Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers an officially supported Amazon Machine Image (AMI), but it doesn't indicate which Linux distribution it's based upon.
Is the official Amazon Linux AMI based on another Linux distribution, and if so, which one?
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There's a discussion thread available over on the AWS forums that indicates the officially supported Amazon Linux AMI is not based upon any Linux distribution. Rather, the Amazon Linux AMI is independently maintained image by Amazon.
Seems like it's based on RHEL:
$ cat /etc/os-release NAME="Amazon Linux AMI" VERSION="2017.09" ID="amzn" ID_LIKE="rhel fedora" VERSION_ID="2017.09" PRETTY_NAME="Amazon Linux AMI 2017.09" ANSI_COLOR="0;33" CPE_NAME="cpe:/o:amazon:linux:2017.09:ga" HOME_URL="http://aws.amazon.com/amazon-linux-ami/"
freedesktop says of "ID_LIKE":
It should list identifiers of operating systems that are closely related to the local operating system in regards to packaging and programming interfaces, for example listing one or more OS identifiers the local OS is a derivative from.
listing one or more OS identifiers the local OS is a derivative from
If you were to look at RHEL/CentOS7 the same file would read:
$ cat /etc/os-release ... ID_LIKE="fedora" ...
And yet, Amazon Linux still features
yum and no
dnf in sight; weird. Speculation leads me to support the theory that Amazon has a supported upstream agreement with RH.
That it's based on RHEL 5/6 seems extremely unlikely.
That would be both lazy and stupid; 2 things I wouldn't normally ascribe to Amazon's engineers. One way to determine that would be to isolate something that is only present in the latest version of RHEL7, a driver, kernel security patch, etc. and run the same test on Amazon Linux; it's either present or it's not.
While far less irresponsible, there's no valid reason to even use RHEL6x either.