Kevin Kempf's Blog

January 24, 2013

Ksplice … another reason to love Oracle Linux

Filed under: Linux — kkempf @ 5:00 pm

Oracle Linux Support Flavors

So we went to renew our Oracle Linux licensing this year, and I realized I needed to add a host.  In the course of these negotiations, I thought I’d see what the cost would be to move to Oracle Premier Limited Support (2 sockets per host) or Oracle Premier Unlimited Support (any number of sockets per host).   It turned out, the incremental cost was insignificant, and I was really interested in leveraging Ksplice.  So now we own it.   I should note, that about a year ago ksplice was only available for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) but that has changed and is now available for the RedHat compatible kernel.  This was a huge factor in my decision to go forward with it.

For the past year, we ran our production 11i servers on Oracle Linux basic support.  It’s not often that I say this, but my expectations were exceeded by Oracle.  Not only did the systems run without incident, but Oracle support capably handled all my SR’s and in many ways surpassed the level of support which I get from another, similar linux provider who I also pay for.

What is Ksplice?

Ksplice is a way to patch, in memory, a running kernel.   You can check out the propoganda here.  Some months, it seems like the kernels are coming out faster than I can keep up with.  It never fails that one comes out as soon as I finish rebooting all the servers through a maintenance cycle.  So this has its appeal.

How to start using Ksplice in 5 easy steps

1. Go purchase some level of premier support for your Oracle Linux

2. Go to your portal and change your subscribed channels for servers which you want to run Ksplice on (add Oracle Ksplice in addition to your existing channel(s))

step one

3. yum install uptrack

yum install

4. uptrack-upgrade


Here’s the different kernels:

diff kernels

And the uptrack-show command:


If I had to dislike one thing?

The support experience.  The document here is completely outdated and wrong.  There is no button on to enable systems anymore, despite their documentation.  So I emailed my sales person, who handed me off to a technician, who referred me back to the incorrect document.  Then I opened an SR, and the technician there told me to email  Kind of a weird answer for Oracle Support, but whatever.  They at least knew what they were doing:

Hello Kevin,
We’ve streamlined the process. All you need to do is subscribe to the corresponding Ksplice channel (Ksplice for Oracle Linux 5 or 6, 32 or 64-bit), and install the uptrack package.
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to ask us at

January 3, 2013

A peek at 2013, and Windows 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — kkempf @ 11:05 am

Back in the saddle

So it’s been some time since I posted, and I figured I’d start off with low hanging fruit.  It’s not that I’ve given up on blogging, just haven’t had a lot to write about lately.

Suddenly… 2013!

It turns out, this year I should have plenty of fodder for the blog.  Among the items on the docket:

  • Replacing Highjump with Oracle Mobile Supply Chain in 11i
  • Upgrading 11i to r12
  • Migrating all EBusiness suites to a new colo facility
  • Moving all storage from Dell Equilogic to Nimble Storage

Windows 8

So over the course of the holidays, I had the opportunity to see Windows 8 first hand.  Like many of you, I suppose, I often become the defacto PC support person for the family.  It’s no mystery that I’m not a giant proponent of Micro$oft (I’m updating this blog entry from Ubuntu), but I do run Windows 7 and think it’s a solid OS.

I spent about an hour trying to figure out Windows 8.  It’s an hour I can’t get back.  In short, it’s the most useless upgrade/update I’ve ever seen in my life, and appears engineered for the ADD/Facebook generation, not people who have real work to do on their PCs.  I can say, with all confidence, that I will never install that OS on any PC I own.   Here’s the list of who I think probably likes Win 8:

  • Apple
  • M$ fanboys and girls
  • Me.  Because it means I can say “Sorry, I can’t help you, I haven’t installed Windows 8 and it just doesn’t make any sense to me”

So I have to ask, why?  It seems like M$ banked the future on the smallest segment of their markets:

  • If Microsoft had any presence in the smart phone market it might make sense, but Microsoft smart phone sales are virtually non-existent (2% last article I read). 
  • I might be inclined to use a touch screen at the airport for self-check in, but it’s not how I work.  What minute slice of the PC market is for touch screens?
  • I’ve never even seen a Microsoft tablet.  I assume they must exist.

I can say with some confidence, this OS will never get into the corporate world.  I’ve read articles comparing it to the Vista debacle, but this seems worse to me.  At least Vista ran and was usable if you backed it with the right hardware.  I left the Windows 8 experience with the hopes that I’d never have to interact with it again.


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