The software described in this documentation is either no longer supported or is in extended support.
Oracle recommends that you upgrade to a current supported release.

2.1.1 Changes and Differences From Oracle Linux 6 Update 7 on x86 or x86_64

Oracle Linux 6 Update 7 (SPARC) is built from the same source files as the Oracle Linux 6 Update 7 release for the x86 platform. A number of packages were amended to compile on the SPARC platform. These portability changes were applied on top of the existing source archives. In many cases, the changes only related to the Red Hat Package Manager (RPM) specification files that define how to compile the source code and package the resulting binaries. In some cases, changes to the actual source code were necessary. All of these patches are available in the source RPM packages or have been contributed back to the upstream project.

Due to the fundamental differences of the SPARC and PC architecture, some additional changes were necessary, such as the removal of some packages. Some packages that better facilitated Oracle Linux on the SPARC platform or specifically required by Exadata were added to the distribution. The complete list of source and binary packages for Oracle Linux for SPARC is available at:

https://linux.oracle.com/OL6u7_SPARC_pkgs.html

UEK configuration has been adapted to the SPARC platform. A number of SPARC-specific patches have been incorporated to better support the features that are available on this architecture. In addition, drivers for devices that are not available on the SPARC platform have been disabled in the kernel configuration.

The following information pertains to feature support in Oracle Linux 6 Update 7 (SPARC) UEK R2:

  • The Red Hat compatible kernel is not included. The system installs and boots the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 2 (2.6.39-500.1.76) by default.

  • There is no separate boot ISO image for the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel that can be used to perform a network installation.

  • The GRand Unified Bootloader version 2 (GRUB2) is used as the boot loader.

  • Btrfs is not supported on the root file system.

  • Ksplice is not supported.

  • DTrace is not supported.

  • The endianness differs across the two platforms. SPARC platforms use big-endian byte ordering, while x86 platforms use little-endian byte ordering.

  • Oracle VM Server for SPARC features are included, but are limited, which can affect stability. Development for these features is ongoing.

  • SysRq functionality is available in the kernel. To use this feature, ensure that it is enabled in the kernel as follows:

    # echo 1 > /proc/sys/kernel/sysrq
    • To use this function on a guest domain that is hosting Oracle Linux, open its console by running the following command:

      # ldmconsole ldg0

      You will need to replace the guest domain name according to your installation.

      Use the key sequence ~~#, then press the SysRq key.

    • To use this function on a bare metal system, connect to the host's console. Press the Escape key, then press Shift+b, and finally, press the SysRq key.

Oracle Software in Silicon

The microprocessors for the SPARC T7 series servers offer new co-engineered hardware and software capabilities that enable applications to run with the highest levels of security, reliability and speed. This functionality is called Oracle Software in Silicon.

Software in Silicon features are offered as a technology preview in UEK R2. They include the following:

  • Silicon Secured Memory

    This feature enhances application data integrity (ADI) by enabling the detection of memory corruption issues. When the feature is enabled, software can mark buffers with special version information that is checked by the hardware. If there is a version mismatch on a load or store, an exception is raised and the application is not allowed to access that region of memory. Silicon Secured Memory helps prevent buffer overflow or other external attacks. Applications that use its own custom memory allocator can take advantage of this feature.

  • Data Analytics Accelerator (DAX)

    Co-processors in the SPARC chip perform query-related operations directly in the hardware. These on-chip queries improve Oracle Database performance. DAX hardware acceleration can be leveraged through Oracle Database 12c in-memory database operations. DAX operations are supported in DB 12.1.0.2 and later.

Note that the APIs to these features are subject to change.

For more information about Oracle Software in Silicon functionality, go to https://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/softwareinsilicon/index.html.