Amazon is previous its own Linux based Operating system which will be used for running containers on virtual machines or bare metal hosts and this service / OS is called Bottlerocket and is part of Amazon Web Services.
What are Containers?
A Linux container is a set of one or more processes that are isolated from the rest of the system. All the files necessary to run them are provided from a distinct image, meaning that Linux containers are portable and consistent as they move from development to testing, and finally to production. This makes them much quicker than development pipelines that rely on replicating traditional testing environments.
By using containers, this Linux bases operating system can be updated by an image based system instead of a package based system. Confusing huh? let’s take this up slowly.
In a traditional Linux operating system, every software including the kernel, applications, services, etc is updated one by one whenever the update arrives. For example, if you have Blender 2.80 in your system, an update for Blender 2.82 will arrive later on and the said package will be updated along with any dependent software without touching everything else. This might result in incompatibility and errors in future if every other component is not updated.
In an image-based update, a complete set of services and software are updated completely instead of updating a single package. This complete set is thoroughly tested in a quality environment before being implemented and thus fully ensures that the said update will work as intended without breaking anything. This can also be rollbacked to the previous version easily if things go wrong.
Thus Containers based environment has the following advantage:
Security – Installing extra packages simply to satisfy dependencies can increase the attack surface.
Updates – Traditional package-based update systems and mechanisms are complex and error prone, and can have issues with dependencies.
Overhead – Extra, unnecessary packages consume disk space and compute cycles, and also increase startup time.
Drift – Inconsistent packages and configurations can damage the integrity of a cluster over time.
AWS says it will provide three years of support if you use their build. However, the codes are available in GitHub where brave compilers can build their own version to test.
Amazon is releasing the beta OS for testing and pull requests and can be viewed from its Github page.
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