Larry Ellison Rips Red Hat Linux, But Stays Committed - InformationWeek

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9/20/2010
12:55 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Larry Ellison Rips Red Hat Linux, But Stays Committed

Oracle has introduced its own alternative kernel to Red Hat Linux because, Larry Ellison says, Red Hat has continually dragged its feet on fixing bugs and making enhancements to its product-sometimes for as long as four years. But Ellison also reiterated Oracle's commitment to supporting Red Hat Linux "forever."

Oracle has introduced its own alternative kernel to Red Hat Linux because, Larry Ellison says, Red Hat has continually dragged its feet on fixing bugs and making enhancements to its product-sometimes for as long as four years. But Ellison also reiterated Oracle's commitment to supporting Red Hat Linux "forever.""We are not giving up on Red Hat Linux," Ellison said. "We spend a lot of time finding and fixing bugs in Red Hat Linux, and we have no problem with that-we do that with lots of operating systems.

"But sometimes when we fix a Red Hat Linux bug, Red Hat can take a very long time before making the fix. We'd fix the bug for our customers, and we'd send the bug off to Red Hat for them to fix, and sometimes the fix would be made very quickly but sometimes not," Ellison said.

Those delays, Ellison said, weren't just specific to Oracle: it would often take Red Hat months or even years to incorporate bug fixes or enhancements from the overall Linux community, he said.

"Red Hat's also been slow in taking up the enhancements from the overall Red Hat community and they were sometimes four years behind the times for the latest community enhancements," Ellison said.

"And that is simply a huge problem for us as we build these high-end Linux machines like Exadata and Exalogic, and we just can't afford to be four years behind on software."

While pointedly underscoring the problems he has with the urgency Red Hat applies to improving its products, Ellison also reiterated on a few different occasions Oracle's ongoing commitment to Red Hat Linux.

"So in addition to continuing to support the Red Hat-compatible kernel-and we'll always have one-we're introducing a second one called the Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel," Ellison said.

"It will be more modern, it won't be four years behind the mainline, there'll be lots of timely enhancements from Oracle and the Linux community, and it will deliver much better performance."

To ensure the message wasn't lost on anyone, the following morning (Monday) Oracle chief architect Edward Screven reiterated the frustration voiced by Ellison about how delays sometimes lasting four years forced Oracle to come out with its own richer and more robust Linux kernel.

And Screven also emphasized that Oracle would continue its support for Red Hat Linux, faults and all.

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