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Oracle's "new" kernel for RHEL clone: The real truth

Sep 21, 2010, 18:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Brockmeier)

"Oracle made a big noise in the Linux community yesterday by announcing its own spin on the Linux kernel on top if its so-called Unbreakable Linux. Oracle presented the announcement as offering a "modern" Linux kernel on top of its own clone of Red Hat. Underneath the hype, what's Oracle really offering, and what does it mean for Linux?

"For years, Oracle has ridden Red Hat's coattails and tried to present it as a good thing to its customers. Oracle rebrands Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), slaps its own support package on it, and lets Red Hat do all the heavy development lifting while it tries to poach Red Hat's customers. All perfectly legal according to the licenses that RHEL is shipped under, but a bit skeezy nonetheless. Or perhaps parasitic might be a better word.

"Don't get me wrong, Oracle does contribute to kernel and other open source development. In fact, Oracle was one of the top 20 employers by kernel contributions from the 2.6.33 kernel (as measured by Greg Kroah-Hartman). Specifically, Oracle was responsible for about 1.3% of the changesets in 2.6.33"

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