AWS has recently announced the public preview of its next version of Amazon Linux. Amazon linux 3, codenamed AL2022, brings in improvements in design, security, stability and performance over its predecessor Amazon Linux 2.
Starting with AL2022, Amazon will launch a major version of its Amazon Linux every two years and each version will be supported for five years, with quarterly updates via minor releases and use the latest software for their applications. Starting, Amazon Linux 3, they have finally introduced the ability to lock to a specific version of the Amazon Linux package repository giving customers control over how and when they absorb updates.
Amazon Linux is a Linux distribution targetted and optimized for use in the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) environment of Amazon Web Services. It uses the same Yum repository for updates using the RPM files like the Fedora, CentOS and Redhat family of Linux.
While earlier versions of Amazon Linux, 1 and 2 were built upon CentOS, since the movement of CentOS also to the upstream of Redhat development with CentOS Stream, now, both CentOS Stream 9 and Amazon Linux use Fedora Project as their upstream, with CentOS stream also becoming the upstream for the eventual major build of Redhat.
While Amazon Linux 3 is still to offer support for ARM processors, CentOS 9 Stream has support across the processor variates including x86_64, aarch64 and ppc64le.
As a final note, we can just add that both, Amazon Linux 3 as well as CentOS 9 Stream have the stable and well tested Linux Enterprise Kernel, are both free and targetted towards Enterprises and Server side installs. While Amazon Linux 3 is well suited for EC2 instances, similar to CentOS 9 Stream, you can download Amazon Linux 3 on your local machines using VirtualBox or VMWare.