Oracle Intends To Keep Trying To Make Oracle Linux Compatible With RHEL

Written by Michael Larabel in Oracle on 10 July 2023 at 01:30 PM EDT. 95 Comments
Following the stunning decision last month by IBM that they would begin limiting access to the Red Hat Enterprise Linux sources, AlmaLinux quickly came out working on a path forward and Rocky Linux also shared some ideas how they may continue providing a RHEL-compatible Linux distribution. We've been waiting for Oracle to comment on their plans for the RHEL-compatible Oracle Linux distribution and today they finally issued a statement.

There is an Oracle press release today entitled Keep Linux Open and Free—We Can’t Afford Not To. The release was issued by Edward Screven, Chief Corporate Architect at Oracle, and Wim Coekaerts, Head of Oracle Linux Development.

Oracle Linux has improved over the years and beyond being RHEL-compatible have worked on other features like their Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

In that post they note Oracle intends to continue working on Oracle Linux and still making it compatible with upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux without noting what steps they may take to obtain the sources moving forward.
"As for Oracle, we will continue pursuing our goal for Linux as transparently and openly as we always have while minimizing fragmentation. We will continue to develop and test our software products on Oracle Linux. Oracle Linux will continue to be RHEL compatible to the extent we can make it so. In the past, Oracle’s access to published RHEL source has been important for maintaining that compatibility. From a practical standpoint, we believe Oracle Linux will remain as compatible as it has always been through release 9.2, but after that, there may be a greater chance for a compatibility issue to arise. If an incompatibility does affect a customer or ISV, Oracle will work to remediate the problem."

The Oracle announcement also goes on to add:
"We want to emphasize to Linux developers, Linux customers, and Linux distributors that Oracle is committed to Linux freedom. Oracle makes the following promise: as long as Oracle distributes Linux, Oracle will make the binaries and source code for that distribution publicly and freely available. Furthermore, Oracle welcomes downstream distributions of every kind, community and commercial. We are happy to work with distributors to ease that process, work together on the content of Oracle Linux, and ensure Oracle software products are certified on your distribution.

By the way, if you are a Linux developer who disagrees with IBM’s actions and you believe in Linux freedom the way we do, we are hiring.

One observation for ISVs: IBM’s actions are not in your best interest. By killing CentOS as a RHEL alternative and attacking AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux, IBM is eliminating one way your customers save money and make a larger share of their wallet available to you. If you don’t yet support your product on Oracle Linux, we would be happy to show you how easy that is. Give your customers more choice.

Finally, to IBM, here’s a big idea for you. You say that you don’t want to pay all those RHEL developers? Here’s how you can save money: just pull from us. Become a downstream distributor of Oracle Linux. We will happily take on the burden."

Some of the best words I've seen out of Oracle in years. They don't have the best history considering how they closed up OpenSolaris development, but on the Oracle Linux front at least they've been doing some good. See the announcement in full here.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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