle-tested in one of the worlds largest public clouds.. Unlike many other commercial Linux distributions, Oracle Linux is easy to download and completely free to use, free to distribute, and free to update. And Oracle Linux Support levels are simple and low cost, featuring Premier lifetime support, access to additional management tools such as Oracle Enterprise Manager, zero-downtime kernel updates using Ksplice, and access to award-winning Oracle support resources and customer support specialists.

For more information on Oracle Linux, visit Oracle.com/linux and see a whitepaper here

Oracle Linux is also known as Oracle Enterprise Linux.

Oracle Linux Buyer's Guide

Download the Oracle Linux Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Oracle Linux Customers

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Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Oracle Linux pricing:
  • "Nowadays, Oracle is very open toward price negotiation; they negotiate well with their clients"
  • "The licensing is expensive."
  • "Oracle Linux is very cheap at this time."
  • "This is an open-source product that can be used free of charge."

Oracle Linux Reviews

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MA
Technical Presales Consultant/ Engineer at a wholesaler/distributor with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Reliable, with good technical support, but it works well only with Oracle products

Pros and Cons

  • "Oracle Linux for Oracle databases is the top. There's no doubt whatsoever."
  • "Oracle Linux, needs to support more packages."

What is our primary use case?

Oracle Linux is basically Red Hat. It's the same. Oracle took the CentOS project, which is Red Hat, and made its own enhancements. They added something they call 3DBear, which is their proprietary technology. They call it the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK).

Oracle took Red Hat, stripped a lot of the software that was not needed for Oracle, which made Red Hat much smaller. They optimized the UEK for their Oracle database applications.

A customer who is planning to have an Oracle database and is looking to see whether to choose to go with Oracle Linux or SUSE Linux or Red Hat, the best option for them would be to go with Oracle Linux because it's the same vendor.

What needs improvement?

Oracle Linux for Oracle databases is the top. There's no doubt whatsoever. However, if you are going to use it for anything else it's going to be a mess, because many packages will not be supported by Oracle.

For example, I was helping an organization back up various Oracle Linux servers using various kernel versions and various distribution versions. The software that I used for backup requires some packages to be pre-installed into the Oracle Linux machine from the distribution itself, but one of the packages was not available from the Oracle repositories. Because it's a Linux machine, I can manually download this package and install it myself. But the problem with that is that Oracle will void the whole warranty if I install a package from a third-party repository.

If you are going to use Oracle Linux for anything other than running Oracle databases, you will most definitely run into a bottleneck situation in which some packages that are needed, you will not be able to download. And, if you download and install them, you will void your contract, which nullifies the point of you getting Oracle Linux in the first place.

Oracle Linux has a particular use case, not like SUSE, or like Red Hat. 

With SUSE, and Red Hat, you can use them for almost any use case, and you can even install Oracle inside both of them, but you can't do the same with Oracle Linux. 

Oracle Linux is built for Oracle databases. It doesn't make sense for me to get Oracle Linux and install the MySQL database. Even though MySQL is an Oracle product, it doesn't make sense. If I am not going to using Oracle databases then I shouldn't go with Oracle Linux.

Oracle Linux needs to support more packages. I understand that they stripped down CentOS and Red Hat, but Oracle is an organization that will be paying the price of Red Hat making CentOS, CentOS-3 as well.

I understand the idea of making the Linux distribution just optimized for their Oracle database, but I'm not going to get Oracle Linux because it works well only with Oracle products. 

I will most likely have a diverse infrastructure. So instead of going with Oracle Linux, I will go with SUSE Linux or Red Hat. Why? Because Red Hat, for example, has support for many, many packages. Instead of me going to get Oracle Linux for the Oracle database and Red Hat for the remaining workloads, why not get Red Hat from the beginning.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle Linux for two years. It is still pretty new to me.

I have used Oracle Linux versions 6, 7, and 8.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Oracle Linux is a stable solution. 

When you take Red Hat and strip several applications off of it and optimize it to work with Oracle databases, Oracle Linux is the most stable Linux.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support was great. I didn't deal with them directly. When I had an issue, I was interacting with a team who was administering the Oracle Linux environment, and when we ran into hiccups and we needed support from Oracle, they would initiate a ticket, and Oracle would respond and would provide support.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is comparable to Red Hat, and CentOS. It's not difficult.

In terms of the configuration, it won't take more than 30 minutes to install. 

However, because it's an Oracle Linux, there are Oracle databases involved, which means there are steering committees. There will be complications in the implementation that are not related to the actual installation of the product itself. This will delay it by several days.

What other advice do I have?

In general, I would not recommend this solution, but if you are going to be running Oracle databases, then yes, I would recommend Oracle Linux.

If you are going to be running Oracle-based solutions, or if your data center mainly is controlled by the Oracle Corporation then yes Oracle Linux would be the best choice.

You shouldn't go with Oracle Linux if you're not going to be using Oracle products.

As I am not particularly interested in Oracle, I would rate Oracle Linux a seven out of ten. If however, I was, then I would rate it a ten out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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NareshMote
Data Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5
Offers leading performance and security for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments

Pros and Cons

  • "Oracle Linux is very compatible with other platforms."
  • "I think they should also pay more attention to the open-source community."

What is most valuable?

I am not an Oracle expert, I'm a database expert. From my standpoint, Oracle Linux is more compatible with the latest open-source software than other operating systems like Ubuntu Linux and CentOS Linux. I have faced a lot of challenges with different operating systems but it turns out that other database packages are not very compatible with different operating systems. They are not very compatible with Arch and Ubuntu Linux; however, Oracle Linux is highly compatible with all of the open-source projects.

I wouldn't say that we had many major challenges with Oracle Linux. I can't say it's the most advanced operating system, but I can definitely say that they patch regularly. We didn't have major challenges with Oracle Linux, to be honest.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle Linux for more than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I don't think that we had any kind of stability issues. Most of the time, if I remember correctly, we worked with Oracle Linux when it was a part of the private cloud. By private cloud, I mean it was in VM. Being in VM with limited resources, sometimes the software packages would crash, but I don't recall the operating system ever crashing. The issues we experienced were due to the software and filter packages, not the operating system.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle tech support is pretty well organized. They have a long history of offering support for their Oracle packages. It doesn't matter if it's an Oracle database, an Oracle operating system; they give support 24/7, covering every time zone. They have multiple experts available for every issue you could experience. They can always be reached no matter what. They are very well organized with their support.

How was the initial setup?

Oracle Linux is very easy to set up.

Oracle Linux is very much compatible with other platforms. Installing VMs is very easy. If you are installing on a hard metal server, it's still very easy. I installed Oracle Linux myself, I didn't have major challenges with it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Nowadays, Oracle is very open toward price negotiation; they negotiate well with their clients. 

What other advice do I have?

If you're interested in Oracle Linux, make sure you know the infrastructure of where it's going inside and out. You have to have a clear idea of where exactly your organization is heading in the future, whether private cloud or public cloud. These decisions are not made in seconds, minutes, or even days or weeks. But you have to have a clear idea. For example, if a company wants to use Oracle Linux and they think after two or three years they might be in a hybrid cloud, or maybe a public cloud, they had to make sure they aren't too dependent on the operating system. Whatever software packages they are using should be very compatible with the existing infrastructure like a hybrid or a public cloud.

Picture two containers that are very much independent: you can implement Containerization in Oracle Linux and the same containers can and will work well in both a private cloud or a public cloud infrastructure.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Oracle Linux a rating of eight.

Because nothing is perfect, I wouldn't give any operating system or any other software packages a rating of 10. They have bugs sometimes. For some extra points, they should keep aligned with the ope-source community. Oracle is very loyal to their own customers. If a client is experiencing an issue, they will work with them until it is fully resolved. But what about the open-source community? I think they should also pay more attention to the open-source community. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Oracle Linux. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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Rusi Popov
Senior Software Engineer at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Core functionality is good, stable and can install in an hour

Pros and Cons

  • "Once installed, the product is good, I like it. The core of the software is really good."
  • "The installation documentation needs to be improved"

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
SU
Master Consultant - RedHat & Oracle Cloud, Virtualization , Automation at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Top 5
Stable with good pricing and an easy initial setup

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability is excellent and the initial setup is easy."
  • "It would be ideal if they added a faster implementation of the security fixes, if possible."

What is our primary use case?

Our organization uses mostly Oracle engineered systems and appliances such as Oracle Exadata, PCA Private Cloud Appliance, Oracle Database Appliance, etc. Anything that is an engineering solution from Oracle, essentially. We also use Oracle Virtualization, OVM. These are on Linux.

What is most valuable?

Ksplice is the solution's most valuable aspect. Basically, what that allows us to do, is it allows us to patch and update the Kernel without a reboot. To me, that is the most outstanding feature of Oracle Linux.

The pricing is quite good.

The stability is excellent and the initial setup is easy.

What needs improvement?

Oracle Linux is downstream from Red Hat Linux. This solution has the same pain points. I would probably mention that fleet deployment and management could be improved. 

It would be ideal if they added a faster implementation of the security fixes, if possible.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution since 2010.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable. There aren't issues with bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of adding on features, it's pretty scalable. It's similar to Red due to the fact that it is pretty much adjusted downstream from RHEL.

We have between 50-100 users on the solution at any given time.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've used support in the past. I'd say it's pretty typical. It's not extraordinary, It's fine.

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

We switched from Red Hat Linux. Oftentimes I work with the appliances and Oracle engineering systems on hardware and software, which come from Oracle. 

How was the initial setup?

The deployment was not complex. It was very straightforward. How long deployment takes depends on how many OS instances are being implemented. A single OS instance may take about 30 minutes or less. 

What about the implementation team?

I work at an Oracle partner company and assist clients with their implementation in my role as a consultant.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The licensing cost is fairly small. It's pretty much in line with Red Hat licenses. I cannot recall the actual pricing, however, it's my understanding that it's just a few hundred dollars for a CPU core per year. I would just say it's fairly reasonable and low.

 Oracle Linux subscriptions can actually come free if they're purchased with other products.

What other advice do I have?

We're a partner and reseller of Oracle.

I would recommend the solution, especially for the organizations that could be interested in zero downtime patch-ins. That is what the Oracle Linux case flies provide. I don't think the same feature are available in RHEL.

I'd rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
MW
Project Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Has a more stable kernel than Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Pros and Cons

  • "We use Oracle Linux to test our software, and we also recommend Oracle Linux to our customers."
  • "The download speed is not good. Oracle can improve their servers capacity, especially in Asia."

What is our primary use case?

We used Oracle Enterprise Linux to replace a Red Hat Enterprise Linux environment because Oracle Linux rolled out a new kernel. We thought it might be more stable than our previous edition.

How has it helped my organization?

We have maybe 10 to 15 engineers using Oracle Linux to test the software environment. It has a more stable kernel than Red Hat Enterprise Linux. 

What needs improvement?

Oracle Linux is almost the same as Red Hat, but it takes a long time to download, in comparison. The download speed is not good. Oracle can improve their servers capacity, especially in Asia.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Oracle Linux for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. We use Oracle Linux because it has a stable kernel, perhaps, more so than other vendors.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable product.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's not easy to obtain Oracle Linux support from emails or telephone support. We tend to look at the Knowledge Base. Oracle's Knowledge Base is excellent.

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install and only took about 30 minutes.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We use Oracle Linux to test our software, and we also recommend Oracle Linux to our customers. We also recommend the purchasing of a license to activate the product. If our customers want to install Oracle Linux on multiple servers, perhaps Oracle could offer some good discounts, but these would need to be negotiated.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We used several kinds of Linux. Something like SUSE Linux, Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu Linux, and Oracle Linux but especially those with stable kernels. In some software environments, we do not need a stable kernel's performance level, but the machine may be stable in most cases. Before this year, we used Ubuntu. Ubuntu is speedy but not very stable. Its development is very quickly rolled out, and they change it every half year.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Oracle Linux an eight out of 10. Linux Enterprise is used in our customer's data center. The users may use a lot of server resources, so we recommend they buy a license. Sometimes they need to buy hundreds of server licenses, so the price consideration is important as the licensing is expensive. Our customers tend to use other editions such as CentOS, and other free editions. However, the free editions are not stable. Indeed, the free version provided by Oracle is not stable.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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Noor Parkar
Sr. System and Storage Administrator at a government with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Useful for hosting other Oracle products

Pros and Cons

  • "It's very useful for hosting other Oracle products."
  • "We'd like it if it was a bit more secure."

What is our primary use case?

We are primarily using the solution for our Oracle Database.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very, very stable. The performance is reliable. 

It's very useful for hosting other Oracle products.

The solution is very scalable. You can expand it if needed.

Technical support is very good. They have been responsive and they understand the product.

The initial setup is quick and easy. It doesn't take too long.

The pricing of the solution is not too high. It's reasonable. 

What needs improvement?

The security could always be slightly improved on the product. We'd like it if it was a bit more secure.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for a couple of years at this point. It's been a while. I have some experience with it at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's very reliable in terms of performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so with relative ease. It's not a problem.

We currently have about 50 people on the solution.

We do plan to increase the usage in the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. They are helpful and responsive. We are quite happy with the level of support we have received from them so far. They are available when we need them.

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

Previously, we had a mixed environment and we were using all sorts of operating systems. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly difficult or complex. We found the process to be very straightforward. The deployment itself was fast.

We have two members of the technical team that can handle any maintenance required. 

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation ourselves. We did not need the assistance of a consultant or implementor. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We pay for a license on a yearly basis. It's not an overly expensive product. It's affordable.

What other advice do I have?

We're using the latest version of the solution at this time.

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten. We're quite happy with the capabilities of the solution so far. It works as expected and does what we need it to do.

I would recommend the solution to other users and organizations. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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KH
Data Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to install, stable and scalable, with good support

Pros and Cons

  • "The good thing about Oracle Linux is that it's free, as long as you don't want support."
  • "They should increase security."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution internally to develop our systems.

Our developers work in another section to develop the data center. We provide services to the developers and other business units.

What is most valuable?

It's a good product, and the areas to improve are quite limited.

The good thing about Oracle Linux is that it's free, as long as you don't want support. If you want the support you have to pay for it.

What needs improvement?

They don't provide updates.

It could be more secure. They should increase security.

Also, the scalability should be improved.

In the next release, I would like to see it more secure and more usable to adapt to the new technologies that are coming up.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

We are using the latest version. We are always updating.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a scalable solution. It's basic Linux clustering and high availability. We have approximately 20 users in our organization.

Their support is quite good.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are satisfied with technical support. There is no need to be improved. There is no need to be faster, more knowledgeable, or customer friendly.

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

We also use SUSE Linux, Ubuntu Linux, CentOS, and Red Hat Linux.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is quite straightforward.

It takes about an hour to install.

We need a team of two people who concentrate on Oracle Linux.

What about the implementation team?

I am able to complete the installation myself.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Oracle Linux is free, you only pay for support.

If you don't want support you can fully pay for the enterprise solution.

It's cheaper than RedHat. Oracle support is a bit cheaper than Red Hat's support.

Oracle Linux is very cheap at this time. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others.

I would rate Oracle Linux and eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MS
Manager of Customer Services with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to use, stable, good patching capability, and secure by default

Pros and Cons

  • "The user interface is comfortable and easy to use."
  • "The GUI could be made more attractive."

What is our primary use case?

We are using it as a DNS server.

We also have Oracle Vault and Oracle Fire installed on it. We are planning to use it as a model system, for learning.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is its stability. I adore the stability.

It is easy to use. The patching, connectivity, and storage are all good.

The iSCSI support is helpful.

This product is very secure by default. You should be able to use everything that you want to use. If you need to employ any service then you should enable the security for it.

The user interface is comfortable and easy to use.

What needs improvement?

The GUI could be made more attractive.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle Linux for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

it is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Oracle Linux is not really scalable.

We have two or three direct users, on top of 1,050 who use it indirectly.

How are customer service and technical support?

We do not use any technical support.

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

We have also used Red Hat Linux, although we stopped using it about three years ago.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It takes maybe two days to complete. the first day is for installation and preparation, and another day is required for patching. It takes a long time to complete patching and updates.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed it myself. Only one administrator is required for deployment and maintenance.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is an open-source product that can be used free of charge.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

There are many different flavors of Linux but I haven't gone deep enough in them to compare them all.

What other advice do I have?

Oracle Linux is a product that I recommend.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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