Amazon has recently launched the very first stable release of their new general-purpose distribution called Amazon Linux 2023. The distribution is optimized specifically for cloud environments, while still maintaining integration with the advanced Amazon EC2 service capabilities and tools. The new LTS version of the distribution replaces the old Amazon Linux, which was based on the Centos package base Fedora Linux.
The new Amazon Linux 2023 distribution is designed to support multiple architectures such as X86_64 and ARM64 (AARCH64). Although it is primarily intended for use in AWS (Amazon Web Services), it can also be utilized in a universal image of a virtual machine, which can be used in both local systems and other cloud environments.
Amazon Linux 2023 is equipped with a unified update structure, which implies the formation of new significant releases after a two-year span, with additional quarterly updates in between. Every new significant issue branches out from the relevant Fedora Linux release at that time. Each minor release plans to include new versions of popular packages such as Python, Java, Ansible and Docker, but these versions will be delivered in separate named space. The total support time of each issue will last five years, with two years in the active development phase, and three years in the support phase with corrective updates.
Amazon Linux 2023 was prepared using the latest components from Fedora 34, 35, and 36 with additional support from CentoS Stream 9. The Linux distribution uses its own core based on LTS-Jadra 6.1 from Kernel.org and is supported regardless of Fedora. To update the kernel version, Amazon Linux 2023 also utilizes Live Patching technology, which can fix vulnerabilities and apply significant corrections to the core of the system without having to restart it.
The new release of Amazon Linux 2023 marks several significant changes from previous versions, including the transition to the Fedora Linux package base, the default system of compulsory Selinux control in the mode “Enforcing,” and the use of additional capabilities such as kernel modules that require digital signature. The performance of the distribution has also been improved, while the load time has been reduced. Finally, it is worth noting that Amazon Linux 2023 allows for the use of file systems other than XFS for the root section.