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Amazon Web Services has announced an open-source operating system for software containers. The system can run on bare metal servers or virtual machines.

Bottlerocket is currently only available in preview. The operating system consists only of the components that are absolutely necessary to get containers running. Both Docker images and other similar formats that comply with the Open Container Initiative or the OCI image format are compatible.

Containers need a host operating system. However, the majority run on general OS systems that have never been designed for that purpose. This means that it is much more difficult to automate workloads on those systems.

Amazon has therefore set up Bottlerocket, which can be updated in one step instead of ‘package-by-package’ as often happens with other systems. The idea is to make it easier for users to automate OS updates via container services such as Amazon EKS.

“Instead of a package-by-package update system, Bottlerocket uses a simple, image-based model that enables fast and complete rollback when needed,” says AWS evangelist Jeff Barr. “This reduces the risk of conflicts and errors, and makes it easier to confidently apply updates using orchestrators such as EKS.”

In addition, according to AWS, this type of full updates also helps to increase the frequency of updates for container apps, as there are fewer update errors. Easier rollbacks when problems occur also contribute to this.