UEK: What is the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel

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The truth is that there is life beyond the vanilla Linux kernel that you can download from the kernel.org website. There are many modified kernels out there for multiple well-known and not-so-well-known projects. An example of this is Oracle's GNU / Linux distribution. This distro has been released recently with UEK 6, another new version of this interesting project about which I will tell you something ...

Oracle Linux has arrived with UEK 6, acronyms that refer to the sixth version of the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. It is basically a Linux kernel that has undergone some modifications to make it more stable and secure, as well as improve its performance in business environments where Oracle is a service provider.

And what is special about UEK 6? Well, here are some interesting details that have come with this latest release:

  • UEK 6 version is now kernel based Linux 5.4 vanilla
  • Improve the support for ARM 64-bit
  • Support for cgroup v2 which was already introduced in UEK R5.
  • Have the ktask framework for intense parallel computing.
  • kswapd parallelized. A daemon used by the kernel for page replacement in SWAP.
  • Firmware signature kexec.
  • Improvements in memory management performance.
  • Function update NVDIMMs.
  • Enabled support for DTrace, btrfs, and OCFS2.
  • Other changes to the kernel dealing with I / O performance, cryptography and compression with Zstandard (zstd), on filesystems such as 64-bit ext4 timestamps for superblock, XFS, NFS, numerous network stack enhancements, security enhancements important (lockdown mode, IBRS, ARM KASLR, vulnerability patching,…), improved drivers for NVMe, improvements in VirtIO for virtualization, etc.

All very focused on the needs of business environments and in the technologies that Oracle uses the most, or rather, its customers.

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