Oracle's Ellison Debuts Linux Kernel, Says Red Hat Is Too Slow

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The move could result in more fragmentation of the Linux industry.

Oracle debuted its own version of Linux four years ago, basing the operating system on Red Hat Linux and maintaining compatibility with that OS ever since.

But Sunday, in a keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was critical of Red Hat Linux, saying Red Hat did not enhance its version of the open-source OS quickly enough to serve in high-performance systems like the Exalogic Elastic Cloud server Oracle debuted Sunday.

"There are issues with us maintaining 100 percent compatibility with Red Hat Linux," Ellison said. He maintained that Red Hat's technology is four years behind the industry and that Red Hat is slow to incorporate bug fixes and enhancements from Oracle and the rest of the Linux community.

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"We were having real problems with the Linux OS," Ellison said. "That's a huge problem for us as we build these high-performance machines. We can't afford to be four years behind."

From now on Oracle will offer customers a choice of Linux with a Red Hat-compatible kernel or Oracle's own Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

Ellison said Oracle remained committed to supporting the Red Hat Linux community.