Amazon Linux AMI (AL1) platform retirement FAQ - AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Amazon Linux AMI (AL1) platform retirement FAQ

On July 18, 2022 Elastic Beanstalk retired all platform branches based on Amazon Linux AMI (AL1).

The answers in this FAQ reference the following topics:

1. What does retirement of a platform branch mean?

Following the announced retirement date of a platform branch, you will no longer be able to create a new environment based on the retired platform branch, unless you already have an active environment based on that platform branch. For more information, see FAQ #11. Elastic Beanstalk will stop providing new maintenance updates for these platform branches. A retired platform branch isn't recommended for use in production environments. For more information, see FAQ #5.

2. Why is AWS retiring these platforms branches?

Elastic Beanstalk retires platform branches when platform components are deprecated or retired by their vendors. In this case, the Amazon Linux AMI (AL1) has ended standard support as of December 31, 2020. While Elastic Beanstalk continued to offer AL1 based platforms through 2022, we have since released many AL2 based platforms that have the latest features. In order for customers to continue to benefit from the latest security and features going forward, it's critical for customers to migrate to our Amazon Linux 2 based platforms.

3. Which platform branches are retired?

For a list of platform components and platform branches that have been retired, see Retired platform branch history.

4. Which platforms are currently supported?

See Elastic Beanstalk supported platforms in AWS Elastic Beanstalk Platforms.

5. Will Elastic Beanstalk remove or terminate any components of my environment after retirement?

We would never remove access or delete the environment's resources. However, an environment based on a retired platform branch can end up in an unpredictable situation, because Elastic Beanstalk isn't able to provide security updates, technical support, or hotfixes for retired platform branches due to the supplier marking their component as End of Life (EOL). For example, a detrimental and critical security vulnerability may surface in an environment running on a retired platform branch. Or an EB API action may stop working for the environment if it becomes incompatible with the Elastic Beanstalk service over time. The opportunity for these types of risks increases the longer an environment based on a retired platform branch remains active.

If a circumstance like the ones just described should arise for an application that you must keep running and that you're not able to update to a supported Elastic Beanstalk platform, you'll need to consider and employ other alternatives. Workarounds include encapsulating the application into a Docker image to run it as a Docker container. This would allow a customer to use any of our Docker solutions, such as our Elastic Beanstalk AL2 Docker platforms, or other Docker based services such as Amazon ECS, Amazon EKS, or AWS App Runner. Non-Docker alternatives include our AWS CodeDeploy service, which allows complete customization of the runtimes you desire.

6. Can I submit a request to extend the retirement date?

No. After the retirement date existing environments will continue to function. However, Elastic Beanstalk will no longer provide platform maintenance and security updates. Therefore, it’s critical to migrate to AL2. For more information about risks and workarounds, see FAQ #5.

7. What are the workarounds if I can't complete my AL2 migration in time?

Customers may continue to run the environment, although we strongly encourage you to plan to migrate all of your Elastic Beanstalk environments to a supported platform version. Doing so will minimize risk and provide continued benefit from important security, performance, and functionality enhancements offered in more recent releases. For more information about risks and workarounds, see FAQ #5.

8. What is the recommended process to migrate to AL2 platforms?

For comprehensive AL1 to AL2 migration instructions, see Migrating your Elastic Beanstalk Linux application to Amazon Linux 2. This topic explains that Elastic Beanstalk requires a blue/green deployment to perform the upgrade.

9. If I have an environment running on a retired platform, what would be the impact?

An environment based on a retired platform branch can end up in an unpredictable situation, because Elastic Beanstalk isn't able to provide security updates, technical support, or hotfixes for retired platform branches due to the supplier marking their component as End of Life (EOL). For example, a detrimental and critical security vulnerability may surface in an environment running on a retired platform branch. Or an EB API action may stop working for the environment if it becomes incompatible with the Elastic Beanstalk service over time. The opportunity for these types of risks increases the longer an environment on a retired platform branch remains active. For more information, see FAQ #5.

10. What happens 90 days after the retirement date?

Active environments running on a retired platform may remain active after the 90 day grace period. However, be aware that an environment based on a retired platform branch can end up in an unpredictable situation, because Elastic Beanstalk isn't able to provide security updates, technical support, or hotfixes for retired platform branches due to the supplier marking their component as End of Life (EOL). For example, a detrimental and critical security vulnerability may surface in an environment running on a retired platform branch. Or an EB API action may stop working for the environment if it becomes incompatible with the Elastic Beanstalk service over time. The opportunity for these types of risks increases the longer an environment on a retired platform branch remains active. For more information see FAQ #5.

11. Can I create a new environment based on a retired platform?

You can create a new environment based on a retired platform branch, if you've already used that platform branch to create an existing environment using the same account and in the same region. The retired platform branch will not be available in the Create environment wizard. However, for customers that have existing environments based on a retired platform branch, it will be available through the EB CLI, EB API, and AWS CLI. Also, existing customers can use the Clone environment and Rebuild environment consoles. However, be aware that an environment based on a retired platform branch can end up in an unpredictable situation. For more information, see FAQ #5.

12. If I’m an existing customer, until when can I create a new environment based on retired platform branch? Can I do so using the console, CLI or API?

You can create the environment past the 90 day grace period. However, keep in mind that a retired platform branch can end up in an unpredictable situation. The further out in time such an environment an environment is created or active, the higher the risk for the environment to encounter unexpected issues. For more information about creating a new environment, see FAQ #11.

13. Can I clone or rebuild my environment which is based on retired platform?

Yes. You can do so using the Clone environment and Rebuild environment consoles. You can also use the EB CLI, EB API, and AWS CLI. For more information about creating a new environment, see FAQ #11.

However, we strongly encourage you to plan to migrate all your Elastic Beanstalk environments to a supported platform version. Doing so will minimize risk and provide continued benefit from important security, performance, and functionality enhancements offered in more recent releases. For more information about risks and workarounds, see FAQ #5.

14. After the retirement date, what would happen to the AWS resources of my Elastic Beanstalk environment that is based on a retired platform branch? For example, if the running EC2 instance gets terminated, would Elastic Beanstalk be able to launch a new AL1 based EC2 instance to maintain capacity?

The environment’s resources would remain active and continue to function. And, yes, Elastic Beanstalk will auto scale for AL1 EC2 instances in the environment. However, Elastic Beanstalk will stop providing new platform maintenance updates to the environment, which can lead to the environment ending up in an unpredictable situation over time. For more information, see FAQ #5.

15. What are key differences between the Amazon Linux 2 and Amazon Linux AMI (AL1) operating systems? How are the Elastic Beanstalk AL2 platform branches affected?

Although Amazon Linux AMI and Amazon Linux 2 share the same Linux kernel, they differ in their initialization system, libc versions, the compiler tool chain, and various packages. For more information, see Amazon Linux 2 FAQs.

The Elastic Beanstalk service has also updated platform specific versions of runtime, build tools, and other dependencies. The AL2 based platform branches aren't guaranteed to be backward compatible with your existing application. Furthermore, even if your application code successfully deploys to the new platform version, it might behave or perform differently due to operating system and run time differences. For a list and description of configurations and customizations that you'll need to review and test, see Migrating your Elastic Beanstalk Linux application to Amazon Linux 2.