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Simplify managing Oracle Linux 8 Application Streams with OS Management Service

Julie Wong-OracleMay 24 2022 — edited May 24 2022

Oracle OS Management Service provides tools to automate common operating system (OS) management tasks, such as patch and package management, security and compliance reporting, and the discovery and monitoring of Oracle Linux instances deployed in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). OS Management Service helps keep systems patched and secure and reduces complexity and human error, which increases security and availability. OCI subscribers running Oracle Linux 8 instances can use OS Management Service to help simplify managing and patching of Oracle Linux 8 Application Streams (AppStreams).
Oracle Linux 8 Application Stream concepts
Oracle Linux 8 introduces new package management concepts where content is delivered through two main repositories: BaseOS and Application Stream (AppStream). The BaseOS repository provides the core set of functionality in RPM packages, while the AppStream repository includes user-space applications, languages, databases, and other packages. Other repositories can provide AppStreams for packages such as for Oracle Linux KVM and Gluster Storage for Oracle Linux.
Oracle Linux 8 Appstreams introduce the concept of modules, streams and profiles that allow for the management of different versions of software applications within a single OS release:
A module is a collection of RPM packages that are grouped and must be installed together. Typically, a module contains packages with an application, packages with the application's specific dependency libraries, packages with documentation for the application, and packages with helper utilities. Modules can have multiple module streams.
A stream (or module stream) holds different versions of content contained within a module. Each stream receives updates independently. For each module, only one of its streams can be enabled to provide access to its packages. Frequently, the stream with the latest version is selected as the default stream and is used when operations do not specify a particular stream or a different stream has not been enabled previously. Only one stream of a module can be active at any time.
A profile is a list of packages that is configured to be installed together at the same time for a particular use case. It can contain packages from or outside the module stream, usually from the BaseOS repository or the stream's dependencies. For example, a profile can used to install a minimum configuration, or for a common or development use case. Modules always have a default profile that is used for installations, when no other profile has been explicitly specified. Multiple profiles from a stream can be installed simultaneously.
You can learn more about Oracle Linux 8 AppStreams in the Oracle Linux documentation.
Module management made easy
OS Management Service makes it easy and simple to manage Oracle Linux 8 modules and AppStreams including viewing module information and updating modules, streams, and profiles - all from the OCI Console. There is no need to SSH and login to each instance to manage AppStreams.
Before you get started, you will need to set up OS Management Service by following a few steps in the OS Management documentation. Once OS Management is enabled, Oracle Linux instances deployed from OCI plaform images in OCI are automatically managed by default.
To manage modules for an Oracle Linux 8 instance in OCI, go to Compute from the left OCI main menu, click on Instances, and select your instance. Click on OS Management under the Resources menu options. Then from the right actions menu, select View OS Management details.
OSMS DashboardFor Oracle Linux 8 instances, the Modules selection is available on the left OS Management Resources menu. Click on the Modules option to view and interact with the modules, streams, and profiles of an instance. Oracle Linux 8 provides many modules and this can make it challenging to keep track. With the Modules page, you can easily view the modules that are available for your instance, including the stream version, installed profiles, and module status. You can quickly find specific modules to manage by entering a substring of the module name in the search tool.
OSMS OL8 ModulesOS Management Service makes it easy to switch between different AppStreams in a module all through the OS Management console. Oracle Linux 8 modules and AppStreams provide you with the flexibility to access newer and multiple versions of software, programming languages, and tools throughout the lifecycle of the OS instance, unlike previous versions.
You can choose to update the module stream and installed profiles, and change the status by selecting the right Edit Module option for a selected module.
OSMS OL8 Edit ModuleThe Edit Module option allows you to enable or disable module streams, install or remove profiles, and easily switch between module streams. Note that a module stream must be enabled before installing a profile, and you cannot disable a module stream if a profile is installed.
When you have selected your changes, click on Save Changes. One or more work requests are created to execute the changes. You can navigate to the Work Requests selection on the Modules page to check the status of the requests to confirm the changes have successfully completed.
Easy access to module streams and profiles
You can easily view the details of a specific version of a module by clicking on the module name under the Modules option for an Oracle 8 instance (see above). Drilling down on a module name allows you to view available versions of the module streams, state, and profiles. You can quickly identify a module stream's current and available profiles, and easily switch or update the profiles for your applications with just a few clicks.
OSMS OL8 Module StreamsYou can select a specific version of a module stream to display the available profiles, their state, and package list details.
OSMS OL8 Module ProfilesFurther details are available when you click on the package name, which will provide the file list and dependencies information.
Integrated management for Oracle Linux instances
OS Management Service does more than simplify module management for Oracle Linux 8 instances. It makes it easy to manage all your Oracle Linux 6, 7, and 8, and Autonomous Linux instances deployed from OCI platform images with a single interface that is tighly integrated with OCI services such as OS Management resource discovery and monitoring, notifications, and more. It helps reduce errors typically caused by a more manual approach to OS administration, increases the reliability of your operating environment, and saves you time. It also saves you OS administration costs as the service is free to use for OCI subscribers.
Get started with Oracle Linux 8 and OS Management
Whether you are upgrading from Oracle Linux 7 or 6, taking advantage of Oracle Linux 8's newest features and increased performance, or looking for the best Red Hat Enterprise Linux compatible alternative for CentOS, Oracle Linux 8 is a great choice for a modern, open source, and cost effective OS for your Linux applications in OCI. Note that Oracle Linux 7 Premier Support ends July 2024, and Oracle Linux 6 Extended Support ends June 2024, so this may be a good time to consider upgrading to Oracle Linux 8.
New to OCI or Oracle Linux? You can get your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure account and claim your free cloud resources and credits by signing up today. To deploy an Oracle Linux instance on OCI, follow the instructions here – it only takes minutes to launch.
Here are some additional resources to help you get started:
Oracle Linux 8 (documentation)
OS Management (documentation)
Oracle Cloud Free Tier (web page)

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Added on May 24 2022