Oracle Enterprise Linux is a freely distributed operating system based and compatible with the Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution. It is an enterprise-ready server Linux OS designed to be used on small and medium-sized businesses.

In essence, this project is a remix of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux) that removes its trademarks and adds several bug fixes and in-house built applications. However, it is fully backwards compatible with the award winning distribution developed by Red Hat.

Distributed as installable-only ISO images

The project is usually distributed as two DVD-size ISO images, one for each of the supported hardware platforms (i386 and x86_64). These ISO images can be burned onto DVD discs or written to USB thumb drives (sticks), allowing users to easily boot the operating system and install it on their computers.

Powered by the GNOME desktop environment

Even if it’s a server-oriented Linux distribution, Oracle Enterprise Linux also comes with a full featured desktop environment powered by the GNOME project. It offers a traditional graphical session comprised of two panels, a top one for accessing the main menu and launching applications, and a bottom one for interacting with running programs and switching between virtual desktops.

We should also mention that users can install a different desktop environment in Oracle Enterprise Linux, such as KDE, Xfce or LXDE. They can easily switch between them from the login manager, before entering their credentials.

Default applications

Default applications include the GIMP image editor, Mozilla Firefox web browser, Inkscape SVG graphics editor, K3b CD/DVD burning software, Nautilus file manager, Vim editor, as well as Evolution email and calendar client.

In addition, it comes with the Samba, OpenSSL, OpenSSH, Postfix, Perl, PHP, OpenJDK, PostgreSQL, Python, Qt, MySQL, Apache, ALSA, Bind, DHCP, GCC, GTK+, and GRUB open source technologies.

Bottom line

All in all, Oracle Enterprise Linux tries to be an alternative to the enterprise-class operating system provided by Red Hat. Our suggestion is to go with the original one, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or with CentOS.