AWS News Blog

Amazon Linux AMI 2014.09 Now Available

The Amazon Linux AMI is a supported and maintained Linux image for use on Amazon EC2.

We release new versions of the Amazon Linux AMI every six months after a public testing phase that includes one or more Release Candidates. The Release Candidates are announced in the EC2 forum and are available to all EC2 users in all AWS Regions.

Launching 2014.09 Today
Today we are releasing the 2014.09 Amazon Linux AMI for use in PV and HVM mode, with support for EBS-backed and Instance Store-backed AMIs. This AMI is supported on all EC2 instance types and in all AWS Regions.

You can launch this new version of the AMI in the usual ways. You can also upgrade existing EC2 instances by running yum update and then rebooting your instance.

Updated Kernel
The Amazon Linux AMI uses version 3.14.19 of the Linux kernel. This is the latest long-term-supported upstream Linux kernel; it includes plenty of new features and fixes. Important features added since the last release of the AMI include low latency networking polling, zswap (compressed swap) zram (in-kernel memory compression module), RAID multithreading (more IOPS on fast devices), numerous memory management scalability improvements, numerous improvements to popular file systems (ext4, xfs, btrfs), support for nftables (a successor to iptables), and numerous networking improvements (for example, TCP Fast Open is now enabled by default). In order to fully appreciate all of the changes that have taken place between the 3.10 and 3.14 kernels, you will need to spend some time studying the Linux 3.11, Linux 3.12, Linux 3.13, and Linux 3.14 release notes.

Instances that run HVM AMIs will now restart 30 seconds after encountering a kernel panic instead of hanging indefinitely. By contrast, PV AMIs have always restarted in this situation. If your system is dependent on the old behavior, set kernel.panic to 0 in /etc/sysctl.conf.

New Features
The roadmap for the Amazon Linux AMI is driven in large part by customer requests. During this release cycle, we have added a number of features as a result of these requests; here’s a sampling:

Other updates include Docker 1.2, Nginx 1.6.1, and the latest versions of PHP 5.3, 5.4, and 5.5. Many of these updates were made as a result of customer requests in the EC2 Forum. If you need an updated package (or an entirely new one) for the Amazon Linux AMI, never hesitate to let us know.

Other New Packages
Based on customer requests, we have added the following packages to the Amazon Linux AMI:

  • NCDU – A disk space usage analyzer with ncurses support (screen shot at right).
  • ClamAV – An open source antivirus engine.
  • LLVM – Compiler infrastructure (libraries, a C/C++/Objective-C compiler, C++ runtime, a debugger, and much more).
  • Shorewall – A gateway / firewall configuration tool to simplify the use of iptables.
  • Stress – A simple, configurable workload generator.

More Info
For additional information on this release of the Amazon Linux AMI, please check out the release notes.

Jeff;

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.