Oracle releases Git repository with RHEL changes
Oracle is now providing a public Git repository, called RedPatch, which includes the source code of all changes that Red Hat makes to the kernel of its Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution. Oracle equates this to its own Oracle Linux and Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) products and says it is providing the same kind of repository for that distribution. The new RedPatch repository for RHEL allows users to browse individual patches with Git and redistribute them under the GPL.
Oracle says that its move is a reaction to Red Hat changing its kernel source release policy in 2011. Red Hat had changed the way it releases its changes to the RHEL kernel in such a way that made it hard to access individual patches in an efficient manner. This is needed when users want to create individual updates to fix issues with upstream kernels that have been fixed in RHEL. When Red Hat announced the change, there were initially concerns that distributions downstream from RHEL would be affected, but the SUSE and CentOS developers quickly announced that the change did not impede their work much.
Oracle says that it needs this capability for its Ksplice technology. The Ksplice extension allows users to patch the Linux kernel on a running system and switch over to the updated kernel without the need to restart the machine. "At Oracle, we feel everyone in the Linux community can benefit from the work we already do to get our jobs done, so now we’re sharing these broken-out patches publicly," the company said.