Has it been six months since we last heard Oracle CEO Larry Ellison making noise about jumping into the open source market with an Oracle version of the Linux operating system? The only thing Oracle needs to offer a complete software stack, he told the Financial Times back in April, is an operating system, and Linux makes sense.
Given that they were made shortly after the open source shopping spree in which the company purchased Sleepycat, and immediately before the announcement that Red Hat had acquired open source middleware provider JBoss, rumors started to fly that Oracle would buy either Red Hat or Novell to get its hands on a Linux distro, or even develop its own version.
Apparently, Ellison is talking again. This time, though, industry speculation centers around whether Oracle will simply deepen its existing partnership with Red Hat or create a new one with Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu distribution.
ZDNet blogger David Berlind points out that Ubuntu is currently in the process of certifying its server OS to Oracle's major products, and that Canonical confirms discussions with the database giant. But Ubuntu creator Mark Shuttleworth says that Oracle is good at supporting the parts of Linux that Oracle products require, but he isn't convinced that announcements of an Oracle OS are imminent.
Red Hat SVP Marc Fleury doubts Oracle will put up with all the coding, testing and other headaches that come with an operating system launch, and according to CIO Today, he laughs off the idea that an Oracle version of Linux would be the death of Red Hat's business model.