Chapter 6 Release-Specific Information for Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64)

The following information pertains to the Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) release.

Note

Some information in this chapter may also apply generally to the x86_64 platform. For general information that may apply to both the x86_64 and Arm platforms, as well as information that is specific to the x86_64 platform, refer to the previous chapters of this document.

6.1 System Requirements and Limitations (aarch64)

To determine whether your hardware is supported on the current Oracle Linux 8 release, check the Hardware Certification List at https://linux.oracle.com/hardware-certifications. Note that hardware is listed as it becomes available and is validated.

6.2 Shipped Kernel (aarch64)

The Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) release ships with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 (UEK R6), which is the default kernel for this release. Note that the UEK R6 kernel is the only kernel that is supported for the aarch64 platform.

The UEK R6 kernel version that is shipped with Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) is kernel-uek-5.4.17-2011.1.2.el8uek.

The Oracle Linux release is tested as a bundle, as shipped on the installation media image. When installed from the installation media image, the minimum kernel version supported is the one included in the image. Downgrading kernel packages is not supported, unless recommended by Oracle Support.

The kernel source code for the shipped kernel is available after the initial release through a public git source code repository at https://github.com/oracle/linux-uek.

6.3 New Features (aarch64)

The following new features are specific to the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform. See Chapter 3, New Features and Changes for all of the new features in Oracle Linux 8.2, most of which are also supported on the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) architecture.

6.4 VNC Remote Console Available as Technology Preview on 64-bit Arm Platform

In this update, the Virtual Network Computing (VNC) remote console is available as a Technology Preview only on the 64-bit Arm platform. The remaining components of the graphics stack are unverified on this platform.

6.5 Known Issues (aarch64)

The following are known issues for the Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) release. See Chapter 4, Known Issues for information about known issues on the x86_64 platform, some of which might also apply to the Arm platform, as noted.

For more information about additional issues that may exist for UEK R6, see Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel: Release Notes for Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6.

6.5.1 Cannot boot from Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) ISO when using certain devices

Attempts to boot the Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) installer by using the ISO might fail. If USB Attached SCSI devices are present, the boot process may drop to a shell prompt. Examples of such devices include a virtual hard disk drive (HDD), a virtual CD-ROM, and a memory stick.

You also might encounter an issue during an installation of Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64), where USB ports are not recognized by the system right after the kernel takes control of the system, as well as by the installed system. When this problem occurs, any USB devices that are plugged into the system, such as keyboards and so on, do not work. In addition, booting images from certain USB-connected drives, such as virtual devices that are handled by a service processor, for example, MegaRAC SP firmware, does not work.

A workaround is to install an earlier Oracle Linux 8 (aarch64) release by using the ISO image, and then use the dnf update command to update to Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64).

Also, this issue does not affect a PXE boot, so as an alternative solution, you can perform a network-based installation of Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64). See Oracle® Linux 8: Installing Oracle Linux for instructions on performing an installation from the network.

(Bug IDs 31626109, 31678684)

6.5.2 Cannot install Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) on a host that has a disk with a Btrfs partition

For both GUI-based and text-based installations of Oracle Linux 8.2 on the Arm platform, the following error is produced at the start of the installation:

** (anaconda:2843): CRITICAL **: 09:49:18.542: The function
'bd_btrfs_list_subvolumes' called, but not implemented!

This error prevents you from proceeding with the installation.

To work around this issue, before the installation, remove (format) all of the Btrfs partitions from all of the disks on the host that you are planning to install Oracle Linux 8.2.

Note that this issue does not occur on the x86_64 platform.

(Bug ID 31160993)

6.5.3 bcache error on UEK R6 during subsequent attempt to register cache device

An attempt to subsequently register a cache set after removing it fails with the following error:

echo "CACHE_DEV" > /sys/fs/bcache/register
echo: write error: Invalid argument
In dmesg we can see following error message: bcache: register_bcache() error
/dev/CACHE_DEV: Not a bcache superblock

This issue is related to 64KB page size (CONFIG_ARM64_64K_PAGES=y), which bcache currently does not support.

Because the superblock for the cache device becomes corrupted during this process, it is not possible to re-register the device.

The workaround for this issue is to reinstall the bcache-tools package and then create a new bcache configuration.

An alternative workaround is to avoid using a bcache configuration on Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64).

Note that this issue does not occur on the x86_64 platform.

(Bug ID 30210051)

6.5.4 Kdump sometimes fails on ThunderX2 and X-Gene 3 platforms

System hangs might occur during a crash kernel boot on ThunderX2 and X-Gene 3 platforms that are running Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64). This issue has been observed at different stages of the boot process. Consequently, Kdump might not work as expected on this hardware.

(Bug IDs 30339519, 30339571)

6.6 Installation and Availability (aarch64)

The following installation and availability information applies to installing Oracle Linux 8.2 on the 64-bit Arm platform. For general installation and availability information, as well as information that applies specifically to the x86_64 platform, see Chapter 5, Installation and Availability.

Oracle Linux 8.2 is made available in two forms:

  • OracleLinux-R8-U2-Server-aarch64-dvd.iso: An ISO image that can be used for a standard installation on generic 64-bit Armv8 hardware. This ISO has been tested on Arm hardware and is engineered for use with Ampere™ eMAG™-based EVK platform and the Cavium ThunderX2® processor. For the latest hardware validated for Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64), refer to the Hardware Certification List at https://linux.oracle.com/hardware-certifications. Note that hardware is listed as it becomes available.

    The ISO image can be loaded from local media, such as DVD-ROM or USB flash drive; or, you can perform a network-based kickstart installation by using PXE. If you perform a network-based installation and you want to access the graphical interface for the installer, you must change the kernel boot parameters to enable VNC. For example, to enable VNC, set the inst.vnc boot option, and then set the network address to ip=eth0:dhcp at boot.

    The Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) ISO image is also available from the Oracle Software Delivery Cloud at https://edelivery.oracle.com/.

  • A disk image that uses a file name format similar to rpi-ol8.2-image-timestamp.img.xz. This image includes the necessary firmware to boot the Raspberry Pi directly into Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64). This image is made available for developers who may not have access to alternate Arm hardware.

    You can download the Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) release as a developer preview installation media image for Raspberry Pi platforms from the Oracle Technology Network at https://www.oracle.com/linux/downloads/linux-arm-downloads.html.

    Note

    The disk image for the Raspberry Pi is available as a technology preview for developer use only. Also, Oracle does not provide support for Oracle Linux on Raspberry Pi systems. For further assistance, developers are encouraged to visit the Oracle Linux for Arm community forum at https://community.oracle.com/community/groundbreakers/server_%26_storage_systems/linux/oracle-linux-for-arm.

The latest Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) packages are available from the ULN and the Oracle Linux yum server. To explore the channels that are available on ULN, log into https://linux.oracle.com/ and view the Channels option. You can obtain the latest Oracle Linux 8 (aarch64) packages from the Oracle Linux yum server at https://yum.oracle.com/.

Note

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

The default boot kernel for fresh installations of Oracle Linux 8 (aarch64) is Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 (UEK R6). Note that UEK R6 is the only supported kernel for the aarch64 platform in this release. For more information, see Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel: Release Notes for Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6.

6.6.1 Installing the Raspberry Pi™ Image (aarch64)

Note

The disk image for the Raspberry Pi is available as a technology preview for developer use only. Oracle does not provide support for Oracle Linux on Raspberry Pi systems. Oracle recommends that developers assist each other on the Oracle Linux for Arm community forum at https://community.oracle.com/community/groundbreakers/server_%26_storage_systems/linux/oracle-linux-for-arm

Oracle provides an Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) installation image specifically designed to run on the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B or Raspberry Pi 3 Model B/B+, single-board computer. Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The installation image that is provided is a default installation of Oracle Linux 8.2 (aarch64) into a raw disk image that can be cloned, block-by-block, to an SD Card for an immediate boot. XFS is the default file system that is used in the image. For more information about installing a Linux image onto the Raspberry Pi, visit https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/installation/installing-images/linux.md.

In summary, the recommended installation process is as follows:

  1. Obtain the Raspberry Pi disk image from the Oracle Technology Network at https://www.oracle.com/linux/downloads/linux-beta8-downloads.html. Unzip the disk image after you have downloaded it.

  2. On an existing Oracle Linux system, insert the SD Card into an SD Card reader that is connected to the system. The image is 5 GB in size, so your SD Card must have the capacity to store this image, at minimum. An 8 GB SD Card is the recommended minimum.

  3. Identify the device name for the SD Card.

    You can obtain this information from the output of dmesg when you connect the device, or by using the lsblk command (or the fdisk -l command as the root user) to list device names and device information.

  4. Use the dd command to perform a block copy of the image file to the SD Card device, for example:

    # dd if=/path/to/img of=/dev/device_name bs=4M

    In the previous command, /path/to/img is the relative path to the image file and /dev/device_name is the device name for the SD Card, such as /dev/mmcblk0 or /dev/mmcblk1. See Step 3 for instructions on how to identify the correct runtime device name to use.

    Caution

    This operation is destructive and will overwrite any data on the device that you have specified. Ensure that you have specified the correct device name. Note that the operation might take some time to complete.

  5. When the operation has completed, eject the SD Card from the reader, insert it into the SD Card reader on the Raspberry Pi, then boot into Oracle Linux 8.

  6. Log into the image as the root user with the password oracle. You should change the password immediately after logging into the image.

If your SD Card is larger than the image (5 GB) you can grow the partition size to maximize disk usage. To do so, run the following commands after completing the installation and logging into the system on the Raspberry Pi, as shown in the following example:

# growpart /dev/mmcblk0 4 
# xfs_growfs /

In the previous example, /dev/mmcblk0 is the device name that is specified with the growpart command. This parameter depends on where the SD Card is mounted. You can use the mount command to identify the device name. See Step 3 for more information about identifying device names and device information.

Tip

If you require a graphical user interface, the XFCE desktop environment available in the ol8_developer_EPEL yum repository is usable and may be more suitable for devices with limited resources, such as the Raspberry Pi.