Many people in the Oracle community are taking the opportunity today to thank OTN for their favourite Oracle feature. And while a lot has been said about the database, I want to take a few minutes and talk about what public-yum has been doing for Oracle Linux.
While every Linux distribution makes their installation media available for the public, most commercial Linux distributions control access to their repositories and errata services very strictly by forcing clients to register their systems to a central service or maintain a registered proxy. Even if you have a paid subscription, the system registration is an extra annoying step, especially for offline systems or that test-VM you keep on your laptop. And this leads to some bad habits:
- choosing to run a different distro in (supported) production and a different one for those test machines. Like using RedHat and centOS
- choosing to skip security updates and run workloads on base installations.
- installing packages later becomes annoying, so you might decide to always install everything from the iso during initial installs
With Oracle Linux you don’t have to make that choice! Thanks to public-yum you can just run off of their publicly accessible yum repository using the exact same packages and versions as on the protected ULN. You can keep up to date with security updates, bugfixes and new releases. And you can choose to run these systems with or without paid support from Oracle but the same repository.
Bonus: Oracle maintains git repos with the source code for the unbreakable kernel which can be very convenient for troubleshooting and debugging.