Amazon Linux 2022

237 points17
linpack219 hours ago

As a happy user of AWS Linux 2, it is extremely disappointing that they're no longer providing a drop-in RHEL replacement for EC2. I don't see any mention of things we and many large shops like ours care about - long term support and RHEL compatibility.

We've been very vocal to AWS product managers and solution architects about our needs for an Amazon Linux 3 that is a refresh over AWS Linux 2 (at least 5 years support with RHEL 8 compatibility, free kernel patching w/o reboots, official support from datadog, vmware images). Sad that we haven't been heard. We'll now need to plan to move over 20k instances to Rocky Linux.

I suspect that the move to using Fedora has something to do with changes to the CentOS project that AWS Linux 2 forked. Let's hope the beancounters at IBM doesn't have other plans for Fedora.

pmorici8 hours ago

You could pay Red Hat for licenses if it's that important to you. But as far as I can tell Amazon is a major supporter of Rocky Linux so sounds like they heard you and are giving you exactly what you want.

jaboutboul5 hours ago

Actually Amazon is just providing them with open source credits, much like they do for every other open source project.

hdjjhhvvhga1 hour ago


kodah39 minutes ago

I'm confused about what data dog has to do with running an operating system and what RHEL 8 compatibility means. Kernel patching is a feature of a good number of free operating systems. As for LTS, I really wish that every company that griped about long term support for an OS would volunteer to pay 2-3 engineers to contribute to OS development. You'd probably see a lot more sustainable OS ecosystem if that happened.

proteinfolding5 hours ago

I work at a large bank and we are also sad they didn't release another RHEL compatible distro. We prefer not to pay RH subscription fees and are now looking at both Rocky and Oracle Linux. Can I contact you to share notes on approaching such a migration from AL2?

In addition to RHEL compatibility, AL2 worked well because our existing support plan with AWS covered it. It also came with free kernel 'live' patches unlike others (except Oracle).

mhoad50 minutes ago

I don’t imagine this is really the kind of thing you can get into publicly but I’d love to know more about why a bank of all places doesn’t want to pay for RHEL and just go with the free fork instead.

shaicoleman1 hour ago

"Amazon Linux 2022 includes kernel live patching functionality" [1]

dralley7 hours ago

>I suspect that the move to using Fedora has something to do with changes to the CentOS project that AWS Linux 2 forked. Let's hope the beancounters at IBM doesn't have other plans for Fedora.

It does not, according to Amazon themselves.

Disclosure: I work at Red Hat.

JustinGarrison4 hours ago

I work at AWS but not in the AL team. I’m curious what parts of AL2022 don’t meet your needs? It’ll have 5 years of support and live kernel patching. Just like AL2 I’m assuming official partner support is coming soon (AL2022 is still in preview release)

mst1 hour ago

It seemed to read pretty clearly to me that "being its own Fedora derivative and therefore not as easy to trust for RHELish workloads as something like Rocky" is the sticking point, though 'mst needs more coffee' is always a possibility here.

Similarly had amazon created their own Debian derivative I'm not sure it'd be that tempting to users whose baseline is Ubuntu.

circularfoyers8 hours ago

> Let's hope the beancounters at IBM doesn't have other plans for Fedora.

What do you think they would potentially do? Fedora is the upstream for RHEL, it's integral to it. Part of the reason they dropped support for CentOS was because it didn't serve to benefit RHEL very much.

jeppesen-io6 hours ago

> We'll now need to plan to move over 20k instances to Rocky Linux.

No judgement - curious, what does Rocky give vs. al2022? RPM compatibility? Or maybe, what do you like about RHEL compatibility?

sandGorgon5 hours ago

compliance i suspect. If you're working in compliance heavy industries, then RHEL certification is signed off on.

Any other linux (including Rocky Linux) will need to be painfully certified.

jeppesen-io4 hours ago

That makes sense, but wouldn't you expect al2022 to reach compliance before Rocky?

I just deal with iso cert, so not clear on possible requirements

someguydave3 hours ago

why would amazon linux be a suitable substitute for genuine RHEL if compliance is an issue?

whydid8 hours ago

It's almost like RH/IBM made this change to prevent AWS/Oracle from cloning their OS!

symlinkk5 hours ago

I don’t understand your mindset at all. You’re moving thousands of instances that are likely responsible for millions of dollars over to a community run project that is effectively in the hands of random people? Why don’t you just pay Red Hat for their work?

mst1 hour ago

If it's only thousands of instances that's unlikely to involve enough money for Red Hat to actually provide anything like meaningful support, from what I can tell from talking to RH customers of various sizes - but it is likely to involve enough money that selling it to management as basically a moral license isn't going to work either.

Plus, honestly, per-system licensing plus cloud autoscaling isn't really anybody's idea of a good time.

teekert3 hours ago

I’d go for Alma Linux, but I get your point.

mark_l_watson16 hours ago

On AWS, I always now use Amazon's Linux distro. They also maintain their own version of OpenJDK.

As skeptical as I am about huge tech corps like Amazon, Google, etc., I have to admit I enjoy being their paying customer - nice experience. I find GCP and AWS a pleasure to use.

abrookewood5 hours ago

Just be aware that it isn't a drop in replacement. We were using AWS Corretto ( and had to back out because we had all sorts of connectivity issues in combination with Mulesoft Mule ESB. I suspect it was because Corretto deprecated a number of cipher suites, but we weren't able to determine for sure.

5e92cb50239222b4 hours ago

I doubt that.

Looks like they change branding and nothing else. Maybe a backported bugfix here or there.

m0zg14 hours ago

How do you develop for it though? Do you install it locally as well? Or do you only do interpreted languages and/or Java? I suppose Go would work across distros also (because it doesn't use libc), but that's all I can think of.

kawsper13 hours ago

I use their images locally with Qemu, here's an example of an address to a qcow2 image:
How does one find these links you might ask? Well, I haven't found a nice way other than this:

Find the AMIs (newest last)

$ aws ec2 describe-images --region eu-west-1 --owners amazon --filters 'Name=name,Values=amzn2-ami-hvm-*-x86_64-gp2' 'Name=state,Values=available' --output json | jq -r '.Images | sort_by(.CreationDate)'

      "Architecture": "x86_64",
      "CreationDate": "2021-11-09T04:50:55.000Z",
      "ImageId": "ami-09d4a659cdd8677be",
      "ImageLocation": "amazon/amzn2-ami-hvm-2.0.20211103.0-x86_64-gp2",
      "ImageType": "machine",
      "Public": true,
      "OwnerId": "137112412989",
      "PlatformDetails": "Linux/UNIX",
      "UsageOperation": "RunInstances",
      "State": "available",
      "BlockDeviceMappings": [
          "DeviceName": "/dev/xvda",
          "Ebs": {
            "DeleteOnTermination": true,
            "SnapshotId": "snap-0f312650dadc31d95",
            "VolumeSize": 8,
            "VolumeType": "gp2",
            "Encrypted": false
      "Description": "Amazon Linux 2 AMI 2.0.20211103.0 x86_64 HVM gp2",
      "EnaSupport": true,
     "Hypervisor": "xen",
      "ImageOwnerAlias": "amazon",
      "Name": "amzn2-ami-hvm-2.0.20211103.0-x86_64-gp2",
      "RootDeviceName": "/dev/xvda",
      "RootDeviceType": "ebs",
      "SriovNetSupport": "simple",
      "VirtualizationType": "hvm"
From the information returned you have to stich the version numbers and filenames into this format:
And if you did it right, you can now download the file.
my12312 hours ago exists too.

You'll also find VirtualBox, Hyper-V and VMWare ready images in there.

(and also arm64 ones)

coredog6410 hours ago

The latest Amazon Linux and Windows AMIs are available as public SSM parameters:

ISTR there’s also an SNS topic you can subscribe to if you want to do something automatically on new AMI release.

pjmlp51 minutes ago

I guess like in the good old UNIX days, by ssh (nee telnet), browser (nee X Windows) into devenvs.

shaicoleman14 hours ago

Currently you have to launch an EC2 instance to test it.

Once it's GA, they'll provide VM images and docker containers, so you'll be able to test it offline

dilyevsky13 hours ago

If I remember correctly Go does use libc by default if you link with net package (you can set CGO_ENABLED=0 to disable it but then you won’t get NSS). On openbsd it also switched back to using libc

wbl8 hours ago

You can also use a net specific build tag.

m0zg10 hours ago

TIL. Looks like you're right. I ran ldd on several Go binaries I have in my ~/bin (some of which do use networking), and while most of them did not depend on libc, one did. There goes yet another reason to prefer Go.

throwaway98439314 hours ago

You should just develop your apps in/with/for containers. The container contains all the dependencies for your app. This way you never have to think about the host OS ever again; your app "just works" (once you hook up the networking, environment, secrets, storage, logging, etc for whatever is running your container). That sounds like a lot of extra work, but actually it's just standardizing the things you should already be dealing with even if you didn't use containers. The end result is your app works more reliably and you can run it anywhere.

dharmab13 hours ago

Some of us are systems/infrastructure engineers who have to build the intermediate layer. You can't just lay a dockerfile on top of a kernel and hope the system learns how to run it by osmosis.

Yes there are services like Fargate but they're not cost efficient for many cases.

throwaway9843934 hours ago

The person was asking how they should develop their app to run on a particular host. If they need to run/deploy it, they can use the EC2 Instance Launch Wizard to set everything up in the console, log in and install Docker, use to pull their container, and then run it.

Or, like you suggest, they could use an AWS service to manage their container, like App Runner, or Lightsail, or EKS, EKS Fargate, EKS Anywhere, ECS, ECS Fargate, ECS Anywhere, ROSA, Greengrass, App2Container, Elastic Beanstalk, or Lambda. There are plenty of guides on AWS's website on how to use them.

Cost is mostly irrelevant to the conversation, as you can run containers anywhere (other than, say, a CloudFlare worker); pay for any infrastructure you want and then run the container there.

fl0ki12 hours ago

This is true, but people focusing on only these benefits often miss the fact that they still have to update the image contents and re-deploy as soon as security patches are available.

This is like updating the direct dependencies of your service itself (e.g. cargo audit -> cargo update) but anecdotally I'm seeing many people neglect the image and sometimes even pin specific versions and miss potential updates even when they do later rebuild it.

We take unattended upgrades for granted on Debian-based servers, and that will likely help the Docker host system, but I'm not aware of anything nearly as automated for rebuilding and redeploying the images themselves.

It could be part of your CI/CD pipeline but that in itself is a lot of extra setup and must not be neglected, and it must make sense, e.g. pin in a way that will still pick up security patches and have a dependency audit as part of CI/CD to report when the patching hasn't been enough (e.g. due to semver constraints).

throwaway9843934 hours ago

Docker's website has pretty sweet automation that you can use to re-build your containers automatically when the base image changes.

What you describe isn't hard to achieve. Write a one-line cron job that gets the latest packages for your container's base, writes them to a file, commits it to Git, and pushes it. Then set up a Git webhook that runs a script you have to build your container with a new version and push that to a dev instance. Add some tests, and you have an entire CI/CD process with just one cron job and one Git webhook.

takeda12 hours ago

> You should just develop your apps in/with/for containers. The container contains all the dependencies for your app. This way you never have to think about the host OS ever again; your app "just works" (once you hook up the networking, environment, secrets, storage, logging, etc for whatever is running your container). That sounds like a lot of extra work, but actually it's just standardizing the things you should already be dealing with even if you didn't use containers. The end result is your app works more reliably and you can run it anywhere.

This is a false sense of reproducibility. I encountered cases where container worked well on one machine and crashed or had weird bugs on another one.

oofbey9 hours ago

This happens, but is pretty rare. Using containers generally leads to much more reliable portability than trying to manage all the dependencies by hand.

xyzzy_plugh10 hours ago

> you never have to think about the host OS ever again

This is literally one of the only things that is not included in a container image. The Linux kernel is the Operating System and you are subject to differences in its configuration depending on where the container is running. You are referring to the distribution.

FpUser7 hours ago

Why? I develop C++ servers for Linux. I have script that can build production server from nothing with all the dependencies needed, deploy database and then pull down source build executable run tests and install it as a daemon. I test if from scratch every once in a while just in case and did not have any troubles for years.

AviationAtom13 hours ago

Most folks have both dev and prod instances.

alexdong14 hours ago

Are there any quantities data for the performance comparison like they did for Aurora vs MySQL? Thanks

takeda12 hours ago

Well, it is generally more likely to be tuned to AWS, containing right drivers and tools installed than a default distro you would download from the website, but the images that are available on AWS would likely also tuned similarly. If there are some issues where other image is noticeable worse they would look into AmazonLinux and apply the changes from it.

I would say that AmazonLinux is likely to have less issues with latest instance types (if they change something "hardware" wise, for example when AWS started exposing EBS using NVMe drivers there were some issues originally).

iou14 hours ago

I'm a big SELinux fan and user.

Enabling it won't in itself secure your company's applications, as the default policies in Fedora only apply to installed services (e.g ssh) that have a policy written for them.

This is probably right on the boundary of the shared-security-model, but I think it would be great if they also offered easier ways for application developers to leverage the advertised feature.

CameronNemo13 hours ago

FWIW, Docker, podman, LXC, and Kubernetes will apply SELinux policies to containers automatically if you have that support enabled at build time (many distributions do have it enabled, esp Fedora family) and SELinux enabled at runtime. Likewise for AppArmor.

iou11 hours ago


& AWS are active in this area moreso with bottlerocket-os

The recent release even incorporating the use of a feature I had previously dismissed as useless (MCS) is really quite neat

imachine1980_12 hours ago

most servers use debian or ubuntu, i think this will be greate and maybe even a killer feuture to change a little the landscape, but i don't think is as much impact as we wish in at least the next 5 years

technofiend10 hours ago

You're not wrong, but writing selinux policy isn't that complicated. You can easily look at ausearch output to understand why a constrained process failed and brute force a policy using audit2allow. Although as the policy writer becomes more familiar with selinux and their app, they can write better policy.

iou10 hours ago

I do know this, I'm currently putting together a training course on authoring SELinux policy.

Surely the fact that 'disabling SELinux' is the top result on the subject in Google or StackOverflow will tell you that you would be in the minority of developers that like working with it and find it easy to do so.

I think there's more to it than just simply running an app without receiving an AVC complaint in auditd, you need to be able to test that the controls you put in place actually protect the application in some way, this does not come for free with audit2allow and other such generative tools.

cpncrunch4 hours ago

The problem I found (on Centos 8) is that audit sometimes denies but nothing is logged. I found this is the case when an apache script tries to kill another process. It required 2 separate policies: one of which audit2allow came up with, and another I had to figure out myself after a whole bunch of time scouring stackoverflow. After that I just gave up on selinux and turned it off, as I just couldn't trust it.

If it actually did what it was supposed to do in a reasonable manner, people would use it.

recentdarkness4 hours ago

> The problem I found (on Centos 8) is that audit sometimes denies but nothing is logged

I doubt that. journalctl has always given me something when there was an actual denial. You might just not have looked right

michaelt10 hours ago

For some applications, certainly.

But for applications with a large feature set - e.g. a web browser - if the policy author didn't use a particular feature - e.g. U2F security key support - you might be introducing a new source of problems that only advanced users can easily solve.

Not that I imagine Amazon Linux is used for web browsing very often....

cpach14 hours ago

I don’t understand why this is based on Fedora. Isn’t that more of a desktop distro…? And this seems more aimed at virtual machines running on EC2…? Or am I missing something?

It’s also interesting that at the same time Amazon is sponsoring Rocky Linux: (Which is based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.)

shaicoleman14 hours ago

"Our release cadence (new major version every 2 years) best lines up with a highly predictable release cadence of an upstream distribution such as Fedora."

"We believe that having Fedora as upstream allows us to meet the needs of the customers that we talked to in terms of flexibility and pulling in newer packages."

bamboozled13 hours ago

Stability is important but less and less people seem to want to run 4 year old software.

nicce7 hours ago

It depends on how do you define stability. Fedora packages are very stable in terms of bugs, but the problem of changes between versions might cause extra work. However, many run their services in containers anyway, and you can use the latest packages on your host.

cpach13 hours ago

I think it depends quite a bit on the circumstances.

And as long as the kernel is decently fresh, one can run new shiny software using containers instead.

strzibny1 hour ago

No, Fedora is general purpose.

Source: Fedora developer, previously employed at Red Hat as a Linux packager.

drran24 minutes ago

Fedora works badly on Raspberry PI.

bluedino14 hours ago

Fedora has a server edition, and everything in RHEL/CentOS is old

afroboy13 hours ago

> and everything in RHEL/CentOS is old

This is the whole reason why people use CentOS and Debian as server side old stable and most importantly security patch. if you need your dev stack as newest version just installed it on the old stable OS base so you can worry only on your dev stack.

dharmab13 hours ago

Speaking as an ex-platform engineer, we needed to be on much newer kernel versions to leverage ebpf and other modern features

chasil11 hours ago
darkr13 hours ago

> CentOS and Debian as server side old stable and most importantly security patch

Historically, CentOS has been very slow to release security patches, compared to upstream (RHEL). And for anything non-critical (but still often high) Debian stable tends to receive fixes a lot later than unstable, and sometimes never due to need to backport.

strzibny1 hour ago

Not completely true since the introduction of module packages. You can now get more up-to-date packages within CentOS Stream/RHEL.

m4rtink8 hours ago

Fedora is the source and integration space for many things these days, not just the Fedora Workstation any more. Its the upstream for RHEL/CentOS but also has a ton of editions and spins, including Fedora CoreOO, Fedora IoT, Fedora Silverblue, etc.

AviationAtom14 hours ago

Fedora is the upstream for RHEL, and was the upstream for CentOS. While many folks use Fedora as a desktop OS alternative to Ubuntu, Fedora was not designed with desktops in mind.

You are correct saying it is designed for EC2 instances, as it is the de facto default image for EC2 instances, despite many folks choosing an Ubuntu image instead.

staticassertion12 hours ago

Looks interesting. SELinux by default is certainly a win, it seems that Linux has finally hit a tipping point where SELinux is a reasonable option (ie: someone else is going to do the work for you).

Unfortunately I'm just way more used to debian based systems, and I feel like having a mismatch in production would just lead to friction.

jlawer12 hours ago

RHEL running with SELinux enabled has been a thing since I worked at Red Hat 12 years ago, and Amazon Linux 2 was based on a CentOS upstream that had the capability of running in that way. All certification had to happen with SELinux enabled, and any distro provided service was setup to run with full restrictions, and it was the default on for all Professional Services work.

However it became a problem once you used 3rd party software as step 1 of most install guides was to disable SELinux.

chasil11 hours ago

I use systemd units to start Oracle databases.

These come up unconfined by default in RHEL 7, but this behavior changed in RHEL 8.

I don't remember the specifics, but Oracle support confirmed that it should be assigned unconfined in the newer OS.

This is essentially "setenforce 0" for a process, as I understand it.

pjmlp47 minutes ago

Besides the sibling answers, it has been enabled by default on Android for quite some time now, it is one of the mechanisms how they enforce the NDK being mostly about extending the Java/Kotlin userspace with native code and nothing else.

takeda12 hours ago

In RedHat or CentOS it was enabled by default as well for a long while. The problem was that if you installed custom software (not packaged by the distro) you had two options:

- create and install SELinux rules for it

- disable SELinux

Unfortunately most did not bother to learn how to do the first option so they go with the 2nd.

edgyquant9 hours ago

SELinux has always been a reasonable option but it’s just scarier than people are used to. I used Fedora for a couple of years and was surprised by how straight forward it was once I understood it.

vosper12 hours ago

Perhaps someone could give me some advice?

I work alongside a small team maintaining quite a lot of machines on AWS. They're struggling (IMHO) to manually apply all of the security patches their scanning tool identifies. My theory is that Amazon Linux gets patched frequently, and so they'd be better off spending time normalizing our EC2 infra so that every instance is running Amazon Linux, and then work on an easy rollout mechanism to deploy the latest version.

Has anyone got any thoughts on this? It wouldn't obviate the need for patching completely, but I feel like AWS is already doing some of this work for us, so we should take advantage.

LilBytes12 hours ago

For those few AMI's that are long lived, AWS SSM Patch Manager is your friend. Naturally take care to roll out patches in a rolling block, you don't want to apply a broken patch everywhere in the same day :)

belval11 hours ago

I second this, we use it to manage a bigger fleet with a few hundred machines. One thing to keep in mind though is that it will not apply kernel updates (as those require a reboot) so you still need to account for it.

mcbain10 hours ago

I haven’t tried this yet (our instances need other changes to get to this point) but AL2 can support live kernel patching:

podc10 hours ago

How do you apply kernel updates? Since rebooting anyway do you just throw the ec2 instance away at this point and launch a new one with latest image (and thus kernel updates)?

voidfunc12 hours ago

Every mainstream upstream Linux vendor is continuously pushing updated AMIs. It shouldn’t really matter whether you solve this with Ubuntu or Amazon Linux or RHEL/CentOS.

Sounds like you need a better process / automation for rolling updates. Either continuously rebuilt golden images or rolling security patches, or turning on your distros unattended upgrade mechanism could be solutions depending on your environment.

hayd11 hours ago

Recently we moved to use EC2 Image Builder, and it's been working great:

Note: We were already mostly Launch Templates/ASGs, so updates are always new instances (rather than patching long-running ones).

LilBytes4 hours ago

For the life of me I never got Image Builder working in a decent state.

I opted for Packer and I've been very happy with it. Though with that said I'm still using AWS SSM Patch Manager for a few outliers that are long lived.

Like. You, Okta AD agent that can only be programmatically installed using AHK. :-/

rusteh112 hours ago

Yes, one of the core benefits of a provider like AWS is that they provide tooling to treat individual instances as immutable entities that you simply replace without any interruption to your users. You should focus on expressing the infrastructure as code and using mechanisms like ASGs to roll out new instances based on the latest Amazon provided AMIs.

gtirloni12 hours ago

If you can, definitely standardize on as few distros as possible. It'll make applying patches (and learning when things go wrong, because they will) much easier.

We used to have all sorts of distros that people just felt like using without worrying about their maintainability. We kept fighting fires to keep everything running. Once we standardized on a single distro (CentOS at the time), everything started working much more smoothly. We could have picked Debian, Ubuntu, it doesn't matter.

That being said, Amazon Linux 2 is pretty well maintained. Most things (all?) that work on RHEL, will work on it. You may need to use 3rd-party repos if you want really newer stuff (eg. PHP) but that's inherent to such LTS releases. That situation is expected to improve with the improvements that adopting Fedora brings in AL2022 but I need to catch up.

windowsworkstoo12 hours ago

Yep we do this, works good - you can either trigger a server refresh from SNS (AWS notifies you of certain AMI updates) or we just rebuild our underlying fleet each week with the most current AL2 AMI

shaicoleman14 hours ago


* Will be released on a predictable schedule every 2 years, supported for 5 years. Minor releases every quarter.

* GA will be based on Fedora 35. Preview is currently based on Fedora 34

* There's no official statement regarding compatibility with Fedora packages

* SELinux will be enforcing by default

* Kernel will be a longterm version, not the Fedora one

* VM images/docker containers will be officially available when GA. For now you can download images unoffically [1]

* Unofficial ETA is Q2 2022. For reference, AL2 is currently officially supported until June 30, 2023.


chronogram12 hours ago

You make no mention of it being a rebuild of RHEL 9 beta, so are they making their own EL based on F35 or is it based on RHEL 9?

shaicoleman11 hours ago

It's not based on RHEL. They're making their own distro which is based on Fedora.

smarx0079 hours ago

This sounds closer to what CentOS Stream is planning to be but with a 2-year release cadence instead of 3?

bloopernova8 hours ago

Hopefully Fedora gets a lot of extra eyes and brains because of this. Cool, it's been my desktop OS for a long time.

Andrex6 hours ago

I used it from 2012-2015 on my main machine, and now after a mix of Windows, macOS and Chrome OS, I'm back to Fedora as of this week. I enjoy Fedora but I really like Gnome.

It was also the only real option for me given Ubuntu's continued push for Snap, which I just don't like.

1_player1 hour ago

I have used Arch Linux for 10+ years, then shortly macOS and Windows, and to Fedora as of yesterday as well. Red Hat is employing and paying for most of the desktop and server userspace developers (GNOME, systemd, pipewire, podman, ostree), I might as well use their official distro. It's the closest thing to bleeding edge and forward looking distribution that dictates the pace for everybody else to follow. I like that.

I liked ubuntu when it first released, but modern day Canonical is a shell of its former self. Snap is their sad attempt at EEE from Microsoft's playbook. And I have never liked Debian, even when it's been running on my servers since forever.

saurik12 hours ago

Why do people choose Amazon Linux over, say, an Ubuntu LTS?

whalesalad10 hours ago

There are really two primary camps - RedHat based (CentOS, Rocky Linux, Amazon Linux, etc) and Debian based (Debian, Ubuntu, etc). There are of course many other bloodlines - but these are the most common in production environments and more specifically cloud env. If you are familiar with one version of linux that is RH based, you will tend to gravitate to others with similar DNA. Likewise, if you come from Debian/Ubuntu you will tend to stick with those. At the end of the day they are both Linux, but each has their own approach to configuration, where things go, package management, etc.

You really can't go wrong with either - use what you prefer.

saurik4 hours ago

FWIW, the real brunt of my question was why one would go with a cloud-provider specific operating system over one from a group like Canonical or RedHat, as I would naively expect it to have less support and particularly less ecosystem-wide understanding and experience while not being available for other systems, and so it would seem like an easily-avoidable source of vendor lock-in. If I were be part of Camp RedHat I would personally use CentOS, not "Amazon Linux", unless there was some extremely good reason why Amazon Linux in specific was awesome.

herodoturtle2 hours ago

> it would seem like an easily-avoidable source of vendor lock-in

I have the same question / concern.

I think it's great that AWS are offering their own flavour of Linux, but doesn't that result in added risk of vendor lock-in?

Whereas with an Ubuntu instance, one can change cloud providers quite easily [0], without being tied into AWS-specific Linux configurations [1].

[0] I think AWS is great, so this is more a hypothetical scenario.

[1] I say this knowing little about AWS Linux and the degree to which it has custom configurations that can't easily plug-and-play on other distros.

Would appreciate insight from someone who can speak to this risk from experience.

strzibny1 hour ago

A level of support within AWS.

...and with this new version, a great support for SELinux too (because of Fedora). Some don't like the push for Snaps as well.

I think SELinux is one of the biggest differences and the hardest to adapt to (as changing apt to dnf is not hard).

If you want a good starter on SELinux, my whole book on deployment[0] is SELinux ready with a full dedicated chapter on SELinux and a SELinux cheatsheet. Today also with a 33% off for Black Friday ("blackfriday" discount code at checkout).


shaicoleman11 hours ago

While I prefer Ubuntu myself, we use Amazon Linux because:

* It has support for all new instances/hardware/services on day 1

* It's optimised for AWS, sometimes a bit faster than Ubuntu

* It has a good balance of freshness, stability and long term support

* It comes with integrations to all of AWS services and ecosystem

* It's the default choice, and often the least hassle

* It's fully supported by AWS

* It's the only realistic choice for some services (e.g. Lambda, Elastic Beanstalk)

fulafel52 minutes ago

Lots of developers / dev orgs are AWS users first, Linux users second and so they don't have strong opinions or experience about that.

throwdbaaway11 hours ago

On AWS, there are serious issues such as, that only requires a simple sysctl workaround, yet AWS would only put the workaround into the Amazon Linux images.

Meanwhile, the same issue was actually fixed once and for all on GCP:

jmnicolas2 hours ago

Can I get an ISO of this distro without having an Amazon account? I checked the few links on the page but found nothing.

jeppesen-io5 hours ago

Big fan of using a largely upstream Linux kernel. In general, I've been very happy with AWS Linux kernels vs. Ubuntu and CentOS in AWS

It's funny, I was just about to move to kernel 5.10 for amz Linux 2. Might just wait a bit for AL2022

proteinfolding5 hours ago

They yanked my favorite part of AL2, the extras repo with new packages from EPEL and Fedora.

SELinux by default is a welcome addition but I'm concerned it will break many apps.

rubyist5eva11 hours ago

An LTS distribution based on Fedora (and NOT RHEL) is something I've been wanting for a long time, but I don't think this is really gonna be for the non-cloud general use case?

Welp, better luck next time.

brnt2 hours ago

Same here. It's not clear to me if this distro is indeed viable for the desktop, and hoe exactly they support the Fedora packages past Fedora lifetime (or whether they'll even supply all of the Fedora repos).

A Fedora LTS is exactly what I'm looking for.

IceWreck2 hours ago

But RHEL is based on Fedora. Every X releases Red hat forks Fedora and builds the next major version of RHEL on top of it.

So RHEL/CentOS/Alma Linux/Rocky are Fedora LTS.

Shadonototra13 hours ago

I can see linux eclipsing all the current OS's, it already happened with smartphones, IOTs and the other little things (i forgot how they are called)

Only remaining piece is the desktop segment

macOS has a unix environment, so it'll stay relevant (for how long?)

windows has WSL, it's slow, i don't see myself using it since the host OS is a giant piece of shitty crap

MS missed a chance with Win11, they could have went full steam ARM with a Linux Distro, 100% native Android support, 100% cloud native support, 100% unix support as a host OS, i wouldn't use it myself because i despise the company and its culture, but i can see potential, and i smell a huge missed opportunity

Amazon it getting it right, even thought it's exclusively targeting for cloud usages

Marketing wise it's great and consistent with their offering

willbw13 hours ago

For Linux to conquer the desktop you'd need for it to beat out Windows or Mac for market share. For it to do that you'd need it to be have competitive usability for everyday people, and this is still far off. When I use my linux box at work I have to google for things like, "how do I enable this resolution for my monitor which isn't showing up" and then punch in a bunch of commands into the terminal.

The advantages of windows and mac these days are that a lot of stuff 'just works' and secondly that due to their 20-30 year history their desktop application ecosystem is much richer and also much more widely used. User interfaces are also more friendly in general.

There's no technical reason why these faults cannot be overcome, but there are significant hurdles in getting a third OS to gain major market share from the incumbents MS and Apple. The reason they have market share in servers is because the experience is better to develop on and it is free. The reason they have market share in mobile is that it was free and Google could build on top of it, and secondly that mobile was a brand new market so there were no incumbents with decades of history. I don't see those conditions replicated for desktop, especially when you consider that desktop is in decline and therefore less attractive to spend capital on.

If you want to make Ubuntu as nice as MacOS I think you need a private company willing to spend money and time in a concerted effort to get it to that point, which IMO won't happen.

AstroDogCatcher11 hours ago

> If you want to make Ubuntu as nice as MacOS I think you need a private company willing to spend money and time in a concerted effort to get it to that point, which IMO won't happen.

Canonical employees would like a word with you.

nix2352 minutes ago

Really and what would the say? Sorry for the blocking "App Store"? The bs we started with mir and never finished ubuntu touch? That all our "home made" code is proprietary?

willbw10 hours ago

Maybe they can do it if they 10x their revenue.

B1FF_PSUVM11 hours ago

> then punch in a bunch of commands into the terminal.

Microsoft are learning - try uninstalling the "Your Phone" application in Windows.

(Google it, paste the command into an Admin Powershell ...)

chasil11 hours ago

If Microsoft actually follows through with their plan to desupport Windows 10 in 2024, then (guessing) over half of their installed base will be orphaned.

Linux now bundles NTFS.

What if a rescue distro, that erased \Windows, and ran all the applications under Wine or appropriate emulation, existed at that desupport date?

Microsoft's desktop dominance would be over on that date. They would cling to corporate desktops, but the general consumer market would be lost.

ReactOS is another wildcard for 2024.

Shadonototra6 hours ago

microsoft desktop dominance is a myth

microsoft lost the application war, everything is web based nowadays

developpers moved on linux to deploy their web apps / servers

what's left? people moved to smartphones, even for games, smartphone generates more revenue than both console / desktop combined

WASM even more showcase it, the present and future is web based interfaces

chasil5 hours ago
ElectricalUnion11 hours ago

For a historical take - UNIX to Plan 9:

> Compared to Plan 9, Unix creaks and clanks and has obvious rust spots, but it gets the job done well enough to hold its position. There is a lesson here for ambitious system architects: the most dangerous enemy of a better solution is an existing codebase that is just good enough.[1]

Linux might be "better"; unfortunately Windows is just "good enough" for most people to not care.


Icathian13 hours ago

While I would love for this to happen, I just don't see it at all.

There are literally millions of Windows workstations or laptops across corporate campuses in the US, because at the end of the day what 95% of white collar workers need to do their jobs is MS Office and *maybe* one industry-specific LoB app.

charcircuit13 hours ago

Isn't MS Office a web app now?

mixmastamyk12 hours ago

Yes, and considering the google office, that percentage is a lot lower currently.

rch13 hours ago

Last I checked, WSL wasn't available for Windows Server, unfortunately.

my12312 hours ago

WSL1 only, not WSL2.

tim--10 hours ago
paranoidrobot11 hours ago

What's your use-case for WSL on Windows Server, if you don't mind me asking?

rawoke0836003 hours ago

The litmus test these days for distros are:

Will it remove my DE when I install steam ? /s

*LTT Video Series :D

Underphil3 hours ago

This is not a desktop distribution by any means. Keep the LTT nonsense to YouTube, please.

rawoke0836003 hours ago

Lol obvious! - Why so angry ?