Oracle Linux (OL) is Oracle's Linux distribution. OL is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and is binary compatible with Red Hat (not a fork!).
While the Oracle Linux user space is 100% compatible with RHEL, Oracle ships a more modern kernel, Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, which is based on Linux mainline 3.8 (as of October 2013). In addition to security errata and bug fixes, Oracle provides quarterly updates to the kernel that enable new hardware support. Oracle re-bases the kernel to a later stable mainline kernel approximately every 18 months to ensure that new features from upstream development are available to customers.
Oracle supports OL itself through its Oracle Unbreakable Linux program. This support program is designed to compete directly with Red Hat's support offering.
Oracle's commitment to Linux began in 1998 by offering commercial support for the Oracle Database on Linux. On 25 October 2006 they announced their intention to offer direct Linux support.
OL provides the following benefits:
- Oracle products are well tested to work on OL
- Single vendor - eliminate finger pointing when trouble strikes
- Single order - more convenient and bigger discounts from Oracle
- Easier - single command to get all RPM prereqs for Oracle products ($ up2date oracle-validated)
Compared to Red Hat
- OL support is cheaper than that of Red Hat
- OL is 100% compatible with Red Hat Linux
The following support offering are available:
- Network support - software, including patches
- Basic support - 24x7 global support, complete Linux server lifecycle management
- Premier support - 24x7 global support, complete Linux server lifecycle management, back ports, and Oracle Lifetime support