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1 Reply Latest reply: Dec 4, 2012 11:02 AM by Avi Miller RSS

Linux Kernel Versioning Primer

user10437903 Newbie
Currently Being Moderated
I have several questions regarding Linux Kernel and Oracle Linux patching.

Oracle Linux Release 5 update 2
2.6.18-92.1.22.0.1.el5 (x86_64)

Linux Kernel Versioning
2.6.18-92.1.22.0.1.el5
2. = major Number
.6 = minor number
.18 = patch level
-92. = package version
-92.1.22 = Red Hat patch level
.0.1 = Oracle patch level

Question 1:
Is the Linux Kernel Version above correct in my understanding of its construction?

Question 2:
Given your at Oracle Linux Release 5 update 2, if you apply only security patches to this version will only Oracle patch level increment? Please explain how it increments?

Question 3:
Given your at Oracle Linux Release 5 update 2, if you apply all bug fixes and security updates to this version will only the Oracle patch level increment? Please explain how it increments?

Question 4:
Given your updating from Oracle Linux Release 5 update 2 to Oracle Linux Release 5 update 8, will the only the Red Hat patch level and Oracle patch level increment? Please explain how it increments?

Question 5:
If not previously addressed, how is the version incrementing different for security fixes, bug fixes and updates (Oracle Linux 5 update 2, update 3, update 4 etc.)?


Thank you very much.
  • 1. Re: Linux Kernel Versioning Primer
    Avi Miller Guru
    Currently Being Moderated
    user10437903 wrote:
    Question 1:
    Is the Linux Kernel Version above correct in my understanding of its construction?
    Mostly. 2.6.18 is the Linux mainline kernel version that this kernel was originally based on. 92.1.22 is the Red Hat patch level. However, Red Hat backports changes from newer kernels into their baseline, which is why their numbering beyond 2.6.18 is so high. The latest OL5U8 kernel, for example, is 2.6.18-308.20.1.
    Question 2:
    Given your at Oracle Linux Release 5 update 2, if you apply only security patches to this version will only Oracle patch level increment? Please explain how it increments?
    That depends on what channels this machine is subscribed to on ULN or public-yum.oracle.com and what patches you apply. It's most likely the entire kernel will be upgraded to a later Red Hat patch level, which will have an associated Oracle patch applied as well. We only create Oracle-patched kernels for the Red Hat Compatible Kernel on OL5 to fix kernel-related bugs that Red Hat chose not to fix in their own kernel for their own reasons. So, the 2.6.18 bit stays the same, but the Red Hat patch level will change and then we'll add .0.1 to the end so that our patched kernel is seen as a higher version by the installation/upgrade system.
    Question 3:
    Given your at Oracle Linux Release 5 update 2, if you apply all bug fixes and security updates to this version will only the Oracle patch level increment? Please explain how it increments?
    See above. Security and bug fixes have the same semantics.
    Question 4:
    Given your updating from Oracle Linux Release 5 update 2 to Oracle Linux Release 5 update 8, will the only the Red Hat patch level and Oracle patch level increment? Please explain how it increments?
    See above.
    Question 5:
    If not previously addressed, how is the version incrementing different for security fixes, bug fixes and updates (Oracle Linux 5 update 2, update 3, update 4 etc.)?
    It's not -- the upgrade process will find whatever the latest kernel version is and install that. Note that kernels are installed, not upgraded, which means the older kernels are kept in place by the system. This is to allow you to rollback to a previous known-working kernel version. The latest Red Hat Compatible Kernel version for OL5 in the "latest" channel is kernel-2.6.18-308.20.1. In the same channel, the latest Oracle UEK is 2.6.32-300.39.1 and we also have the UEK_latest channel that has 2.6.39-300.17.2.

    Perhaps you might explain what you're actually trying to do and we can assist you further.

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