We've just released version 2012.03 of the Amazon Linux AMI. Coming six months after our previous major release, this version of the AMI is loaded with new features that EC2 users will enjoy.
One of our goals for this release has been to make available multiple major versions of important packages. This allows code that relies on different versions of core languages, databases, or applications to migrate from older AMIs with minimal changes needed. For example:
Tomcat 7: Support is included for both Tomcat 6 and Tomcat 7. Both are included in the package repository, and can be installed via yum install tomcat6 or yum install tomcat7.
MySQL 5.5: New Amazon Linux AMI 2012.03 users who yum install mysql (or yum install mysql55) will get MySQL 5.5 by default, unless they explicitly choose to install the older MySQL 5.1. Users upgrading via yum from Amazon Linux AMI 2011.09 instances with the older MySQL 5.1 installed will stay with MySQL 5.1, which is still available as mysql51 in the package repository.
PostgreSQL 9: Similar to MySQL, new Amazon Linux AMI 2012.03 users who yum install postgresql (or yum install postgresql9) will get PostgreSQL 9 by default, unless they explicitly choose to install the older PostgreSQL 8. Users upgrading via yum from Amazon Linux AMI 2011.09 instances with the older PostgreSQL 8.4.x installed will stay with PostgreSQL 8, which is still available as postgresql8 in the package repository.
GCC 4.6: While GCC 4.4.6 remains the default, we have included GCC 4.6.2, specifically for use on EC2 instances that support Intel's new AVX instruction set. Run yum install gcc46 in order to get the packages. GCC 4.6 enables the Amazon Linux AMI to take advantage of the AVX support available on the Cluster Compute Eight Extra Large (cc2.8xlarge) instance type.
Python 2.7: While Python 2.6 is still the default, you can yum install python27 to install version 2.7. We are constantly working on getting more modules built and available for the new Python version, and will be pushing those modules into the repository as they become available.
Ruby 1.9.3: While Ruby 1.8.7 is still the default, you can yum install ruby19 to run version 1.9.3 of Ruby.
We have also upgraded the kernel to version 3.2, updated all the AWS command line tools, and refreshed many of the packages that are available in the Amazon Linux AMI to the latest upstream versions.
The Amazon Linux AMI 2012.03 is available for launch in all regions. The Amazon Linux AMI package repositories have also been updated in all regions. Users of 2011.09 or 2011.02 versions of the Amazon Linux AMI can easily upgrade using yum. Users who prefer to lock on the 2011.09 package set even after the release of 2012.03 should consult the instructions on the EC2 forum.
For more information, see the Amazon Linux 2012.03 release notes.
PS - If you'd like to help make the Amazon Linux AMI even better, please take a look at our open positions: