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AWS Releases Prelim Amazon Linux 2 Server

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) this week announced the release of its next Linux server OS, Amazon Linux 2.

Dubbed build 2017.12, the preliminary version of Amazon Linux 2 is now generally available to all public AWS regions. Described as a "candidate" release in the AWS announcement, the final build is yet to come.

According to AWS, Amazon Linux 2 "provides a high performance, stable, and secure execution environment for cloud and enterprise applications," and will include five years of support from AWS, including platform updates and security patches.

Unlike its predecessor, Amazon Linux 2 can be deployed on-premises via a virtual machine image. This option supports Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware and Oracle VM VirtualBox systems. Amazon Linux 2 is also available as a Docker container image or as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI).

With the Amazon Linux 2 release, AWS is also introducing a new "Amazon Linux Extras" feature that will let users install new versions of common applications -- including Python, Ansible, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, Redis and others -- without risking conflict with the underlying OS. As AWS explained in this lengthy FAQ:

Extras introduces the notion of topics to select software bundles. Each topic contains all the dependencies required for the software to install and function on Amazon Linux 2. For example, Rust is an Extras topic in the curated list provide by Amazon. It provides the toolchain and runtimes for Rust, the systems programming language. This topic includes the cmake build system for Rust, cargo - the rust package manager, and the LLVM based compiler toolchain for Rust. The packages associated with each topic are consumed via the well-known yum installation process.

More information on Amazon Linux 2 is available. Because this release is still a preliminary build, the final Amazon Linux 2 version might include some changes.

As for its predecessor, AWS said the last update for the original Amazon Linux product was build 2017.09, released this past October. However, AWS will continue to issue security updates for build 2017.09 for another two years.

About the Author

Gladys Rama is the senior site producer for Redmondmag.com, RCPmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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