29 Nov 2012

Oracle Linux on your home or small office server?

This year Oracle announced the release of its own free GNU licensed operating system: Oracle Linux. The Oracle Linux OS is heavily based on Fedora Core with the applications of Red Hat Enterprise Linux bundled in. This is essentially a move from Oracle to grab some of the market base of Red Hat since they are now offering pretty much the same Red Hat application features now for free.

We already know how Linux can perform very well in the enterprise, where big data and IPv6 intersect, but have you ever considered running Linux at home? Or, maybe, in your small office?

Now that Oracle Linux is offering so many great application features for free, I think a strong case could be made for running Oracle Linux on your own home or office network.

Let’s look at a couple reasons why you may want to explore this option.


Cost has always been a big factor for users who choose Linux over Windows. Most Linux distros are free to use, and as long as you do not require a premium support package and have some computer know how, your upgrades and patches will remain free of charge.

With Oracle Linux, you not only get free access to the core Linux system, but you also get access to a number of pre-packaged applications that were currently only available on a subscription basis or fairly difficult to implement through a number of smaller coding projects. Oracle Linux brings a number of monitoring and VM apps together under one package so distribution is much more manageable than before.
Oracle Linux screenshot

Virtual Machines

Have you ever considered running your home or office network off a number of virtual machines?

One of the reasons why this was not really an option is the past is due to licensing. Red Hat, for instance, allows you to run a single virtual machine at no charge, but if you want to spin up several you will have to pay a yearly subscription fee.

With Oracle Linux, all virtual machines spun up with its virtual machine management software is free of charge. The way you could do this is to purchase a single server (computer) and install Oracle Linux on it. Then spin up a virtual instance for each of the home computers you have on your home network. They do not even have to be other versions of Oracle Linux. You could run Windows or any other operating system you would like. You could then manage the hardware resources such as processor and RAM from your central server running Oracle Linux and your other computers become thin clients that remotely connect to their own virtual instances. For instance, this gives the second life to less powerful computer equipment.

This could be a great way to save on having to upgrade several computers every year if you are running a sizable computer park.


Security patches are easy to install and update through the Oracle Linux network. By connecting to http://public-yum.oracle.com you can get free access to errata, bug fixes and security patches. This is essential if you are running any self-hosted external web hosting servers.


According to all Linux distribution packages, Oracle Linux has a much smaller footprint than the Windows Server operating system. This means that if you want to maximize your storage space on a server, Oracle Linux could be a good option for you.

While it does not run on many older x86 machines like some of the really small Linux distributions, there is an Amazon E3 Cloud package for Oracle Linux that can be used if you are planning on using Amazon's very capable cloud based storage environment.

Author Bio: Jason Phillips has posted this article. He is a web enthusiast person and ready to learn new things. He keeps searching new things related to technology and write articles on them. He newly searched on the topic linux audit user activity.

Screenshot image from DistroWatch


  1. I am actually running Oracle Linux on my laptops, including a couple of netbook computers, to do my daily desktop chores.

    It was not totally without effort to put all the necessary desktop apps together, but everything works great once they are in place (including manually installing the wireless driver). The only complaint I have is the booting time--almost as slow as Windows 7. With a properly configured Ubuntu, I can boot up my machine in less than 20 seconds. It takes almost one minute for Oracle Linux. However, since I almost never turn off my notebook--only suspending it, this is not as a big problem as it sounds.

  2. "This year Oracle announced..."? According to Wikipedia Oracle Linux exists for six years now.

    Anyway, this article was a little letdown for me, I hoped for more details, especially when it comes to difference between RHEL and OL. What about to write an in depth comparison of these two? Or better a comparison of OL vs CentOS (vs Scientific Linux) as all of them are free RHEL clones.

    And by 'in depth' I mean something more than 'boot it from USB and see if is it Ubuntu'...

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Fancy writing your own article about this? You are welcome! And I will publish! ;)

    3. By the way, before 2012, Oracle Linux was not free (as beer). So, my (guest) author is right.

    4. That's not correct, I'm afraid. Oracle Linux installation media (ISO images) have been freely available since the very beginning. What has been changed in May 2012 was that updates (errata) that occur in between update releases (e.g. between 6.2 and 6.3) are now freely available for download as well, without the need for a subscription. Before, one would have to purchase a "Network" subscription ($500/year/server) in order to obtain updates.

  3. "The Oracle Linux OS is heavily based on Fedora Core with the applications of Red Hat Enterprise Linux bundled in." - this is incorrect. Oracle Linux is built from the RHEL source RPMs (sans trademarks). The main difference is the inclusion of the "Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel", an alternative and optimized version of the Linux Kernel (the RHEL-compatible kernel is included as well)

  4. The article author waxes enthusiasm for Oracle Linux with features that are free but costly add-ons in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RH6).

    He is obviously ignorant about latest CentOS that is essentially RH6 without the costs and with all Oracle standard functionality.

    Another exceptional choice is ClearOS from Clear Foundation that builds on CentOS but with a well structured commercial support version and services, a well as "easy-to-install" applications repository with many reputable and popular third party applications. In many ways it outshines Oracle.

  5. Good lord it looks hideous. Why do they have to make Linux desktops fugly? I mean, they just assume people won't care for the bling? It's 2012 and the desktop still looks like Windows 98. Jeez.. .

    1. Keep in mind that Oracle Linux is primarily a server distribution. If you're looking for a polished desktop experience, you might want to look elsewhere.

  6. Yes take a look at the cinnamon desktop. Very cutting edge. To be honest though do you want a desktop that looks all pretty or a desktop that enables you to do what you need/want to do in the easiest and quickest way possible.