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Amazon Linux 2023: Why we’re moving to AL2023

  • Tali Soroker
  • March 16, 2023
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AWS Linux Launch

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced the release of Amazon Linux 2023 (AL2023) as the next generation of Amazon Linux with enhancements to its already-proven reliability. Besides offering frequent updates and long-term support, AL2023 provides a predictable release cadence, flexibility, and control over new versions. It also eliminates the operational overhead that comes with creating custom policies to meet standard compliance requirements.

In addition, AWS has maintained the no-cost licensing, service integrations, and single-vendor support experience that users expect from Amazon Linux.

To continue providing the highest level of performance, security, and reliability to our customers, Coralogix joined with AWS to become an Amazon Linux Ready Partner ahead of the launch. The partnership has sparked a program of work, starting with the migration of one of our key security applications, to be followed shortly by the rest of our applications. 

Coralogix is an AWS Partner Network (APN) Advanced Technology Partner with AWS DevOps Competency. The platform enables you to easily explore and analyze logs, metrics, traces, and security events to gain deeper insights into the state of your applications and AWS infrastructure.

Why Amazon Linux?

AWS first introduced Amazon Linux AMI (AL1) in 2010 to serve as a starting point for launching Linux applications in EC2 instances. In 2017, Amazon Linux 2 (AL2) was launched with an updated Linux kernel to provide better performance and the ability to install additional software packages through the extras mechanism. It gave the best of simplicity and performance with pre-installed tools, libraries, and integrations to streamline the creation of new instances. It is for these reasons that we at Coralogix have been avid users of Amazon Linux 2 for years.

Now, Amazon Linux 2023 (AL2023) combines the best of AL1 and AL2 with added security benefits and a predictable release cycle, buffered by scheduled long-term support. AL2023 is ideal as a general-purpose Linux OS for applications running on AWS. Not only is AL2023 optimized for Amazon EC2 and well-integrated with the latest AWS features and tools, it’s also provided at no additional charge. 

Why we are prioritizing migration to Amazon Linux 2023

As dedicated users of AL2 for the past 2 years, the enhancements and added benefits that will be introduced in AL2023 promise to further enable our teams to continue building and delivering software that meets the highest standards of quality, reliability, and security.

Security Benefits

Added security benefits to Amazon Linux 2023 that simplify our ability to meet standard compliance requirements and maintain a high-security standard are key motivators for us to migrate our environments. AL2023 sets a high security and hardening standard with features such as SELinux, kernel live-patching (x86-64 and ARM), OpenSSL 3.0, and revised cryptographic policies.

Major applications within AL2023 come with pre-configured SELinux policies to help us meet compliance needs. AL2023 also allows us to set security policies at boot time. 

Frequent, predictable releases

With the launch of AL2023, AWS has also announced a frequent and predictable release cycle. Minor releases every quarter and a 2-year major release cadence will provide faster access to innovations and updates from AWS and the open-source ecosystem while maintaining visibility and control.

Based on Fedora, AL2023 provides a flexible and consistent update experience with versioned repositories to a specific version of the Amazon Linux package repository, giving you control over how and when you absorb updates. This, together with the consistent release of new versions, makes it easy to plan and manage your operating system lifecycle.

Long-Term Support (5 years)

Like Amazon Linux 2, AL2023 comes with 5 years of long-term support for each major release. This gives us the stability we need to manage long project lifecycles. 

In addition to providing updates for its packages and maintaining compatibility within a major version for customer applications built on AL2023, core packages (such as glibc, openssl, openssh, and the dnf package manager) will receive lifetime support for the major AL2023 release.

Packages that are not part of the core packages will receive support defined by their upstream sources. You can view individual packages’ status and dates of individual packages by running the ‘dnf supportinfo packagename’ command.

Conclusion

Coralogix provides full visibility into your log, metric, tracing, and security data without relying on indexing to provide analysis and insights. Using Coralogix, you can easily centralize all of your AWS service data for streamlined analysis and troubleshooting.

To get started, find us in the AWS Marketplace, and check out our documentation which will help you get started with everything from parsing and enrichment to alerting and data clustering. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our world-class support team 24/7 via our in-app chat!

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