Chapter 1 Pre-Installation Configuration

This chapter describes the system requirements for installing Oracle Linux 8, including information about how to obtain the software and general preparation guidelines.

1.1 System Requirements

Oracle Linux 8 includes both the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK) and the Red Hat Compatible Kernel (RHCK). To install Oracle Linux 8, your system must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Minimum of 2 logical CPUs up to 2048 logical CPUs

  • 1.5 GB of memory per logical CPU, up to a maximum of 64 TB

  • At least 10 GB of disk space (20 GB is the recommended minimum)

  • On UEFI systems, ensure that the target disk uses GPT (GUID Partition Table), as some UEFI firmwares do not support UEFI/MBR boot.

Note

Oracle Linux 8 for the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform is available as a developer preview release only. You can install this preview release on generic 64-bit Armv8 hardware.

You can download the developer preview of Oracle Linux 8 for the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform from https://www.oracle.com/linux/downloads/linux-beta8-downloads.html.

Refer to the following additional resources for information related to installation issues and system requirements:

1.2 Obtaining and Preparing Installation Media

The Oracle Linux distribution is free to download, use, and distribute. Oracle makes the Oracle Linux 8 ISO image for the x86_64 platform at the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud at https://edelivery.oracle.com/.

The same ISO image is also available at https://yum.oracle.com/oracle-linux-isos.html.

For the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform, you can download the developer preview release from https://www.oracle.com/linux/downloads/linux-beta8-downloads.html.

The latest Oracle Linux 8 packages are also available in the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux yum server. To install additional software for Oracle Linux 8, do one of the following:

  • Subscribe to different channels on ULN.

    To explore the channels that are available to you on ULN, log in to https://linux.oracle.com/ and view the Channels option.

  • Enable the required repositories within your yum or DNF configuration.

    To view the Oracle Linux yum repositories that are available for Oracle Linux 8, visit https://yum.oracle.com/.

Note

The Oracle Linux yum server does not provide equivalent repositories for some channels that are available on ULN. These channels provide non-open source packages.

The Media Pack contains the following ISO images:

  • Oracle Linux 8 for x86_64 (64 bit)

    This ISO image contains everything needed to boot a system and install Oracle Linux.

  • Oracle Linux 8 Boot ISO image for x86_64 (64 bit)

    This ISO image contains everything that is required to boot a system and start an installation. However, to complete the installation, you must specify the location of the packages, for example on a local disk or an NFS share. RHCK is used during the installation and both UEK and RHCK kernels are installed. After the installation, the system boots the UEK kernel by default.

    Note

    The default kernel for Oracle Linux 8 is Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6.

  • Oracle Linux 8 UEK Boot ISO image for x86_64 (64 bit)

    This ISO image contains everything that is required to boot a system and start an installation. However, to complete the installation, you must specify the location of the packages, for example on a local disk or an NFS share. UEK is used during the installation and is the default kernel that is booted after an installation. Use this boot image if you have hardware that is only supported on UEK, or if you are having trouble with the installer when using the RHCK boot image. This ISO image is available in the Oracle Linux 8 Media Pack.

  • Oracle Linux 8 Source DVD 1 and 2

    These ISO images contain the source code for the software packages in the release.

This installation guide assumes that you are performing installations on physical systems at your site. However, you can also install a full Oracle Linux 8 media image on a compute instance on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, provided that you have an account. For more information, visit https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/compute.

You can use the full installation ISO image or the boot ISO image to install Oracle Linux 8 from various boot sources, including the following:

Note that the media pack might contain additional content that may pertain to a particular release update of Oracle Linux. Items such as Driver Update Disks may also be included. These items are described in further detail in the release notes for the particular update release.

After installation, you can obtain Oracle Linux packages from the Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN) and the Oracle Linux yum server. For more information, see Chapter 5, Post-Installation Configuration.

1.2.1 Preparing CD or DVD Installation Media

Due to storage limits, you can write the full installation ISO image only on a recordable DVD. A recordable CD can only store the boot ISO image.

To write an ISO image file to a CD or DVD, use a command such as cdrecord, for example:

# cdrecord -v -eject speed=16 dev=ATA:0,2,0 file_name.iso

To display the SCSI subsystem and device that corresponds to the CD or DVD writer, use the cdrecord -scanbus command

1.2.2 Preparing USB Installation Media

If a system's firmware supports booting from a USB drive, you can create a boot image on the drive to use to install Oracle Linux. Whether you can create the full installation ISO image or only the boot ISO image depends on the capacity of the USB media.

To create a bootable USB drive, use the dd command or a separate utility that can write an ISO image to a USB drive. The following steps describe how to use the dd command.

Caution

This procedure destroys any existing data on the drive. Therefore, ensure that you specify the correct device name for the USB drive on your system.

  1. Insert a USB drive into an Oracle Linux system.

  2. Unmount any file systems on the device.

    Assuming that the USB drive is the /dev/sdb1 device, you would type:

    $ sudo df /media/USB
    Filesystem           1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
    /dev/sdb1                35346     35346         0 100% /media/USB
    $ sudo umount /dev/sdb1
  3. Write the contents of the ISO image file to the USB device, for example:

    # dd if=./full_image.iso of=/dev/sdb bs=512k

The USB drive is now ready to be used to boot a system and start the installation.

1.2.3 Extracting the Contents of the Full Installation ISO Image

  1. Mount the full installation ISO image on a suitable mount point such as /mnt:

    $ sudo mount -t iso9660 -o loop full_image.iso /mnt

  2. Extract the contents of the full installation ISO image.

    Ensure that the command you use extracts the .treeinfo file at the root of the ISO image, for example:

    $ sudo cp -a -T mount_dir output_dir

    The following example extracts the ISO image mounted on /mnt to an NFS share at /var/OSimage/OL8:

    $ sudo cp -a -T /mnt /var/OSimage/OL8

    To extract the ISO image mounted on /mnt to a web server directory at /var/www/html/OSimage/OL8, you would enter:

    $ sudo cp -a -T /mnt /var/www/html/OSimage/OL8

  3. Unmount the DVD image:

    $ sudo umount mount_dir

1.3 Planning an Installation

The following are the main considerations when planning to install a system:

Storage

Includes the following:

  • Storage devices on which you intend to install the operating system, such as a local hard disk. Identify the partitions, if any exist, that can be used for the installation. The installation program indicates how much disk space is required, and displays a warning if disk space is insufficient.

  • Layout of the storage devices on which the operating system's file systems will be installed, including any provision for logical volume management or RAID configuration.

  • Required amount of space for each file system (/, /boot, /home, /var/tmp, and so on), the file system type, and whether the block device underlying each file system should be encrypted.

  • For iSCSI or FCoE connections, the WWID or the port, target, and LUN to be used.

Network

Includes the following:

  • Network interface to use for network installation, as well as the IP address, netmask, and gateway settings if you do not use DHCP.

  • Fully qualified domain name of the system, or, if using DHCP, the host name.

  • Other network interfaces to be configured during installation, and, if not using DHCP, their IP addresses, netmasks, and gateway settings.

  • Other specialized network interfaces to be configured during installation, such as VLANs and bonds.

Software

Includes the following:

  • Software packages to be installed based on system's intended purpose, such as a web server.

  • URLs of any additional repositories and proxy settings to be used to install packages.

1.4 Using a Driver Update Disk

A Driver Update Disk (DUD) provides a mechanism for delivering updated device drivers during system installation. On some systems, hardware may not be fully supported for an Oracle Linux release. In these cases, a DUD may be released at a later date to facilitate installation on newer hardware.

DUDs are released as modules become available for previously unsupported hardware. The DUD is usually in the form of an ISO and is available in the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud or through Oracle Support.

Preparing to use a Driver Update Disk image

Warning

Writing the DUD ISO to the wrong device may result in data loss. Check that you reference the correct device node when you copy the image. Use the lsblk utility to help you to identify the different disks block devices on your system.

Use the dd command line utility to transfer the DUD image to an alternate storage device:

# dd if=/path/to/DUD.iso of=/dev/sdX
/path/to/DUD.iso

Full path to the location of the DUD ISO file.

/dev/sdX

Device node of the storage media that you intend to use for the DUD.

As an alternative, you can transfer the DUD image to a location that is accessible over the network such as a web server or an NSF server.

Using the Driver Update Disk during installation

To use the DUD during an installation, choose from one of the following methods depending on where the DUD image is stored.

  • DUD image is in an attachable media (USB)

    1. Boot the system from the standard Oracle Linux installation media.

    2. While the system is booting, but before the installer starts, attach the media that contains the DUD image.

      As an example, attach the media when the system displays the GRUB boot prompt.

    The installer recognizes the DUD and would use it. The installer might also prompt you to select the drivers to install.

    Note

    The kernel used by the installer might not include support for USB 3.0. When using the DUD on USB media, ensure that you use a USB 2.0 compatible port when connecting the USB media to the system.

  • DUD image is on the network

    1. While the system is booting, press the key that enables you to edit the boot options.

      On BIOS-based systems, press Tab. On UEFI-based systems, press E.

    2. Add the following line to the boot options:

      inst.dd=network-location

      The network location can be a URL, such as http://www.example.com/dd.iso, or the full path of the NFS share directory.

If you are using DUD in a kickstart installation, indicate the DUD location in the kickstart file. The specific entry to add depends on the location of the DUD image.

  • DUD image is in an attached block device:

    driverdisk /dev/sdb1
  • DUD image is on the network location:

    driverdisk --source=network-location

    The network location can be a URL, such as http://www.example.com/dd.iso, or the full path of the NFS share directory.