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Oracle offers Oracle Linux for Free

Oracle has made an interesting offer to companies using a free version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux: Switch to our free Oracle Linux instead.

Oracle is known for selling very expensive software. But for the Oracle Linux, it says “Oracle Linux support costs money. If you just want the software, it’s 100% free. And it’s all in our yum repo at public-yum.oracle.com. Major releases, errata, the whole shebang. Free source code, free binaries, free updates, freely redistributable, free for production use. Yes, we know that this is Oracle, but it’s actually free. Seriously.”

But because of Oracle’s long, and not always pleasant, history with the open source community, people are getting really upset about this offer. They don’t trust Oracle because it didn’t maintain free versions of some open source software it got when it bought Sun, including Open Solaris, an open source version of Sun’s Solaris operating system, they say. They also viewed Oracle’s lawsuit with Sun over Java as an attack on open source. And there are lots of other stories of Oracle and open source like the history of OpenOffice.org.
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