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Amazon Linux Machine Image Gets Update

Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) yesterday announced an update to the Amazon Linux AMI (Amazon Machine Image).

As described on its Web site, "The Amazon Linux AMI is a supported and maintained Linux image provided by Amazon Web Services for use on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). It is designed to provide a stable, secure and high performance execution environment for applications running on Amazon EC2. It supports the latest EC2 instance type features and includes packages that enable easy integration with AWS. Amazon Web Services provides ongoing security and maintenance updates to all instances running the Amazon Linux AMI. The Amazon Linux AMI is provided at no additional charge to Amazon EC2 users."

According to a blog post, the roadmap for Linux AMI development is largely driven by customer feedback and requests.

Python developers must figure prominently in that feedback, as the updated product -- coming almost exactly a year after the last update -- features Python 3.5 support.

"Python 3.5, the latest in the Python 3.x series, has been integrated with our existing Python experience and is now available in the Amazon Linux AMI repositories," said AWS' Sean Kelly in the post. "This includes the associated virtualenv and pip packages, which can be used to install and manage dependencies. The default python version for /usr/bin/python can be managed via alternatives, just like our existing Python packages. Python 3.5 and the associated pip and virtualenv packages can be installed via sudo yum install python35 python35-virtualenv python35-pip.

Other new features listed by Kelly include:

  • Nginx 1.10 -- Based on numerous customer requests, the Amazon Linux AMI 2016.09 repositories include the latest stable Nginx 1.10 release. You can install or upgrade to the latest version with sudo yum install nginx.
  • PostgreSQL 9.5 -- Many customers have asked for PostgreSQL 9.5, and it is now available as a separate package from our other PostgreSQL offerings. PostgreSQL 9.5 is available via sudo yum install postgresql95.
  • PHP 7.0 -- Based on customer requests, PHP 7.0 has been added to the repositories and is now available to be used alongside existing PHP ecosystem. PHP 7.0 can be installed via sudo yum install php70.
  • Amazon SSM Agent -- The Amazon SSM Agent allows you to use Run Command in order to configure and run scripts on your EC2 instances and is now available in the Amazon Linux 2016.09 repositories (read Remotely Manage Your Instances to learn more). Install the agent by running sudo yum install amazon-ssm-agent and start it with sudo /sbin/start amazon-ssm-agent.

Yet more new features, as detailed in the release notes, include: quicker boot time; fresh packages via re-synchronization with upstream versions; enhanced trusted CA certificate functionality; and more.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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