Amazon Linux 2 includes packages and configurations that provide tight integration with many Amazon Web Services (AWS) services. Amazon Linux 2 comes with many AWS tools (e.g. AWS CLI) and cloud-init. These tools are designed to simplify the scripting of common administration tasks from within an instance and enable remote configuration of instances.
Long term support
Amazon Linux 2 comes with long-term support that includes security updates and bug fixes for 5 years.
Extras repository for bleeding edge software
Extras in Amazon Linux 2 provides you with bleeding edge software on a stable base of Amazon Linux 2. You no longer need to tradeoff stability for software freshness.
Amazon Linux 2 is available as a virtual machine image for on-premises use, enabling you to easily develop, test, and certify applications from a local development environment.
Amazon Linux 2 includes the widely adopted systemd init system which is used to bootstrap the user space as well as manage system processes.
EC2 optimized kernel & toolchain
Amazon Linux 2 includes newer version of compiler and build toolchain and LTS Kernel tuned for enhanced performance on Amazon EC2.
Secure by default
Amazon Linux 2 limits remote access by using SSH key pairs and by disabling remote root login. Additionally, Amazon Linux 2 reduces the number of non-critical packages which are installed on an instance, limiting exposure to potential security vulnerabilities. Security updates rated "critical" or "important" are automatically applied on the initial boot.
Security updates are provided via the Amazon Linux 2 yum repositories as well as via updated Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), VM and container images. Security alerts are published in the Amazon Linux AMI Security Center.
Kernel Live Patching
Amazon Linux 2 includes kernel live patching functionality. This enables you to patch critical and important security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel without reboot or downtime.