The primary differences in between Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate 2 and Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate (2017.12) are the inclusion of a newer kernel (4.14), compiler (gcc 7.3), C library (glibc 2.26) and tools (binutils 2.29.1).

Note: Amazon Linux 2 is currently available as an LTS release candidate. Long-term support will only apply to the final LTS build, to be announced at a later time.

Similar to the previous LTS Candidate, Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate 2 provides virtual machine images for on-premises development and testing and the systemd service and systems manager (in place of System V init). Due to the inclusion of new components such as systemd in Amazon Linux 2, applications running on Amazon Linux AMI may require changes to run on Amazon Linux 2. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances running Amazon Linux will not be upgradeable to Amazon Linux 2 through rolling upgrade mechanisms.

Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate 2 uses the systemd 219 init system to bootstrap userspace and manage system processes. It is available as /sbin/init and replaces the System V-style init system that was available in the previous generation of Amazon Linux. As a result, initscripts no longer exist in /etc/init.d. systemctl {start|stop|restart} SERVICE_NAME.service needs to be used in its place. Additionally, service SERVICE_NAME {start|stop|restart} is compatible with both Amazon Linux AMI and Amazon Linux 2.

Amazon Linux 2 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. The packages associated with topics are consumed with the yum package manager. The base image of Amazon Linux 2 includes access to repositories with popular packages. With the availability of newer software bundles as topics, Extras provides a mechanism to have the latest application software on a stable base of Amazon Linux 2 thereby invalidating the need to compromise between OS stability and software “freshness”.

Usage examples follow:-

List the available topics:
$ amazon-linux-extras

Installing a topic:
$ sudo amazon-linux-extras install <topic name>

$ sudo amazon-linux-extras install rust1

Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate 2 comes with gcc 7.3, glibc 2.26, and binutils 2.29.1

Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate 2 comes with Linux kernel 4.14.

In Amazon Linux 2, /bin, /sbin, /lib, and /lib64 are symlinks to /usr/bin, /usr/sbin, /usr/lib, and /usr/lib64, respectively. Packages that have Requires on specific binaries in /bin, will not resolve. This can be mitigated using the following logic:

%if 0%{?amzn} == 1
Requires: /bin/grep
Requires: /usr/bin/grep

Amazon Linux 2 uses cloud-init 0.7.9 to handle initialization.

Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate 2017.12 does not come with a GUI based web browser. Both curl and lynx are available. Firefox will be made available through a future update.


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Learn more about Amazon Linux 2

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