Amazon Linux AMI – General Availability and New Features
We introduced the Amazon Linux AMI in beta form about a year ago with the goal of providing a simple, stable, and secure Linux environment for server-focused workloads. We’ve been really happy with the adoption we’ve seen so far, and we continue to improve the product and further integrate it with other Amazon Web Services tools.
Today we are zapping the “beta” tag from the Amazon Linux AMI, and moving it to full production status. We are also releasing a new version (2011.09) of the AMI with some important new features. Here’s a summary:
- The Message of the Day now tells you when updates to installed packages are available.
- While the AMIs default configuration is set to provide a smooth upgrade path from release-to-release, you can now lock the update repositories to a specific version to inhibit automatic updates to newer releases.
- Security updates are automatically applied on the initial boot of the AMI. This behavior can be modified by passing user data into the AMI with cloud-init.
- There’s a new Amazon Linux AMI Security Center.
- Access to the Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) repository is configured, though not enabled by default. EPEL provides additional packages beyond those shipped in the Amazon Linux AMI repositories, but these third party packages are not supported.
- The cfn-init daemon is installed by default to simplify CloudFormation configuration.
- A total of 50 new packages are available including the command line tools for AWS, Dash, Dracut, Facter, Pssh, and Varnish. 227 other packages have been updated and 9 have been removed. For a full list of changes, refer to the Amazon Linux AMI Release Notes.
Users of existing Amazon Linux AMIs can either upgrade to the latest release with yum or launch new 2011.09 AMIs. The new AMIs are available in all AWS regions.