April 2012

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Linux has been working hard to make things work out of the box.  But, what happens when things are working?  Well, when things are working we want them to keep working.   That is why a linux distribution that is supported for a long length of time makes sense.   Oracle has taken a huge step in this regard by making updates for Oracle Linux free.

You have probably heard the story before.  Oracle Linux stems from the infamous RedHat Linux distribution.  RedHat does distributes updated packages for their distribution, but doesn’t give them in an immediately usable form.   Other distributions have taken the packages RedHat makes and transforms them into a usable form.

CentOS was the most popular edition of these RedHat ‘clones’.   When people got turned about the frequency of updates of CentoOS, they turned to Scientific Linux.  Now that Oracle Linux provides free updates, there is another option.

Why is this a big deal?  It’s a big deal because no one likes to change their operating system every couple of years.  The last few updates to the linux desktop have really created backlash in the community. The operating system should not get in the way or make the user have to relearn how to get work done.  The easiest way to accomplish this is to not have perform a major update.  These “enterprise” distributions that I have listed have support for 10 years!  That’s longer than most hardware will last.

Oracle Linux is supported by Oracle.  Given the fact that the company sells a competing product, this is quite an interesting situation.  The fact that it is supported by a company or Oracle’s stability gives it a lot of credibility.   It also has features that are not in the other clones.

RedHat provides some great services to the Linux community.  Please don’t feel that I’m unhappy with them overall.  With regards to providing free and usable packages for an enterprise version of linux, Oracle is currently doing a better job.

I am convinced that Oracle Linux is the way to go for an operating system that provides enterprise stability.   I would also say thanks to Oracle for providing free updates and helping fill the gap that RedHat took away all those years ago when they stopped providing free binary updates.