Chapter 6 Release-Specific Information for Oracle Linux 8.3 (aarch64)

The following information applies specifically to the Oracle Linux 8.3 (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, and 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 on Oracle Linux.

6.2 Shipped Kernel (aarch64)

The Oracle Linux 8.3 (aarch64) release ships with Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel Release 6 (UEK R6). This kernel is currently the only kernel that is supported on the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform.

The default UEK R6 kernel version that is shipped with Oracle Linux 8.3 (aarch64) is kernel-uek-5.4.17-2011.7.4.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 that is supported is the kernel that is included in the image. Note that downgrading kernel packages is not supported, unless specifically recommended by Oracle Support.

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 8.3, most of which are also supported on the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform.

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

In this release, the Virtual Network Computing (VNC) remote console is available as a technology preview on the 64-bit Arm platform only. 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 8.3 (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 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform, as noted.

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

6.5.1 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 8.3 (aarch64).

Note

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

(Bug ID 30210051)

6.6 Installation and Availability (aarch64)

The following installation and availability information applies to installing Oracle Linux 8.3 (aarch64) 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 8.3 is made available in two forms for the 64-bit Arm (aarch64) platform:

  • OracleLinux-R8-U3-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 Marvell ThunderX2® processor. For the latest hardware validated for Oracle Linux 8.3 (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 8.3 (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 that is similar to rpi-image-timestamp.img.xz. This image, which is made available for developers who may not have access to alternate Arm hardware, includes the necessary firmware to boot the Raspberry Pi directly into Oracle Linux 8.3 (aarch64).

    You can download the Oracle Linux 8.3 (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. As such, 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/tech/apps-infra/categories/oracle-linux-for-arm.

The latest Oracle Linux 8.3 (aarch64) packages are available from 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.

6.7 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/tech/apps-infra/categories/oracle-linux-for-arm.

Oracle provides an Oracle Linux 8.3 (aarch64) installation image that is 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 8.3 (aarch64) into a raw disk image that can be cloned, block-by-block, to an SD Card for an immediate boot. Btrfs 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 and ensure that the capacity of the SD card is sufficient enough to store the image.

  3. Identify the device information 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.

  7. If your SD Card is larger than the image, grow the partition size to maximize disk usage.

    Run the following commands when the installation has completed and you have logged into the system on the Raspberry Pi:

    # growpart /dev/mmcblk1 3 
    # btrfs filesystem resize max /

    In the previous example, /dev/mmcblk1 is the device name that is specified with the growpart command. This parameter, as well as the partition number (3) that is specified, depends on where the SD Card is mounted, which can vary per Raspberry Pi model.

    You can use the following command to identify the device information that must be specified with the growpart command:

    # mount | grep root
    /dev/mmcblk1p3 on / type btrfs (rw,relatime,ssd,space_cache,subvolid=258,subvol=/root)

    In the previous output, /dev/mmcblk1p3 indicates both the device and partition number, where /dev/mmcblk1 is the device and p3 is the partition number.

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.