Amazon has recently announced the general availability of Amazon Linux 2023. The latest cloud-optimized Linux distribution is designed to improve security and delivers a predictable lifecycle as well as deterministic updates.
Amazon Linux 2023 introduces new pre-configured security policies to help customers adhere to industry standards. IT administrators can configure these policies at launch or runtime for end users in their organizations. Amazon has also turned on several Linux kernel hardening features by default to boost security.
Additionally, Amazon has announced its plans to release major updates to its operating system every two years. The bi-annual updates should include security and performance enhancements for customers. The company also expects to release significant changes to the kernel, OpenSSL, toolchain, GLib C, and other utilities and system libraries.
Amazon has also promised to release quarterly updates with new capabilities, security updates, and bug fixes. The quarterly updates might bring software packages like Docker/Ansible and language runtimes such as Java or Python.
“Each major version, including 2023, will come with five years of long-term support. After the initial two-year period, each major version enters a three-year maintenance period. During the maintenance period, it will continue to receive security bug fixes and patches as soon as they are available. This support commitment gives you the stability you need to manage long project lifecycles,” Amazon explained.
Lastly, Amazon Linux 2023 uses versioned repositories to provide deterministic updates. The company has used Fedora’s dnf instead of yum to implement the change. It should make it easier for IT admins to ensure that the package versions are consistent across all systems.
To get started with Amazon Linux 2023, customers can use the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), the EC2 run-instances API, and any of the four Amazon Linux 2023 AMIs. Amazon provides support for x86_64 and ARM machine architectures as well as standard and minimal sizes. The standard version comes with the basic applications and Amazon Linux 2023 AMIs include the basic utilities and tools.