AWS has finally released a major update to its own-brand Linux build

Amazon Web Services logo
(Image credit: Future / Mike Moore)

Amazon has finally released the latest major build of its home-grown Linux distro after teasing us with RCs last year.

Last year’s edition, handily named AL 2022, only consisted of release candidates leaving users waiting for a full distro, however the company has now finally announced AL 2023.

Like the 2022 version, AWS has promised full updates every two years and smaller tweaks four times per year, however this time the promise might just come true with AL 2023 generally available.

Amazon Linux 2023

Its own Linux distro is unsurprisingly optimized for the cloud (and AWS specifically), with promises for “a high-security standard, a predictable lifecycle, and a consistent update experience” all made.

Its second promise, of biennial major releases and quarterly fixes, is designed to make it easier to plan and manage the lifecycle of the OS.

The company also shared an indication of what smaller updates may include: “major changes to the kernel, toolchain, GLib C, OpenSSL, and any other system libraries and utilities.”

The initial two-year support period is backed up by a further three-year maintenance phase during which security updates will be pushed out, giving users until early 2028 before they will really need to start considering an upgrade, by which time AL 2025 and AL 2027 are planned to have been released.

The timeline also shows AL 1’s end-of-life for security updates, set for December 31, 2023 following a 13-year span. AL 2’s end-of-life follows shortly after, in mid-2025, representing around seven years of support.

The self-claimed “most used Linux distribution on AWS” is now generally available for no additional charge in all AWS regions.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!