The chief challenge for porting DTrace to Linux has been around supporting the older Linux kernels, Fox said. The DTrace core works well, but "subtle kernel differences" between Linux and Solaris can lead to kernel panics or instability, he said. And unlike Solaris, each new version of the Linux kernel usually requires some changes in DTrace.
Unlike Oracle's version, however, Fox's port of DTrace works across multiple distributions, including CentOS, Fedora, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), Suse, and Arch, for versions 2.6.18 to 3.6 of the Linux kernel. It also works as a guest on the Xen hypervisor, for i386 and AMD64 platforms.
Oracle Linux is Oracle's own Linux distribution -- one, like CentOS, heavily based on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Oracle Linux, however, comes with a specialized kernel focused on security that is maintained by Oracle.
Other new features to Oracle Linux 6.4 include support for XFS, which is a high-performance scalable file system, and an update to its KSplice kernel updater. KSplice provides the ability to update the operating system kernel without taking the system offline. This new version allows the kernel to be updated even if the system is not connected to the Internet at the time of the update.