AWS has launched a new Linux distro: Bottlerocket

Bottlerocket OS
(Image credit: AWS)

AWS has released a new open source Linux distro called Bottlerocket that has been built specifically to run on containers.

The cloud giant already has its own Linux distro optimized to run inside the AWS cloud called Amazon Linux which can be run in a Docker container or with the Linux KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESXi hypervisors.

In a blog post, product manager at AWS Samartha Chandrashekar explained why the company created Bottlerocket, saying:

“As our customers increasingly adopt containers to run their workloads, we saw a need for a Linux distribution designed from the ground up to run containers with a focus on security, operations, and manageability at scale. Customers needed an operating system that would give them the ability to manage thousands of hosts running containers with automation.”

Bottlerocket OS

Bottlerocket OS isn't the first Linux distro made exclusively for containers as CoreOS, Rancher OS and Project Atomic all tried to do the same thing in the past.

By creating a Linux distro that has been stripped of everything besides what is needed to run containers, AWS has effectively shrunk its attack surface. At the same time, fewer packages are installed on Bottlerocket's underlying system which makes it easier to keep the operating system up to date and reduces the chance of problems caused by dependencies.

Updates to Bottlerocket can be “applied and rolled back in an atomic manner, which makes them easy to automate, reducing management overhead and reducing operational costs”, according to Amazon. An admin container will also be available for sysadmins but the company sees logging into an individual Bottlerocket instance as an “infrequent operation for advanced debugging and troubleshooting”.

AWS recommends that organizations use Bottlerocket with a container orchestrator like Kubernetes and this is why the company has created a build of the OS based on its Enterprise Kubernetes Service (EKS). However, a bundle for its ECS service including AWS EC2 and Fargate is currently in preview.

Bottlerocket OS is being released as open source software under the Apache 2.0 licence and its code is currently available on GitHub where AWS will accept feature requests, bug reports and contributions.

Via The Register

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.