2 min

AWS has introduced Amazon Linux 2023. The version of the open source operating system should offer users long-term support, as well as a higher security standard, a predictable lifecycle and a consistent update policy.

With the introduction of Amazon Linux 2023, the tech giant aims to offer not only more LTS support, but also more security, a clearer lifecycle and a better update policy.

On the security front, the Linux distribution offers pre-configured security policies. This makes it easier for administrators to implement certain common (security) guidelines.

The specific policies can be configured by start time or for run time. Also, in this release, the Linux kernel has gained more default enabled hardening features.

Lifecycle updates

To better manage and plan the lifecycle of the operating system, Amazon Linux gets new terms starting with version 2023. Starting with this version, a new major version of Amazon Linux will become available every two years. Consider improvements to the kernel, toolchain, Glib C, OpenSSL and other system libraries and tools.

Smaller updates also come out every quarter. These “minor” updates include such things as security updates, bug fixes and new features and packages. Each minor version is actually a cumulative update of the various updates.

These quarterly updates include, for example, the latest language runtimes such as Python or Java, but also other popular software such as Red Hat Ansible and Docker. Furthermore, security updates are also made available as soon as they are released.

Every major version, including v2023, will receive five years of LTS support. After the usual standard two-year support, versions of the Amazon Linux distribution will receive three more years of maintenance support.

The latter support includes security bug fixes and patches as they become available. According to the tech giant, this allows users to easily manage their lifecycle for long projects.

New update policy

Furthermore, Amazon Linux 2023 features another more specific update policy. This version now offers so-called “deterministic updates” for different versions of repositories.

The tech giant sees this as a flexible and consistent update mechanism. The distribution “locks” to a specific version of the Amazon Linux package repository, giving administrators control over how and when they include updates.

Amazon Linux 2023 is available immediately.

Tip: Oracle and Red Hat bring RHEL to OCI