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Linux Kernel Support - Policy on Tainted Kernels (Doc ID 284823.1)

Last updated on JUNE 01, 2020

Applies to:

Linux OS - Version Enterprise Linux 4.0 and later
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure - Version N/A and later
Linux x86-64
Linux x86
Linux Itanium

Details

PURPOSE

The purpose of this document is to inform DBA's and systems administrators of exceptions to Oracle's Linux kernel support when tainted kernels are involved.

SCOPE & APPLICATION

This article is intended for Linux system administrators and Linux DBA's that have environments with kernels tainted by drivers/modules. This includes the Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.

Actions

PERMITTED KERNEL MODIFICATIONS

Oracle does not restrict customer use of sysctl and /proc to modify the running kernel. Oracle does not restrict the use of kernel command line options to modify kernel behavior.

ABOUT TAINTED KERNELS

Generally, a kernel becomes "tainted" when a kernel module is loaded which did not originate from Oracle or Red Hat. When this happens, the module may be GPL (open source) or non-GPL (closed source). Examples of GPL modules which taint the kernel include upstream versions of HBA drivers which have not been integrated into the mainline kernel release.

Examples of non-GPL modules include (but are not limited to) EMC PowerPath, Dell's racser module and Oracle ASM.

Oracle Linux environments in which customers  recompile the kernel, insert third-party provided kernel modules, or recompile glibc are not eligible for Linux kernel support. The only exceptions are listed in this document. In the exception cases here, Oracle will support the Linux kernel, but does not offer support for the added functionality provided by the third-party modules.

EXCEPTIONS

  1. Exceptions for non-GPL third party modules: EMC PowerPath, Hitachi FIVE-EX based Fibre Channel to PCIe HBA driver for Hiatchi LPAR, HGST Flashmax Connect driver, Symantec Critical System Protection(CSP), IBM Security Guardium Data Activity Monitor

  2. Exceptions for non-GPL Oracle modules: Oracle ASM Cluster File System, Oracle ASM Dynamic Volume Manager, Oracle ASM Kernel Services
  3. Exceptions for GPL third-party modules: Cisco, LSI, QLogic, Emulex, and HPSA drivers.

  4. Exceptions for fixes: occasionally to resolve P1s, Oracle Support will recommend actions that will render the kernel tainted where the problem can be defined proving that the problem is not related to the tainting module(s). In this case, Oracle fully supports the kernel.

1. Exceptions for Non-GPL third-party kernel modules       

Non-GPL modules are proprietary closed source modules.  Oracle does not have the source code necessary for fixing problems in these modules. Therefore only systems with kernels tainted by those on the  exception list are eligible for support by Oracle. Oracle will deliver the updated kernel to the customer if the fix requires a kernel rebuild, but any fixes in the non-GPL exception list kernel modules must be engineered by the third-party vendor.

2. Exceptions for NON-GPL Oracle Driver Modules

Certain Oracle products rely on kernel driver modules that are not distributed under the GPL license. While these modules taint the kernel, they originate from Oracle and, as such, customers who use these products entitled to Linux support, including support for kernels that have these modules loaded. Examples of such non-GPL Oracle kernel driver modules include:

    Oracle ASM Cluster File System (ACFS)

    Oracle ASM Dynamic Volume Manager (ADVM)

    Oracle ASM Kernel Services (OKS)

3.Exceptions for GPL Third Party Modules

In some cases, Oracle will offer support for kernels with GPL modules recommended by third party vendors which are not part of the kernel distributed by Red Hat or Oracle. Support for these exceptions should be confirmed on a case-by-case basis before the modules are deployed.

4.Exceptions for Fixes

Occasionally to resolve severity 1 service requests, Oracle Support will recommend actions that will render the kernel tainted to confirm the problem is not related to the tainting modules. In this case, Oracle supports the kernel.

 

 

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In this Document
Details
 PURPOSE
 SCOPE & APPLICATION
Actions
 PERMITTED KERNEL MODIFICATIONS
 ABOUT TAINTED KERNELS
 EXCEPTIONS
 1. Exceptions for Non-GPL third-party kernel modules       
 2. Exceptions for NON-GPL Oracle Driver Modules
 3.Exceptions for GPL Third Party Modules
 4.Exceptions for Fixes
 Only Internally Visible
Contacts

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