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I am a beginner to Linux, but am currently deciding on a distro for my AWS EC2 web server. My question is how to find online support to Amazon Linux AMI should I decide to use it?

I know that it is an evolution of Red Hat and CentOS, but does that mean that if I find an answer online that is standard to either of them that it applies at all to Amazon Linux AMI? Will the only way that the answer applies to Amazon Linux is if it specifically states it?

Notice my question isn't which distro to use.

Thanks

  • It's difficult. There's not that much about Amazon Linux around, I found, when I started on my project to move to AWS in December. In the end I decided that Ubuntu was a better option, 16.04 LTS. However since you're set on Amazon Linux, the answer is likely to pay Amazon for support. – Tim Jun 10 '16 at 18:44
  • @Tim I'm not actually set on Amazon Linux, but it I didn't say that it would be flagged for product recommendations. Thank you though, and one more question: How difficult is it to initially set up Ubuntu for proper security? After starting an EC2 server with it, is there much setup needed to secure it? – Jeffrey Cordero Jun 10 '16 at 21:05
  • @JeffreyCordero Again, do not use Amazon Linux. Especially don't use it if you're a linux beginner, as there's precious little supporting documentation and support community behind Amazon Linux as compared to other distros. I really don't understand why you have an infatuation with Amazon Linux. You're a beginner. You're going to have a much more difficult time if you choose to use this product, and there is very little reason why anyone would be forced to use it. – EEAA Jun 10 '16 at 21:36
  • @EEAA Actually I don't, but my other question didn't end up answering whether or not CentOs answers applied to Amazon Linux. I think I am going to use CentOs since I am told that Ubuntu's big area in desktops and would be less efficient on a server. Any Input? Thank you though. – Jeffrey Cordero Jun 10 '16 at 21:45
  • Sometimes Centos answers work, but you never know which version to Google. Ubuntu has MASSIVE amounts of online support, references, and it's what I'll use in future. – Tim Jun 11 '16 at 5:31
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It is really similar to RH/CentOS, so most solutions will work fine.

Besides paid support, you can also try on their forums, but form my experience it's quite difficult to get response there in reasonable amount of time.

  • When you say "recipes" do you mean answers? Could you elaborate at all? Thanks – Jeffrey Cordero Jun 10 '16 at 21:07
  • @JeffreyCordero correct. – Putnik Jun 10 '16 at 21:20
  • Could anyone explain why minus? – Putnik Jun 11 '16 at 14:54
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The only substantial difference between Amazon Linux and CentOS is that Amazon Linux has its own RPM repos (hosted by Amazon) so you may find that versions of software that are available in CentOS are not available in Amazon Linux. This isn't that frequent that it would cause a problem for standard usage situations.

On the other hand, Amazon Linux is designed to be used with AWS, so it includes things like the AWS client utility, which is one less thing to worry about if you need your servers to interact with the AWS API (eg if you were copying data to S3).

Another thing to consider in terms of using Amazon Linux is that every time you start a server with Amazon Linux the server will automatically install any outstanding security RPMs for that distributions. There is very handy if you have dynamic infrastructure in which you are starting/stopping instances every day, or use autoscaling extensively.

For me, the best thing about Amazon Linux is that it comes with very little installed on the OS other than the basic utilities required to connect to it. From that point of view, you don't need to worry about uninstalling things like Web Servers, SMB daemons, printing services etc and instead can just install the precise set of packages you require.

If you are really worried about support, you can pay $49 per month for developer level support, from which you will get answers to your questions with 24 hours.

  • Not sure what the story is with all the down voting of answers on this topic is about. The question was whether answers to questions about CentOS apply equally to Amazon Linux. Both answers that have been provided answer this question. – Garreth McDaid Jun 13 '16 at 11:37
  • I would up vote them for being valid answers but I cannot since I don't have enough reputation. – Jeffrey Cordero Jun 15 '16 at 17:34

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