The primary differences in Amazon Linux 2 from its predecessors is the availability of long term support, availability of virtual machine images for on-premises development and testing, systemd service and systems manager (in place of System V init), a newer kernel (4.9) and toolchain (gcc 7.2.1, glibc 2.25, binutils 2.27). Amazon Linux 2 also provides the ability to install software bundles via a novel Extras mechanism.

Note: Amazon Linux 2 2017.12 is a first LTS Candidate of Amazon Linux 2. Customers and community feedback will help shape the official LTS build that will be supported for 5 years.

Due to the inclusion of new components such as systemd in Amazon Linux 2, applications running on Amazon Linux AMI 2017.09 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 via a rolling upgrade mechanism. The 2017.09 release of Amazon Machine Images (AMI) for Amazon Linux will be the last release of its Amazon Linux generation. It will continue to be supported for 2 years after the final Amazon Linux 2 LTS build is released. Going forward, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will provide newer versions only for Amazon Linux 2.

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 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 via the YellowDog Updater, Modified (YUM) utility for management of RPM packages. The base image of Amazon Linux 2 includes access to repositories that contain stable versions of 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>

Example:
$ sudo amazon-linux-extras install rust1

Amazon Linux 2 comes with gcc 7.2.1, glibc 2.25, and binutils 2.27

Amazon Linux 2 ships with Linux kernel 4.9. The xen-blkfront, xen-netfront, elastic network adapter, and NVMe components are modified for enhanced performance on Amazon EC2.

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 in the shell:

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

cloud-init is used in Amazon Linux 2 to handle initialization. The 0.7.9 version of cloud-init is used in Amazon Linux 2.

  1. Amazon Linux 2 LTS Candidate 2017.12 does not come with a GUI based web browser. Both curl and lynx are available and Firefox will be made available via a future update.
  2. Virtual machine images are currently available for VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Oracle VM VirtualBox virtualization solutions for development and testing. We intend to pursue certification for each of these hypervisors for the LTS build.

ap-northeast-1

ami-39e37b5f amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-6be57d0d amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-62e07804 amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

ap-northeast-2

ami-5295353c amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-d59434bb amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-a19737cf amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

ap-south-1

ami-05194e6a amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-d00651bf amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-3f184f50 amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

ap-southeast-1

ami-6755261b amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-d85526a4 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-f657248a amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

ap-southeast-2

ami-1fe21f7d amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-f9dd209b amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-f5e11c97 amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

ca-central-1

ami-5984013d amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-e0870284 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-9f8702fb amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

eu-central-1

ami-0471e36b amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-f573e19a amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-4072e02f amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

eu-west-1

ami-db51c2a2 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-3251c24b amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-8e52c1f7 amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

eu-west-2

ami-22a8b046 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-85a8b0e1 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-18b6ae7c amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

eu-west-3

ami-680eb915 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-c700b7ba amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-9001b6ed amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

sa-east-1

ami-f052109c amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-3d4d0f51 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-7652101a amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

us-east-1

ami-74da830e amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-4dd18837 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-ccdd84b6 amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

us-east-2

ami-e782a982 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-e282a987 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-1c8ca779 amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

us-west-1

ami-1dacac7d amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-d9ababb9 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-96ababf6 amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

us-west-2

ami-8f08bcf7 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

ami-1f0abe67 amzn2-ami-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-gp2

ami-7df74005 amzn2-ami-minimal-hvm-2017.12.0.20180109-x86_64-ebs

 

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