For those of you not familiar with Oracle Linux (OL), it is an Linux distribution that tracks Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), similar to how Centos 7 does, or Centos 8 use to. It's also all but identical to RHEL, though there are some optional upgrades as well as a ton of free tech that you might be paying for if you use other commercial distributions. OL also includes the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) Kernel, and advanced modern kernel that includes performance enhancements, as well as support for more devices and technologies years in advance of RHEL. UEK is based on the Linux 5 Kernel, where the standard RHCK8 kernel is based on Linux 4. UEK allows your older RHCK7 and 8 systems to leverage the newer 5 kernel today.
The best part? You can chose to use the UEK Kernel or the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) kernel, a RHEL base kernel that matches Red hat’s offering one for one.
Best of all, OL is free! Yes, free! All you pay for is support, which comes with it’s own perks like 24x7x365 phone support, as well as Ksplice a tool that lets you patch while running workloads, and many more benefits. You can download use try Oracle Linux 8.5 for free directly from Oracle here.
UEK Release 6, Update 3 is included with OL8.5. This update to the enhanced UEK kernel includes support for the WireGuard Protocol, an upcoming VPN technology that provides efficient encryption over the network, replacing OpenVPN for many users. Additionally, UEK R6U3 enhances secure boot support, NVME performance, support for many new devices from QLogic, Intel, Broadcom and even Microsoft Azure’s Network driver.
In addition to the updated UEK kernel, the 8.5 release includes updating the RHCK kernel to 4.18.0-348, new crypto policies supporting AES-192 encryption, updates to Grafana, Go, Openscap, gcc, rust, ruby, python and more.
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