Posted On: Nov 19, 2021

Amazon Linux 2 is now available with an updated Linux kernel (5.10) as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). Kernel 5.10 brings a number of features and performance improvements, including optimizations for Intel Ice Lake processors and AWS Graviton2 processors powering the latest generation Amazon EC2 instances. Live patching for Kernel 5.10 is supported in Amazon Linux 2 for both x86 and ARM architectures.

The updated kernel 5.10 includes various security features including WireGuard VPN that helps setup a virtual private network with low attack surface and allows encryption with less overhead compared to alternatives. The updated kernel brings a kernel lockdown feature to prevent unauthorized modification of the kernel image and a number of BPF improvements, including the CO-RE (Compile Once - Run Everywhere). Customers will benefit from improved write performance, throughput, and support for the new exFAT system for better compatibility with storage devices. In addition, with the availability of MultiPath TCP (MPTCP), customers with several network interfaces can combine all available network paths to increase throughput and reduce network failures.

We recommend you use Amazon Linux 2 with kernel 5.10 when launching new instances to benefit from new features and performance improvements. Previous version of the kernel (4.14) will continue to be supported until the end of life date  for Amazon Linux 2 (06/2023).

You can launch Amazon Linux 2 with kernel 5.10 from AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell, RunInstances or via a AWS CloudFormation template. To learn more about Amazon Linux 2, please refer to the documentation.