Product details are accessible from the Amazon Linux 2 page

Amazon Linux 2 is the next generation of Amazon Linux, a Linux server operating system from Amazon Web Services (AWS). It is designed to provide a secure, stable, and high performance execution environment for customers to develop and run a wide variety of cloud and enterprise applications. With Amazon Linux 2, customers get an application environment that offers long term support with access to the latest innovations in the Linux community. Amazon Linux 2 is provided at no additional charge.

 

Amazon Linux 2 - 7/18/2019 Update

 

An AWS-optimized Linux kernel 4.19 is now available in Amazon Linux 2 Extras channel in addition to the 4.14 kernel that receives long-term support. You can install and use the 4.19 kernel by running sudo amazon-linux-extras install kernel-ng and rebooting your instance.

 

Amazon Linux 2 - 6/27/2019 Update

 

Amazon EC2 Instance Connect is enabled by default

 

EC2 Instance Connect provides a simple and secure way to connect to your instances using Secure Shell (SSH). To disable the feature follow the steps to Uninstall EC2 Instance Connect.

 

Amazon Linux 2 - 5/23/2019 Update

 

NVIDIA GPU support: Amazon Linux 2 AMIs with NVIDIA GPU drivers pre-installed and pre-configured for use on P and G instance families are available on AWS Marketplace.

 

Amazon Linux 2 - 05/14/2019 Update

 

A new systemd service is added to launch on boot. The service will submit the host public keys for identity validation to support an upcoming feature for connecting to EC2 instances.

Amazon Linux 2 - 03/13/2019 Update

This update fixes incorrect permissions for some system files https://alas.aws.amazon.com/AL2/ALAS-2019-1175.html

Amazon Linux 2 - 11/26/2018 Update

A1 support: Amazon Linux 2 is supported for use on A1 instances

Amazon Linux 2 - 11/19/2018 Update

ENA driver updates:

An ENA driver update that introduces Low Latency Queues (LLQ) for improved average and tail latencies. The update also adds support for receive checksum offload that improves CPU utilization.

Amazon Linux 2 - 10/31/2018 Update

OpenSSH daemon configuration file /etc/ssh/sshd_config updates

The OpenSSH daemon configuration file /etc/ssh/sshd_config has been updated. The AuthorizedKeysCommand value is configured to point to a customized script, /opt/aws/bin/curl_authorized_keys to support an upcoming feature to read SSH public keys; from the EC2 instance metadata during the SSH connection process.

 

Amazon Linux 2 - 9/25/2018 Update

Support for 32-bit Libraries: Amazon Linux 2 now supports 32-bit libraries and compatibility packages, which enables customers to run 32-bit applications on Amazon Linux 2. You can run 'yum update' on an Amazon Linux 2 instance to get the full 32-bit support. An updated Amazon Linux 2 AMI with full 32-bit support will also be available in the coming days.

Bug Fixes and Package Updates: This release also contains bug fixes and updates for several Amazon Linux 2 packages from their upstream projects.

Amazon Linux 2 provides the systemd service and systems manager (in place of System V init). As a result, 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 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 should no longer exist in /etc/init.d. systemctl {start|stop|restart} SERVICE_NAME.service should be used in its place. Additionally, service SERVICE_NAME {start|stop|restart} is compatible with both Amazon Linux AMI and Amazon Linux 2.

The extras mechanism provides the latest application software on a stable base of Amazon Linux 2 helping you balance operating system stability and software “freshness”. Extras provides topics to select AWS curated software bundles. Each topic contains all the dependencies required for the software to install and run on Amazon Linux 2.

Extras command to list the available topics:
$ amazon-linux-extras

Extras command to install a topic:
$ sudo amazon-linux-extras install <topic name>

Example:
$ sudo amazon-linux-extras install rust1

The extras channel provides an AWS curated list of rapidly evolving technologies. These technologies may be updated more frequently than they would otherwise be in the "core" repositories of Amazon Linux 2.

Over time, these technologies will continue to mature and stabilize and may eventually be added to the Amazon Linux 2 "core" channel to which the Amazon Linux 2 Long Term Support policies apply.

The package for Docker is only available through extras and is enabled by default. When new versions of Docker are released, support will be provided only for the most current stable packages.

Amazon Linux 2 comes with GCC 7.3, Glibc 2.26, and Binutils 2.29.1

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 for RPM package managment:

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

Cloud-init has been updated to version 18.2 to handle early initialization of the operating system. It sets the default locale, instance hostname, generates SSH private keys, adds SSH keys into the user’s .ssh/authorized_keys entry, establishes ephemeral mount points, and configures network devices.

Amazon Linux 2 virtual machine images are currently available for VMware ESXi, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, and Oracle VM VirtualBox virtualization solutions for development and testing. These can be obtained here. After downloading the image, follow the Amazon Linux documentation to get started.

The minimum system requirement for running Amazon Linux 2 in a virtual machine instance is 512 MB of memory and 1 virtual CPUs.

AWS Systems Manager Patch Manager support Amazon Linux 2. This enables automated patching of fleets of Amazon Linux 2 EC2 instances and on-premises virtual machines (VMs). It can scan instances for missing patches and automatically install all missing patches.

To upgrade from Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate 2 to the LTS version of Amazon Linux 2 run the following commands:

$ sudo yum update system-release

$ sudo yum update cloud-init

$ sudo yum clean all

$ sudo yum update

$ sudo reboot

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