Amazon Linux

Amazon Linux 2 is available on Docker Hub. It’s based on Centos 7 and has SystemD and uses the Yum package manager. Unfortunately, Amazon haven’t done anything to reduce the number of packages installed. There’s no minimal version which means you have an image that contains non essential packages and therefore a much larger surface area.

The latest Amazon Linux 2 container is 61.63mb compressed and 163mb on disk.

There are some positive trade-offs with AWS Linux. Firstly, you get OS support if you’re on AWS and have an Amazon support package. Amazon also provide a security advisory service. This service works with Amazon Image Inspector to scan for vulnerable OS packages inside your containers. I’m not sure how good the AWS security team is, or how large they are compared to the people working on Redhat, Ubuntu and Debian.

My opinion is that if Amazon provided a minimal image with much fewer base operating packages installed then this would be the winner for anyone running on AWS.

Until then we'd recommend looking at using RHEL, Ubuntu or Debian base images.

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