Amazon Linux 2022 Launched, Completely Re-based with Fedora

Amazon Linux 2022 to be based upon Fedora Linux and available via AWS AMIs. We wrap up the announcement and express our views about this change in terms of FOSS ecosystem.

Amazon Linux 2022
Amazon Linux 2022 – image credit: Amazon

What is Amazon Linux 2022

Code named AL2022, this is the next generation of Amazon Linux that is offered via AWS. It is developed by Amazon by rebasing upstream Fedora Linux. This Linux is available via AWS control panel as AMIs. Using this Linux, you can develop and run all types of cloud and enterprise applications. And it is available at no additional cost.

Amazon Linux 2022 – Features and Schedule

The AL2022 is tightly integrated with AWS-specific tools and capabilities. It also features immediate access to new Amazon innovations and single window support from Amazon.

The good news is at somewhere else. Think about a scenario where you manage, deploy or plan for large space cloud infra instances. Planning for patches, upgrades, compatibility can be really a pain if you do not have a proper release cadences of your applications with underlying operating system.

So, Amazon promises that Amazon Linux 2022 will have two year standard support followed by three years maintenance support. During the two-year standard support period, you get quarterly minor updates. And During maintenance support, you get critical security updates as soon as they are available.

Amazon Linux 2022 Release Cadence – image credit: Amazon

For example, Amazon Linux 2022 will have standard support until 2023. And maintenance support with EOL at 2027. This is really impressive support from Amazon considering their offerings.

However, it is not clear to me how Fedora releases are combined with this. Because Fedora have two major releases per year, and not sure whether new Fedora Linux releases are patched downstream to Amazon Linux as part of standard quarterly updates.

Feature wise, Amazon Linux 2022 will have SELinux enabled by default that makes it easier to manage security policies for the customers. This reduces time, effort and costs.

How to Get Started?

If you plan to buy or have a test run, you definitely need an AWS account and then refer to the how-to guide in link, which requires an AWS account.

What it means to Linux, in general?

Fedora Linux is like “Alpha” test bed for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Fedora is always “leading-edge” + “bleeding-edge” distro. In my opinion, when a cloud dominating company like Amazon adopts Fedora as their commercial offering, the quality of Fedora Linux as a whole definitely going to be improved.

Think about a scenario for a moment. AWS is creating millions of Fedora Linux instances for various industry workloads. And there might be some bugs, or additional packages, or performance tweaks suggested by Amazon. Now, Amazon may consult Fedora Official team for possible fixes to the upstream. And that eventually helps the entire community.

Also, another context is also in play. With Canonical upping their game on Ubuntu Cloud offerings, this might a larger push from Red Hat to bring Fedora into the Cloud Market. So, Red Hat will have more control in Cloud space eventually with multiple offerings.

Furthermore, other Cloud players such as Google Cloud, Azure – may start considering Fedora as their additional offerings for industry work-loads.

That said, I believe, this announcement is a win-win for Amazon and Open Source Linux as a whole. On the contrary, Microsoft has a long term plan. The entire WSL and Ubuntu friendship is eventually boils down to moving Linux Server market share to Windows server via WSL. And that has not much benefit to the core FOSS ecosystem, I believe.

What do you think about this announcement with respect to FOSS as a whole? Let me know your opinion in the comment box below.