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Hey Oracle, Why Not Ubuntu?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the i'm-not-good-enough-for-you dept.


OSS_ilation writes "While much has been said about Novell or Red Hat as potential targets for Oracle this week, there are some in the Linux community who believe a different distro might deserve the attention of Larry Ellison. That distribution is Ubuntu, and analysts like Burton Group's Richard Monson-Haefel believed that it would be a better fit for Oracle, which is looking only for an OS and not for any of the baggage associated with Novell, like Netware. Ubuntu, with its huge community base and version 6.06 on the way, could be the perfect fit, he said."

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Oh, god, please no (4, Insightful)

gclef (96311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150574)

Oracle's security record is abyssmal, their products have major usability issues (yes, including their database...god that thing's arcane), and the company itself is arrogant as hell. Please, don't let that beast absorb a sensible distro.

Re:Oh, god, please no (3, Insightful)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150759)

in some ways i agree, there's no point of giving oracle the most quickly evolving distro. larry would mess it up.

but in some other ways, let's face it, ubuntu is already quite bloated so the damage couldn't be very large :p

all-in-all, if oracle wanted to buy a distro for it's servers, i'd rather have seen them forking their own gentoo fork with prebuilt packages or taking over arch-linux. oracle knows that the market is tight, they want to roll out bigtime with this, so it's either a choice of good performance (gentoo/arch/you-name-your-good-optimized-distro-h ere) or a massive package of bloatware mixed with oracle style stuff that never quite does what you'd expect it to.

suse will do for the stuff that they chose. maybe they already felt that ubuntu could be a bit too big fish to catch, besides i don't think it was 'on sale'. whereas outside germany suse was heading down (at least in the linux communities that i move around, nobody really suses anymore), and it was therefor easier to pick up. and also, getting the novell along with it is like buying a meal and getting a free sauce with it, why the hell not ?

i remember installing oracle 8i database on linux ... that was a living hell in the first attempts.

i'm running ubuntu right now on my laptop here, and i'd doubt seriously if i'd still use it if this poor thing would be overloaded with oracle mess.

oh who cares anyway, i will switch to freebsd 6.1 as soon as it comes out ...

My thoughts exactly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150915)

Hear, hear!

Plus, Oracle seems fundamentally incapable of managing a project with publicly acccessible source code.[0]

Oracle buying Ubuntu would be like... BayStar investing in SCO? It wouldn't help Oracle (it'd torpedo some portion of their Linux sales, as Red Hat shops would prefer a database from someone who's not competing with their OS vendor), but it would help Microsoft -- take the most accessible, user-friendly flavor of Linux (as Caldera/SCO's Network Desktop arguably was in the early 1990s) and suffocate it. Lessee, the only OSes that run easily on my laptop are Windows and that buggy (because Oracle wouldn't maintain it) Oracabuntu? MSFT suddenly wouldn't seem so bad.

That said, since the mid-90s I've thought that software companies ought to do what Google, Barracuda, and others [including, on the very small scale, companies like Linksys] have been doing lately -- sell server appliances. Offer your database customers an alternative to multipage release notes with kernel tuning and other platform requirements for your software, and just ship them an x86/x64 server with everything pre-configured. When you look at Oracle "power unit" pricing, the server hardware's a small fraction of the real system cost. Oracle could do that without buying any distro, though, as others have noted.

[0] Yes, I know Oracle uses ancient versions of the Apache group's software, but that's considerably different from shipping apps with licenses that would require Oracle to expose the source code, bugs and all.

Ubuntu? (1, Informative)

Lxy (80823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150576)

Why not just use Debian, which is the base for Ubuntu? Then you get no corporate overhead.

Re:Ubuntu? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150666)

Good one. Debian. Hehe. Amazing that some people still use it. Does it have X yet or just the console?

Re:Ubuntu? (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150765)

We're talking a database server.
Again, why do you need a gui?

The only people who should ever log into the system are admins maintaining the software.

If they can't use the cli, hire admins that can.

Everybody else interfaces with the server through ip:port.

Re:Ubuntu? (2, Informative)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150898)

you work a lot with databases don't you ?

well i work with various opensource rdbms implementations here every day,
90% of the time only on cli since anything else would be just overhead.
but then again, most of the time i work on rather small projects.

but sometimes when you've got an oracle db with over 100 tables and uncountable
amount of foreign keys, triggers, store procedures, the cli just doesn't cut
it anymore. you need visualization just to understand the 25 things that you're
about to break with that next line.

i've worked with database schemes that are too large to fit on an A2 paper,
there's no way that you can get an overview of it's current state in cli.

you may think that oracle will just ship out it's db on nongui stations with
remote access, so anyone that needs a gui will use some kind of remote management
tool and everybody would be happy ? this aint going to happen, this would just
cramp oracle's style. they gui everything, gui is what also sells the product.
and oracle certainly would also like to charge money for the linux boxes around
the server box for running their gui tools on them...

so no-gui is not an answer, at least not for oracle.

it may be an answer to mysql and posgresql ... you hardly ever need a gui on
a raw gentoo server which just runs your db backend ... but with oracle it's never
as simple as that (ffs. you'd need the gui just to run their java based installer).

Re:Ubuntu? (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150956)

Um, the OP is 100% correct here. You do NOT need or even WANT a GUI on the SERVER. This has NOTHING to do with client tools. Your diatribe is pointless.

Re:Ubuntu? (1)

moro_666 (414422) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151115)

nope ...

a) installer still needs the gui
b) oracle doesn't want to licence the only the linux for dbserver, he wants to get the workistations around it too.
c) homework

Re:Ubuntu? (1)

j_snare (220372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151231)

a) Not quite. You can direct the gui to another machine (our office uses windows with Cygwin as the target for the display). Oracle suggests it in their docs, and it's the best way for us to keep our servers clean.

b) Granted, so we need a server version and workstation version, then.
Or even better, a big server version, for the serious servers (like a production business system), and another for small play databases like your earlier post was talking about. Go ahead and run a little DB (like XE or something), but don't do anything too serious with it. GUI stuff is fine for that, yes. But keep it off my servers, thanks.

c) Homework? Not sure what you mean. I only wish we went into the stuff I use now back in school...

Re:Ubuntu? (2, Interesting)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151089)

>>> you work a lot with databases don't you ?

Ah, unfortunately, I do with Oracle. 5TB worth, and the table listing takes forever to load (in thousands).
We use PLSQL Developer, toad, ERWIN, Informatica, pl/sql...

I'll agree with you that Oracle is a bear.

It's a little like an aircraft carrier. All bow before it, but you need 6,000 crew and 30 support vessels to be fully operational. But then you can project power all over the world and piss off third world nations.

There are how many AC in active duty worldwide? 10, 15 top?

I'm rambling. I'll stop now.

Re:Ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150766)

Well X aren't yet there, but it is entering stable as soon as its translation to Bengali is approved by 100 native bengalis. None of them have been found yet but Debian Project Team is working on that.

Re:Ubuntu? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150714)

Why not just use Debian, which is the base for Ubuntu?

I was going to say the same thing. But I reread the blurb and I think them mean, "as an acquisition target", not, "as another platform for which to release a packaged version of Oracle." They want the developers and maintainers. I think it would be very hard to buy the Debian crew, and I think that is a good thing.

Agreed, though, that if it was just about having a solid server-oriented distro for deploying Oracle, Debian would be (in my never even remotely humble opinion) the best choice.

Re:Ubuntu? (2, Funny)

phy_si_kal (729421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150749)

Now that you failed to buy MySQL, try debian - it's easier.

Who are these idiots (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150581)

That think they need to "buy" a Linux distro. I would suggest that Oracle buy Hurd. I bet they can get that one for cheap. RMS could probably use the cash.

Re:Who are these idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150839)

You forget Richard lives in University utopia. With a steadily rising salary guaranteed for the rest of his life, it's no wonder he doesn't understand capitalism and people not wanting to donate all their code to imposters.

Raymond, Torvalds are a lot wiser in these particular respects. Stallman is still a great coder, tho.

I don't think the people understand (5, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150586)

Anyone in the ubuntu community doesn't quite understand what will happen if oracle were to buy out Ubuntu. Ubuntu in my experience is targeted at making it easy for n00bs to use linux. Oracle will definitely NOT be focusing on this area. They'll be focusing on tweaking whatever OS they do use to make oracle easier to use and setup. They don't care about the latest video codec, your new soundcard, or that great new 3D rendered desktop.

The goals of oracle and ubuntu are so far off from each other it troubles me to hear anyone even make the suggestion.

And (2, Informative)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150709)

The other thing to realize is that now that SUSE was bought by Novell it "corporate". Ubuntu is not. Once something because a corporate item it is perfectly acceptable for other corporations to buy it. But even if the product is very similiar and is not corporate; they will shy away.

Re:And (1)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150968)

The other thing to realize is that now that SUSE was bought by Novell it "corporate".

Suse was 'corporate' from the beginning. Novell's purchase of Suse was an indication of this.

Re:And (1)

AmigaBen (629594) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151094)

I'm not sure I managed to fully parse your mis-typings, but you do realize that SUSE is, if anything, MORE open now that Novell bought it than it ever was before?

Re:I don't think the people understand (2, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150739)

Anyone in the ubuntu community doesn't quite understand what will happen if oracle were to buy out Ubuntu. Ubuntu in my experience is targeted at making it easy for n00bs to use linux. Oracle will definitely NOT be focusing on this area. They'll be focusing on tweaking whatever OS they do use to make oracle easier to use and setup. They don't care about the latest video codec, your new soundcard, or that great new 3D rendered desktop.

Kiss Ubuntu goodbye is the long and the short of it. It will be subsumed into Orix, which if it's anything like the Oracle DB, will be buggy, riddled with security flaws, and generally filled with unnecessary overhead. It's amazing how many clueless big company CEOs think they can snap up some small company with a good idea, incorporate it into their own bloated company, and come out with something better. Ain't gonna happen.

My comments for yesterday about Oracle trying to buy Novell [] still hold. This isn't going to help Oracle compete against Microsoft; if anything, it will threaten to strangle any creativity in Ubuntu and allow Oracle to be overtaken by its competitors. Oracle should stick to making databases.

Because... (0)

Alterion (925335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150588)

they don't want a community of geeks to handle they want a product to make money from??

Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (5, Funny)

stefanlasiewski (63134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150592)

Oracle and Ubuntu are two completely different universes. Oracle products are designed for high-availability enterprise applications. The Database and the Database price tag is overkill for most smaller applications.

Ubuntu is a cutting edge Linux distro with a cute, fun desktop with great installer/maintenance applications. Ubuntu can install MySQL in a few minutes. Not sure I would trust it for any sort of high- availability application. Debian Stable, RedHat Enterprise, Suse Enterprise & Solaris would be a wiser choice.

  • Installation require a DBA
  • Installs in 8 hours, after 4 tries.
  • Oracle Installer crashes several times because you forgot to change kernel.foo_bar_strings from '0' to '100000' in /etc/sysctl.conf . You now need to uninstall all of the files by hand and start from scratch.
  • It crashes a second time because you forgot to install GCC_2.9.6_legacy_library , and didn't do 'cat "RedHat Enterprise AS" > /etc/sysconfig/kernel/version'. You now need to uninstall all of the files by hand and start from scratch
  • Once installed, Oracle can handle 10,000 customers a second on a 40-million row table

  • Even your grandparents can install it
  • Installs in 10 minutes.
  • Recognized my video card & sound card out of the box.
  • MySQL & PostgreSQL are installed and running, out of the box.
  • The host freezes up after the first 5000 queries ;)

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (1)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150652)

The host freezes up after the first 5000 queries ;)

Oh, come on, let's not be quite so flamebaitish. I agree that Ubuntu is focused more on the desktop/easy-of-use side of things, but it _is_ based on Debian, one of the most solid and reliable Linux distributions out there. Maybe it's not the optimal choice for server applications but there's no reason to believe (at least, none that you give) that it couldn't perform as a perfectly adequate server at a less-than-enterprise level.

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (1)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151025)

I'm in complete agreement with you!

Ubuntu is actually *quite* stable. Even running the beta Dapper version, I can't remember a single crash that brought down the system (after many months of use). I run Apache off my desktop box and leave for the weekend expecting reliable remote access, and I always have it. The userspace apps included in the main distro are all high-quality and well supported. I've hit one or two gnome bugs but not much else.

Ubuntu is the most stable, reliable, no-rough-edges Linux desktop-oriented distro that I've used. Beats SUSE (used intermittently at work) and completely crushes Mandr(ake|iva) (used it a few years back) which I found to be horribly unreliable.

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (2, Interesting)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150681)

"Once installed, Oracle can handle 10,000 customers a second on a 40-million row table"

It all looked good except that line to me. You need a *, I'll add it for you.

Once installed, Oracle can handle 10,000 customers a second on a 40-million row table*
*assuming you have the obligatory DBA who earns 6 figures to optimize your tables twice a week.

unfortunately for me, the company I work for does not. And let me tell you, oracle is a complete dog if you don't have a DBA doing the proper optimizations.

ALL DBs are complete dogs if not properly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150899)


people just happened to get paid more for doing it on Oracle. I support both (and occasionally M$/SQL at gunpoint) in a high-volume environment and luckily my pay is based on my Oracle experience/skill (though I have acquired a lot of respect for MySQL in the last two years).

Re:ALL DBs are complete dogs if not properly (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150922)

I realize that, but not according to oracle sales :) Unfortunately for us, the powers that be listened to sales instead of listening to tech. We all know that's how it usually works out in such cases though.

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150699)

"Once installed, Oracle can handle 10,000 customers a second on a 40-million row table"

But only for 5 minutes, then you run out of extents and then you have to hire a third DBA who actually knows how to administer the DB. Who then proceeds to suggest changes that require you to buy a bigger more powerful server, create huge amounts of grants so that any of the more powerful features require DBA assistance to setup and maintain requiring you to hire another DBA to help the previous...

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150911)

8 hours after 4 tries? What kind of moron are you? I've got it down to where I can do it in less than half an hour, and I'm just a developer - no DBA training whatsoever.

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (2, Insightful)

Orlando (12257) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150913)

Why is the parent modded as funny? This is entirely the point. Oracle are not in the least bit interested in making things easy because making things difficult is where they earn their money. Their software is a nightmare to install and manage where other databases that are capable of 100% of what 95% of people need from a database are a breeze (PostgreSQL). If I were an Ubuntu developer the LAST thing I would want would be Oracle getting their grubby fingers all over it and making a big mess out of it.

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (2, Insightful)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150919)

If you are too stupid to follow a simple installation instruction that tells you exactly what all the kernel parameterrs need to be, I wouldn't put the blame on anyone but yourself.

And if you try to install Oracle on an unsupported distribution, you can not expect it to work flawlessly. I install databases on a regular basis and I have never had the installer crash on me since version 8.0.4, i.e approx 7-8 years ago. Does it crash? Sure, most of the issues we have with the installer is due to people not reading the instructions, trying to install on a configuration not meeting the minimu requirements, using an incorrect version of JRE, thinking that they know better than everyone how things are done and ignore instructions.

I've said it before and I'll be happy to repeat it. Oracle RDBMS is currently the most complex piece of software sold publically and it requires knowledge about the product to manage it.

Stop blaming Oracle and blame yourself for being an ignorant who can't follow instruction like this one []

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (1)

j_snare (220372) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151280)

From what it sounds like, most of these complaints about the installer are from the 8i and early 9i versions (or before).

The installers (or really any GUI that Oracle made) really were horrendous back then. It was more reliable to do a create database script by hand than use the installer. We ended up doing that for quite a while here. We even had a guy from Oracle come out to help us install our 9i RAC system years ago, and it still took 3 days of fiddling to figure it out. And to top it off, we're still finding things that were done wrong and we're having to fix.

However, nowadays the installer is a hell of a lot better. As you say, if you can follow the instructions, you can get a working system up and going pretty quickly, and it works pretty well too. However, you *have* to read *all* of the instructions. Post-installation and patching notes included.

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151024)

This is no longer true with Oracle XE. Oracle XE comes in as native RPM and Debian packages and can be installed and ready to run in 5 minutes. Little administration is required. Also, it comes with Application Express which is a completely Web-based rapid application development (RAD) environment.

See /xe/index.html [] .

BTW, there is an Oracle XE repository available. See C9559A765B126EE6BB19BBA6CBE3 []

Re:Ubuntu & Oracle -- two different universes (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151156)

Stop the trolling or be specific.

It does not take 8 hours to install Oracle. If you read the instructions it takes, maybe an hour!
I've install Oracle 10g on an UNSOPPORTED Linux OS - Suse 9.2, not SLES, the regular distro. That's the 64 bit Oracle 10g version on the 64 bit Suse 9.2 version, no less!!

No problems what so ever. See the thing with Oracle, YOU HAVE TO READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. Anyone with a brain can figure this out. It's not a point and click MS install. But once you have covered the bases - it's simple.

DB Appliance? (1)

jaweekes (938376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151185)

Maybe they want to have a DB Appliance? Makes sense to have one box pre-installed with Oracle and not have to worry about the OS, which has been tuned to give Oracle the best possible performance.

Just my $0.02

It's the Apps, not the O/S (4, Interesting)

OYAHHH (322809) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150594)

Richard Monson-Haefel,

Says "Oracle, which is looking only for an OS".

Well he is wrong. Oracle is pretty much O/S neutral. And they have good reasons for being so. I'll let you figure that one out on your own.

If all Oracle wanted was a Linux O/S distribution then what would stop them from simply going to a particular distribution's website and downloading it?

What is really happening is that one of their major Linux partners, Redhat, has been moving into the applications business recently. So much so that they have begun to compete with Oracle on quite a few fronts.

Thus, Oracle is looking at the situation and saying what money making venture, not charitable situation, is the best fit in a changing competitive landscape. Apparently the answer is Novell, i.e., fits better than any other, it's more mature, etc.

Re:It's the Apps, not the O/S (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150670)

Oracle never looks just for an "application", they have more than few themselves and would be fully capable of getting a decent Distro out..

But the thing they seem to buy is Userbases. (Hint: Netware is still widely used)

"Baggage" no only negative things... (4, Insightful)

luvirini (753157) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150600)

Novell does have some other things in itself besides Linux.

One of the things is a fairly large userbase for Netware.. and a working structure of a company.

So, yes if you are looking for just a linux distro, they are not the thing to aquire, but if you are looking to expand you market share in general.. (like Oracle tries to) Novell does have (atleast potentially) other benefits too.

Only one problem (5, Insightful)

Philodoxx (867034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150602)

Mark Shuttleworth has no incentive to sell Canonical/Ubuntu to Oracle. If he were in it for the money, Ubuntu wouldn't mail me CDs once every six months.

Re:Only one problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151032)

This is the guy who made a fortune by building Thawte and selling it to Verisign. I think it's safe to say that he's in it for the money. Canonical is a business, not a charity, and he's probably going to sell it - although maybe not just yet. Note that Canonical's business model is not about selling CDs, it's about controlling the development of free software projects. I'm sure you can imagine how a company like Google could use this - you know they don't offer that search engine as a charity either. Sending you free CDs is just like Google providing you with a free search engine.

Re:Only one problem (3, Interesting)

Philodoxx (867034) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151199)

I disagree, there are plenty of ways to build up a successful distro without going to the lengths that Ubuntu has to build up its community. If Shuttleworth wanted to make a distro, but wanted to do it frugally he wouldn't host the ISOs on Ubuntu's servers, and he most certainly wouldn't get discs factory pressed and shipped to anybody anywhere in the world.

Ultimately I have no idea what Mr. Shuttleworth's plans are, but I get the impression that he's made his millions and is content with what he has. I'm sure that if the opportunity presented itself to make Ubuntu profitable he would take it, but flat out selling the company to Oracle would be a very abrupt turn around from his post Ubuntu behaviour.

Re:Only one problem (2, Interesting)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151072)

Very true...

Basically the whole Ubuntu community has been freeloading off Mark Shuttleworth's resources for a couple years and it's been quite a fun ride. Thanks, Mark :-)

As far as I can tell, what he's trying to do is to use his considerable wealth to build up a really top-notch distro that sticks close to free software ideals, and he's hoping that he'll come up with a viable business model to make some money off of it along the way. I sincerely wish him luck, I think it's a rather risky but admirable move.

Larry, I recommend Uganda (1, Funny)

BrentRJones (68067) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150608)

seriously, take a long vacation where your money will go far

Hey... NO! (0, Troll)

Tei (520358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150610)

Who in the correct mind wrote that ~1111

This is mad. Ubuntu is a desktop, a fine one. And Oracle is system software. If Oracle get Ubuntu, will fuck it ~~~111111

Re:Hey... NO! (1)

rakslice (90330) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150924)

This post is a classic... Master teh bad english and jam on the 1 key FTW!

Why would they want the baggage? (2, Interesting)

xzvf (924443) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150611)

What about the Ubuntu community makes anyone think they would want to be locked into making Oracle applications run better?

What about Oracle and Larry makes anyone think they would want to answer to Ubuntu community every time they want a change to make an Oracle application run better?

Just an Analyst Daydreaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150628)

So, an analyst daydreams that one of the most prominent *desktop* distros should power an Oracle DB back-end.

Get real.

Ummm.... (3, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150633)

"Oracle just wants to add the OS, so Ubuntu Linux would make a lot more sense than Novell," said Richard Monson-Haefel, a senior analyst with Burton Group.

Far be it from me to question the wisdom of Richard Monson-Haefel, but I assume people at Oracle are capable of grasping the difference between adding a Linux distribution and buying a company the size of Novell.

Re:Ummm.... (1)

mustafap (452510) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150736)

>Richard Monson-Haefel, a senior analyst with **Burton Group**.

Well, what do you expect from some more used to selling cheap suits?

Bad Idea (-1)

.Bruce Perens (150539) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150636)

This would be exceptionally harmfull to Ubuntu, and the open source movement as a whole. I should know, I pretty much invented the idea of open source. Oracle has a long history of protecting (in a boad way) informations, of shutting down ideas, of limiting the exchange of information. I know Larry Ellison, and while I find him most agreeable on a personably level I strongly disagree with him on the role open source software plays in contemporary IT. Hu publicallyviews it as a capitalistic product to be exploited for profit, while I (dare I say we?) recognize that the benefits of open systems reach far beyond financial gain, and into realms that benefit humanity as a whole. Imagine if everyone had an affordable computer with a open source OS running on it - we'd all be more productive and happier. This ideal suits Ubuntu exactly, but not Oracle and Larry who need to answer to stock holders.

Re:Bad Idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150713)

This would be better without the dumbass spelling errors.

Re:Bad Idea (1)

stinerman (812158) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150889)

He could at least try to duplicate his famous sig.

Hey Oracle... (1)

phy_si_kal (729421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150648)

Why not just hire some more geeks and do your own flavor of linux? You have enough money to give a competition to Ubuntu. Ubuntu showed that by creating something with features and simplicity, crowds intfollow. Try to innovate and propose new opensource applications and race for better opensource software. This will benefit to everyone and if done well, you'll get the reputation you're looking after.

Eh, no. (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150660)

Ubuntu's philosophy is to provide a free operating system for the masses. It was never intended to be a commercial product like Novel's Linux (whatever you call it these days) or Red Hat.

Ubuntu user base is not the best for Oracle (2, Insightful)

stm2 (141831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150665)

Oracle plays in a different niche than Ubuntu. Oracle should buy RH or Novell if they want to reach enterprise users.

Make their own (1)

abrotman (323016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150667)

I'm very much confused why oracle would want to buy one anyways. They could just as easily take Debian or CentOS(or Gentoo I suppose), and include the patches to the kernel/etc they want to run their database. They would have a very specific market, but would be responsible for their own patches, etc.

Re:Make their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150967)

Actually, Oracle should buy both, Novell and RedHat. That would at least unite the corporate distros and help linux win market share from MS.

Re:Make their own (1)

spun (1352) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151022)

They don't want to buy an OS, they want to buy an OS company. Rolling their own won't get them the developers and brand recognition, which is what they are really after, not just another platform on which to run their DB.

Channels (4, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150682)

Oracle is not looking to buy a linux. They are looking to buy a channel. If they were looking for a distro, they would simply roll their own. Getting into businesses is the hard part esp. with companies such as MS blocking their way (illegally, but overlooked these days) and IBM (not illegal, but DB is a real database).

Hope they don't buy SuSE Linux... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150690)

I read elsewhere that Oracle was considering to buy Novell to get SuSE Linux. I hope not. This is my favorite distribution that I stuck with since 1998. I wasn't too thrilled with Novel now owning SuSE, although version 10 was a pretty solid product and the installer recognized all my hardware right out of the box. I'm not sure what Oracle would do with it.

Ubuntu forum community smaller than Gentoo's? (2, Insightful)

Dan Ost (415913) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150696)

Ubuntu also boasts one of the largest community bases of all the Linux distributions, called the Ubuntu Forums, which contain more than 67,000 unique registered users.

Hmm...the Gentoo forums have over 111,000 unique registered users.

As if unique forum name count was a meaningful metric of anything.

A possible explanation (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150864)

It could just mean Ubuntu has less people looking for technical help.

Re:A possible explanation (1)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151269)

Ubuntu is known for its community ... that is supposedly one of the selling points of the distribution.

server vs desktop requirements (1)

kpharmer (452893) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150703)

Bad idea.

The Oracle server works on a variety of linux distros already (plus unix, plus windows, etc). Why they would want to own their own distro is beyond me, but if they did - the worst possible one would be one focused upon desktops.

Seriously, you don't normally want to put open office, mp3 players and tux racer on a database server. You want support & tuning for raid adapters, multiple cpus, etc. And what of the ubuntu community? They *barely* support server installations & questions. Go ahead, just try to find information about print server *without* gnome/kde/etc. Like this community is going to embrace changing its entire philosophy to support oracle.

Of course, there's nothing stopping Oracle from putting their admin client (OEM) onto Ubuntu. That's a perfect fit for a desktop distro. Of course, maybe they do already, I know db2's clients already run on ubuntu. But why bother purchasing it for that?

Once again, bad idea.

For the love of all that is sacred. (0, Troll)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150711)

Mark Shuttleworth has done a wonderful job in managing Ubuntu. I have a hard time imaging Oracle not stomping all over and making huge beginner mistakes onto the community. I love the Debian/Ubuntu combination that Mark and his fellow people have put together but i would switch away in a heartbeat if Mark was to be switched for some random PHB.

Why not Ubuntu (4, Interesting)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150723)

When we speak of Novell we mean SuSe Linux. Suse is a KDE centric distribution which has a respectable market share on Linux desktops in Europe. Currently some Novell desktop strategist try to achieve the same with Gnome centric solutions, with limited success.

(K)Ubuntu has no market as the product is not sold.

Companies can justify to buy another company and lose a lot of money for the strategic advantage. They cannot justify to donate large portions of money, even when the effect would be the same.

The other issue is control. When Oracle buys Novell they can control corporate policy but they will have no say over Ubuntu. And I do not believe they will buy canonical.

As Oracle I would rather buy Mandriva.

Re:Why not Ubuntu (1)

sgent (874402) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151055)


When we speak of Novell, we speak of Novell -- which counts one of two enterprise class (ie supported) linux distributions as one of its many assets.

It also has a huge customer base, multi-os deployment tools, best of breed identity management / directory solutions, and still one of the widest deployed server OS's in the world.

Novell includes Suse, but brings much more to the table. Novell would be an interesting acquisition to Oracle even WITHOUT the OS. Zenworks and eDirectory alone probably have as much or more value to Oracle as Suse.

Why? (1)

kryten_nl (863119) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150732)

Why does Oracle need to own a Linux distro?

- If you want to buy a company for the devellopers it has, I could understand that. But any half-decent head-hunting firm would be cheaper.
- If you want a community without having to start one? Buying their favorite distro and then changing it, will allmost certainly alienate the community a lot. - To have a full featured linux based OS to do with as you please? That's virtually impossible, considering the GPL and a rather vocal Linus Torvalds. BSD licensis would allow that, if I recall correctly, but not the GPL.

My point is: can someone please explain to me why Oracle needs to buy a distro, when they can just fork one?

Brand is the issue (1)

Kope (11702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150737)

When Norwest Bank bought Wells Fargo Bank, the company kept the name Wells Fargo. Even though Norwest was the larger business. Norwest was in more states. Norwest had more customers.

But Wells Fargo had a brand and image that would take an amazing amount of time and money to match.

Larry isn't so dumb as to not know the value of a solid brand name. Oracle has some perception problems in the Open Source world. Novell is viewed as one of the good guys. Oracle needs a brand with geeky goodness associated with it, and Novell will provide that.

Debian or Ubuntu or whatever other distro that no one outside of the Slashdot community has ever heard of won't go nearly as far.

Re:Brand is the issue (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150993)

This is why agile, modern SBC Communications purchased aging, failing-in-the-marketplace AT&T, then proceeded to rename themselves. They think the name clout is worth the effort, even if it takes a few years to shed AT&T's recent reputation as a has-been. Even I think that bringing back the old "T" stock ticker was a cool thing to do.

Fork! (3, Insightful)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150761)

Yeah. If Oracle tried to take Ubuntu, the very next day you'd see news about a fork. The goals of Oracle are simply too different from the developers of Ubuntu for any simbiotic relationship to develop. Oracle wants a stable, no frills server for a massively scaleable database. Ubunto aims for the desktop crowd.

Hey Oracle, Why Not Neo? (1)

CFrankBernard (605994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150772)

Oracle, I've searched the Linux Matrix and I still believe Neo [] is the one.

Re:Hey Oracle, Why Not Neo? (1)

nowhere.elysium (924845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150859)

well, it might be, if that link actually worked.

Re:Hey Oracle, Why Not Neo? (1)

CFrankBernard (605994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151071)

You need a phone line connection.

Re:Hey Oracle, Why Not Neo? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151213)

I find your ideas interesting and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

No, seriously, why did you link to a parked domain? Did I miss the funny part?

Re:Hey Oracle, Why Not Neo? (1)

CFrankBernard (605994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151287)

Yeah, you missed it, but maybe there will be a glitch in the Matrix so you watch for it again.

Besides, I consider Ubuntu to be "Under Construction" too.

Oh, God, Please kill the bastards (1)

Ian McBeth (862517) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150789)

That thought this "there are some in the Linux community who believe a different distro might deserve the attention of Larry Ellison [CC]. That distribution is Ubuntu," was a good idea.

I mean seriously I just spent the last several years, well since Redhat did the Fedora crap(I always bought the Redhat consumer distro from Redhat 4.1 to 9, but left Redhat when they left me), looking for a linux distro that did what I wanted, and Finally Settled on Ubuntu, Don't go ruining it when I am just getting started. The Last thing I need is a distro going on the development dung heap because it got bought out by corporate greedsters.

Steps to success... (1)

guabah (968691) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150834)

  1. Grab the packages from Ubuntu
  2. Include the necesary patches, drivers and applications
  3. Package it and distribute it
  4. ????
  5. Profit! $$$

Sounds easy enough. Right?

Oh and BTW:

They can get started in sync with the June release of Dapper

zealot attitudes destroy trust (2, Insightful)

daniel_ortmann (917904) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150850)

Why not Ubuntu? Zealot attitudes destroy trust.
Earlier today someone flamed a Linux release for the self-
righteous feeling it gave him. Such a person must NEVER
be given any real responsibility.

(By the way, I *do* use Ubuntu and I do *not* use Oracle.)

Funny change (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150858)

It's funny that Oracle, one of the world's largest database (and arguably most enterprise deployed) software manufacturers, *might* one day absorb Novell. Makes the old days of Netware with their crappy bundled BTrieve database engine look pretty pale by comparison. Ah...brings back memories:


CPU EXCEPTION ERROR (0x3H) ATH+++++++.............

Cause it's not about the distro! (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150873)

It's not about the distro. If it were they'd take a small team and customize their own disto. Novell offers services and software (much more than just an OS) to a wide range of governments and mid-sized companies. Oracle has owned the really big business market for a long time. They have a much harder time getting mid-sized and smaller customers. That's where Novell fits in today.

A Novell purchase would be about much more than a distro. It's a corporation with long-term contracts and consultants. Which distro they choose is almost insignificant in comparison.

Ubuntu? (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150888)

Ok, as a desktop Ubuntu is great, but how does it compare in HA, fault tolerance, enterprise hardware support and other enterprise areas? Sure a Ubuntu Apache server is one thing but what about everything beyond the generic services like Email, FTP, HTTP, etc.

This is the reason my Linux servers arn't Gentoo, Ubuntu, and even Debian. I could use them for Email, FTP, etc, but I prefer to standardize my environment so I'm not emerging or apt-get on different servers because it's not an Oracle database or a critical financial package. SUSE and RedHat dump a ton of money in making their enterprise offerings capable.

I'm sure Oracle could fix this for Oracle's products, but you arn't going to get an DB2 help from Oracle or any other competing product. Oracle will kill any distribution that it buys as it would be in their best interest to incorporate Oracle into it as a single product relegating any other OS as unneeded overhead. (my last statement is obviously only an opinion)

Its about competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15150891)

If you can take out the competion at the same time you are buying into a marketplace you win on two fronts. Ubuntu is not a player (When compared to Novel/redhat)

Ubuntu, or possibly Mandriva? (2, Insightful)

dcavanaugh (248349) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150901)

Full disclosure: I own a small number of NOVL and RHAT shares.

Compared to Novell, I think it would be more practical for Oracle to acquire Ubuntu or Mandriva. If I owned ORCL I would rather see them get into Linux by purchasing a Linux-only company.

NOVL has alot of legacy stuff that is of no value to ORCL (although it throws off enough revenue to give them some breathing room while they figure out how to operate as an open source company). RHAT has been relatively successful in monetizing Linux, but the share price includes alot of future expectations. I own both of these and would benefit nicely if ORCL buys either one. But I doubt they will.

Canonical Ltd. looks like they are privately held and might be a relatively easy buy. On the other hand, they seem quite serious about keeping Ubuntu "free as in beer". Mandriva is more of a conventional company. They are publicly traded, and they sell nothing other than Linux and related services. Although they try to avoid giving away the product, Mandriva never crossed the dreaded "Caldera line". As a result, they have a viable product (a Red Hat derivative that could use some work) and their name is unblemished.

Re:Ubuntu, or possibly Mandriva? (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151019)

I agree that a takeover of Mandriva would be best choice.

Mandriva is strong and solid. It fits to Oracles product line. Many ERP software manufacturers chose Mandriva. Mandriva is also strong aimed at the desktop, the French Suse so to speak.

And I assume Mandriva would be a cheap takeover.

Are we missing the point? (1)

Dealer MacDope (630648) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150918)

"Oracle, which is looking only for an OS and not for any of the baggage associated with Novell, like Netware" Ya, baggage like UNIX rights? Helloooooo!

Duh... (4, Interesting)

big.ears (136789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150957)

Ellison's announcement was not about acquiring Novell--it was an announcement meant to punish Red Hat for acquiring JBoss out from under Oracle's nose. If Ellison can't have JBoss, he's threatening to compete directly against the firm that has it. The stock market has taken back all the gains RHAT had since they announced the JBoss deal; down 5-6% yesterday. So forget about Ubuntu, this is just PR.

Re:Duh... (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151043)

Now Oracle getting Mandriva makes a lot of sense to me. And an alliance with Debian too.

Why not Oracle? (2, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150983)

Just hire some people and make your own software? Is this too hard?

Not going to happen (1)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15150988)

Two obvious reasons: 1) Ubuntu focuses its efforts on the desktop. Oracle's software is server oriented. The two could mix but there's many better options out there for Oracle.

2) Ubuntu is Shuttleworth's pet project. It's not his get rich quick scheme. Profitability is important, but I think he's more interested in Ubuntu actively contributing to the communities from which his fortune grew. Selling to anyone, Oracle included, would be an inadvertant admission that someone else is more qualified to direct how Ubuntu contributes than he is. And given Oracle's track record with acquisitions, I doubt someone who's number one priority isn't profit would sell to Oracle.

Database centric OS (1)

suggsjc (726146) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151028)

I've long wondered why a database like Oracle didn't have its own tuned OS. Most (at least in my experience) oracle installations are on dedicated servers (the only app on the system is oracle). In fact, all of the projects that I have been on, the database servers had only oracle on them. Oracle is so resource intensive that it pretty much has to be the only thing.
So, why not create a platform that centers around just the database? Build the entire OS from the ground up (linux is a great starting point), but with a single thought in mind. Performance, scalibility, and security but specifically for a database. Everything from the filesystem to partitions to kernel modifications (haven't done kernel development, but would assume that there is stuff in there that a DB wouldn't need).
Don't get started about vendor lock-in, but you could also have HW that was designed specifically for this platform as well (Oracle certified or something like they not already have that?).
Plus, with virtualization starting to pick up the pace. If you did want something other than oracle on a single piece of hardware, then you could just put your oracle OS on one of the virtual machines, then all of your other general purpose OSes of your favorite flavor on the other virtual machines. Hey Larry, if you need someone to help you out with that then I'd be willing to work for stock options.

Re:Database centric OS (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151130)

There is. Mircle Linux. []

It's a Japanese company which made a fork off Red Hat distro around Oracle and DBA centric needs. It's been around for years.

Re:Database centric OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151218)

Actually Oracle tried this awhile back (something iron was the name of the project I think). It didn't work because people like to fiddle. People want to buy an OS they know and love not one in a box.

I don't think so. (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151069)

Ubuntu has been around for what... couple of years while Novell has been around close to couple of decades?

Buying out Ubuntu is like buying an empty paper bag while buying Novell is like buying paper bag with grocery in it.

Oracle should buy an ipod (1)

Error27 (100234) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151096)

Then they would be able to listen to beautiful music.

Will Never Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151160)

A.) Mark Shuttleworth created Ubuntu as an act of humanitarianism for the world (especially developing world), not Profit!

B.) The huge developer / user base and community would evaporate the second Larry got his filthy paws on it and people would just fork Ubuntu into something else.

Umm... Oracle already -HAS- their own Linux distro (1)

Hobart (32767) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151183)

Oracle already owns their own distro... home [] wiki [] google []
Slashcode bug # 497457 - unfixed since December 2001 - Go look it up!

Netware Baggage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15151189)

Netware baggage? Only on slashdot would you hear such drivel. Netware is what keeps Novell afloat. The OSS stuff that they just got is a small part of their revenue. Just check out the SEC filings $61.4 million for the first quarter for Netware as opposed to $10.4 million for Linux. I know it is hard not to show your ignorance, but next time, do some research in the matter before spouting off some nonsense.

why ubuntu? (1)

dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv (951946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15151251)

nobody in their right mind would want to run oracle on ubuntu.
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