Amazon’s AWS Releases Fedora-Based, Cloud-Optimized ‘Amazon Linux 2023’
“AWS has provided you with a cloud-optimized Linux distribution since 2010,” notes the cloud service’s blog. This week they announced the third generation of Amazon’s Linux distro: ‘Amazon Linux 2023’.
Every generation of Amazon Linux distribution is secured, optimized for the cloud, and receives long-term AWS support…. Deploying your workloads on Amazon Linux 2023 gives you three major benefits: a high-security standard, a predictable lifecycle, and a consistent update experience.
Let’s look at security first. Amazon Linux 2023 includes preconfigured security policies that make it easy for you to implement common industry guidelines. You can configure these policies at launch time or run time. For example, you can configure the system crypto policy to enforce system-wide usage of a specific set of cipher suites, TLS versions, or acceptable parameters in certificates and key exchanges. Also, the Linux kernel has many hardening features enabled by default….
When looking for a base to serve as a starting point for Amazon Linux 2023, Fedora was the best choice. We found that Fedora’s core tenets (Freedom, Friends, Features, First) resonate well with our vision for Amazon Linux. However, Amazon Linux focuses on a long-term, stable OS for the cloud, which is a notably different release cycle and lifecycle than Fedora. Amazon Linux 2023 provides updated versions of open-source software, a larger variety of packages, and frequent releases.
Amazon Linux 2023 isn’t directly comparable to any specific Fedora release. The Amazon Linux 2023 GA version includes components from Fedora 34, 35, and 36. Some of the components are the same as the components in Fedora, and some are modified. Other components more closely resemble the components in CentOS Stream 9 or were developed independently. The Amazon Linux kernel, on its side, is sourced from the long-term support options that are on kernel.org, chosen independently from the kernel provided by Fedora.
Like every good citizen in the open-source community, we give back and contribute our changes to upstream distributions and sources for the benefit of the entire community. Amazon Linux 2023 itself is open source.
Their announcement notes that Amazon Linux is the most used Linux distribution on AWS, with hundreds of thousands of their customers already using Amazon Linux 2.
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