Oracle opens up to Linux

Oracle has opened up its latest work with the Linux community to improve the enterprise capabilities of the open-source operating system.

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Oracle has opened up its latest work with the Linux community to improve the enterprise capabilities of the open-source operating system.

Oracle has an interesting, complex relationship with Linux. The company first released a database to run on Linux back in 1998, and the OS is proving very popular with its customers. Oracle has been making steady inroads into the Linux space, most recently with its controversial Unbreakable Linux support program and its January move to provide Linux management tools.

Oracle set itself up as a competitor to leading Linux distributor Red Hat> last October when it unveiled Unbreakable Linux, a program to provide users with full support for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution at aggressive prices. Oracle Enterprise Linux is the vendor’s name for the RHEL-compatible distribution it makes available to customers. Oracle has remained reticent on exactly how many users have adopted Unbreakable Linux so far, but continues to claim that the program is off to a strong start.

At LinuxWorld, Oracle announced it’s making a number of projects it has been working on to enhance Linux available under the GNU General Public Licence version 2 (GPLv2). The GPL gives users the right to freely study, copy, modify, reuse, share and redistribute software. GPL version 3 debuted at the end of June and several hundred open-source projects have already adopted the new licence.

It’s still unclear whether the Linux kernel, currently licensed under GPLv2, will move over to GPLv3, or remain on the current licence.

“When Oracle contributes patches and features to Linux we do so under the licence which the product we are contributing to is under,” an Oracle spokesperson wrote in response to a question about the choice of GPLv2 for its projects. “In this case the Linux kernel the product we are contributing to and the kernel is under GPLv2,” the spokesperson added.

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