We release new versions of the Amazon Linux AMI every six months after a public testing phase that includes one or more Release Candidates. The Release Candidates are announced in the EC2 forum and are available to all EC2 users.
Today marks the release of the 2014.03 Amazon Linux AMI, which is available in both PV and HVM mode, with both EBS-backed and Instance Store-backed AMIs. The Amazon Linux AMI is supported on all EC2 instance types.
You can launch this new version of the AMI in the usual ways. You can also upgrade existing EC2 instances by running yum update and rebooting your instance.
Here are the new features:
Linux kernel 3.10.34 - The AMI is built around the 3.10 series of Linux kernel releases. This is a long-term stable release that includes many performance and functionality improvements.
CloudInit 0.7.2 - This handy package has been upgraded to the 0.7 series. It supports dracut-modules-growroot, which automatically resizes your root filesystem on boot.
Java 7 - Java 7 (java-1.7.0-openjdk) is now the default; Java 6 (java-1.6.0-openjdk) is still available in the AMI repositories.
Ruby 2.0 - Ruby 2.0 is now the default Ruby interpreter. Core Ruby gems have been updated to work with both Ruby 1.8 and Ruby 2.0.
glibc 2.17 - The GNU C library has been upgraded to version 2.17, bringing in numerous bug fixes and optimizations.
GCC 4.8 - Version 4.8 of GCC is now the default; versions 4.4, 4.6, and 4.7 are still available in the repositories.
Docker 0.9 - You can now run Docker containers on the Amazon Linux AMI.
LXC 0.9 - The newest version of LXC is available; you can now use the Linux containment features on the Amazon Linux AMI.
GoLang 1.2 - You can now build Go programs.
We have also added a number of new packages to the repositories and re-synced other packages to the latest upstream versions.
Please read the entire set of Amazon Linux AMI 2014.03 release notes for more information.
Going Going Gone
This release marks the third anniversary of the launch of the Amazon Linux AMI. We are now starting to make plans to deprecate and ultimately remove some of the older packages. Check the release notes for more information about our plans in this area.
As you can see from the list of updates and new features, the Amazon Linux AMI incorporates multiple versions of a number of important packages. The Alternatives package is part of the AMI and can be used to switch between versions. Under the covers, this command uses symbolic links to effect a system-wide change that will persist across reboots.
To show you how to do this, I installed four separate versions of GCC on my instance. I can switch between them using the command alternatives --config gcc.. The command lists the available versions and allows me to make a change by selecting the desired command:
The new version of the Amazon Linux AMI is available today in all of the public AWS Regions.