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Amazon Linux 2023, a cloud-optimized Linux distro, is now available

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Earlier this week, Amazon announced the availability of Amazon Linux 2023, its third-generation Linux distribution. With this distribution, Amazon is promising three benefits: a high-security standard, a predictable lifecycle, and deterministic updates.

On the security front, Amazon says that its latest operating system comes with preconfigured security policies to help you set your system up to meet various common industry guidelines. The company says that these can be set during launch time or run time. Amazon Linux 2023 also comes with a hardened Linux kernel by default for added security.

With regards to the lifecycle, Amazon will release new versions of its operating system every two years. These bigger updates will bring big changes to the kernel, toolchain, GLib C, OpenSSL, and other system libraries and utilities. In addition to these, security updates will be made available when ready and there will be quarterly updates that include security updates, bug fixes, and new features and packages. These quarterly updates will update stuff like language runtimes and popular software packages.

Each version of Amazon Linux will be supported for five years but after the initial two years and the release of the subsequent version, a release will be put into its maintenance phase where it will just receive security bug fixes and patches when they’re ready. This will be ideal for customers who don’t want to upgrade their operating system all the time.

Explaining deterministic updates, Amazon said:

“Amazon Linux provides you with deterministic updates through versioned repositories, a flexible and consistent update mechanism. The distribution locks to a specific version of the Amazon Linux package repository, giving you control over how and when you absorb updates. By default, and in contrast with Amazon Linux 2, a dnf update command will not update your installed packages (dnf is the successor to yum). This helps to ensure that you are using the same package versions across your fleet.”

If you want to learn more and get started with Amazon Linux 2023, head on over to the product webpage.

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