Oracle Linux is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), but that doesn’t mean they have to use the same Linux kernel.
Oracle announced Tuesday the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2, which is an Oracle kernel that can be used to replace the stock Red Hat kernel for Oracle Linux. Instead of the 2.6.x kernel used in RHEL 6, Oracle’s kernel is based on the 3.0.16 mainline Linux kernel.
“Moving to a newer baseline kernel, in this case the 3.0.16 Linux kernel, comes with better support for modern hardware,” Sergio Leunissen, VP for Linux Product Management at Oracle, told InternetNews.com. “It comes with resource management features and brings improvements to memory management with Transparent Huge Pages.”
Leunissen noted that overall, customers like the idea of having a new kernel and being able to use their new hardware.
Although Red Hat has not yet adopted a Linux 3.0 kernel for RHEL, that doesn’t mean it’s missing support for new hardware. RHEL 6 is actually based on the 2.6.34 kernel; however, Red Hat frequently backports features and support for the most modern new hardware including Intel’s new Xeon E5.
As to what the difference is between the Oracle Kernel and what Red Hat already provides, Leunissen noted that Oracle didn’t backport the support.
“Our kernel is based on a mainline kernel, and another difference is that we tested it with Oracle workloads,” Leunissen said.