Oracle Linux 8.7 includes numerous updates for software developers and security and system tool improvements.
Oracle Linux is a free, high-performance, secure operating system for application development and deployment. It is built from Red Hat Enterprise Linux sources and has 100% application binary compatibility with RHEL.
Oracle Linux 8.7, released less than two weeks following RHEL 8.7, is now available for download and upgrading for users of previous versions of the 8.x series. So let’s look at what’s new.
Oracle Linux 8.7 Highlights
Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel
One main thing that differentiates Oracle Linux from the other RHEL-based derivatives is the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK). It is a Linux kernel built by Oracle, included and enabled by default in Oracle Linux.
For x86_64 architectures, Oracle Linux 8.7 ships with two versions of the Linux kernel: the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 7 (UEK R7), based on the upstream 5.15 release with additional patches and enhancements, and the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK) 4.18.
- UEK R7 (kernel-uek-5.15.0-188.8.131.52)
- RHCK (kernel-4.18.0-425.3.1)
If you perform a fresh Oracle Linux 8.7 installation from an ISO image, the UEK R7 kernel is automatically enabled once the installation is complete. At the same time, on the Arm architectures, Oracle Linux ships with UEK only.
Oracle Linux 8.7 includes several changes and enhancements to the development toolset. Let’s start with the most significant ones.
The Rust Toolkit has been updated to version 1.62.1, allowing you to take advantage of the new capabilities introduced by this update. The LLVM toolkit has also been bumped to v14.0, including support for the Armv9-A, Armv9.1-A, and Armv9.2-A architectures. Finally, let’s not forget the GCC Toolset, which has been updated to version 12.
Oracle Linux 8.7 comes with Ruby 3.1.2, which includes several changes and performance improvements over the prior Ruby 3.0 module stream.
In addition, the Mercurial 6.2 distributed version control system is also now available. However, keep in mind that Python 2 is no longer compatible with this Mercurial version and thus requires Python 3.6 or later to operate.
Finally, we’ll mention that this release comes with MySQL database 8.0.
Oracle Linux 8 removes the Btrfs file system support from the Red Hat Compatible Kernel. As a result, when using RHCK, you cannot create or mount Btrfs file systems. Of course, support for the Btrfs is enabled in UEK R7, so you must use this Linux kernel to perform any Btrfs-related operations.
In addition, Oracle Linux 8.7 includes various new high-availability and clustering features for the Pacemaker tool. Moreover, the Samba packages have been updated to version 4.16.1 from upstream.
On the security side, this release updates the Network Security Services (NSS) libraries to set the minimum key size for all RSA operations from 128 to 1023 bits. So, NSS can no longer produce, sign, validate, encrypt, or decrypt data using RSA keys that are less than 1023 bits long.
You can refer to the official announcement for more detailed information about what’s new on Oracle Linux 8.7 release.
You can download the ISO image from the Oracle website. It is available for multiple ISO varieties for x86_64 and Arm64 architectures.
Of course, if you are already using Oracle Linux 8.6 and want to upgrade to the latest stable 8.7 version, there’s no need for a fresh install. Type in terminal:
sudo dnf -y upgrade
Finally, we’ll add that Oracle Linux offers the new 9.x releases. So, if you want to give them a shot, our “How to Install Oracle Linux 9: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide” guide will come in handy.