Amazon Linux release cadence - Amazon Linux 2022

Amazon Linux 2022 is in preview release and is subject to change.

Amazon Linux release cadence

A new major version of Amazon Linux is released every two years and includes five years of long-term support. Each release consists of two phases. A standard support phase lasts two years and is followed by a maintenance phase, which lasts an additional three years. In the standard support phase, the release receives quarterly minor version updates. During the maintenance phase, a release receives only security updates and critical bug fixes that are published as soon as they're available.

The release cadence includes an active development phase that lasts two years and
    a three year maintenance phase.

Major and minor releases

  • Major version release— Includes new features and improvements in security and performance across the stack. The improvements might include major changes to the kernel, toolchain, glibc, OpenSSL, and any other system libraries and utilities. Major releases of Amazon Linux are based in part on the current version of the upstream Fedora Linux distribution. AWS might add or replace specific packages from other non-Fedora upstreams.

  • Minor version release— A quarterly update that includes security updates, bug fixes, and new features and packages. Each minor version is a cumulative list of updates that includes security and bug fixes in addition to new features and packages. These releases might include latest language runtimes, such as PHP. They might also include other popular software packages such as Ansible and Docker.

    With every Amazon Linux release (major version, minor version. or a security release), a new Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is released.

Consuming new releases

Updates are provided through a combination of new Amazon Machine Image (AMI) releases and corresponding new repositories. By default, a new AMI and the repository it points to are coupled. However, you can point your running Amazon EC2 instances to newer repository versions over time to apply updates on running instances. Customers can also update by launching new instances of the latest AMIs.

Long-term support policy

Amazon Linux provides updates for all packages and maintains compatibility within a major version for customer applications that are built on Amazon Linux. Core packages, such as glibc, openssl, openssh, and the dnf package manager, receive support for the lifetime of the major Amazon Linux 2022 release. Packages that aren't part of the core packages receive support defined by their upstream sources. You can see the specific support status and dates of individual packages by running the following command.

# dnf supportinfo --pkg packagename

You can get information on all currently installed packages by running the following command.

# dnf supportinfo --show installed

The full list of core packages will be finalized during the preview. If you want to see more packages included as core packages, tell us. We will evaluate as we are collecting feedback. Feedback on Amazon Linux 2022 can be provided through your designated AWS representative or Amazon Linux Discussion Forums.