When to use Lambda's OS-only runtimes - Amazon Lambda
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When to use Lambda's OS-only runtimes

Lambda provides managed runtimes for Java, Python, Node.js, .NET, and Ruby. To create Lambda functions in a programming language that is not available as a managed runtime, use an OS-only runtime (the provided runtime family). There are three primary use cases for OS-only runtimes:

  • Native ahead-of-time (AOT) compilation: Languages such as Go, Rust, and C++ compile natively to an executable binary, which doesn't require a dedicated language runtime. These languages only need an OS environment in which the compiled binary can run. You can also use Lambda OS-only runtimes to deploy binaries compiled with .NET Native AOT and Java GraalVM Native.

    You must include a runtime interface client in your binary. The runtime interface client calls the Lambda runtime API to retrieve function invocations and then calls your function handler. Lambda provides runtime interface clients for Go, .NET Native AOT, C++, and Rust (experimental).

    You must compile your binary for a Linux environment and for the same instruction set architecture that you plan to use for the function (x86_64 or arm64).

  • Third-party runtimes: You can run Lambda functions using off-the-shelf runtimes such as Bref for PHP or the Swift Amazon Lambda Runtime for Swift.

  • Custom runtimes: You can build your own runtime for a language or language version that Lambda doesn't provide a managed runtime for, such as Node.js 19. For more information, see Building a custom runtime for Amazon Lambda. This is the least common use case for OS-only runtimes.

Lambda supports the following OS-only runtimes:

OS-only
Name Identifier Operating system Deprecation date Block function create Block function update

OS-only Runtime

provided.al2023

Amazon Linux 2023

OS-only Runtime

provided.al2

Amazon Linux 2

The Amazon Linux 2023 (provided.al2023) runtime provides several advantages over Amazon Linux 2, including a smaller deployment footprint and updated versions of libraries such as glibc.

The provided.al2023 runtime uses dnf as the package manager instead of yum, which is the default package manager in Amazon Linux 2. For more information about the differences between provided.al2023 and provided.al2, see Introducing the Amazon Linux 2023 runtime for Amazon Lambda on the Amazon Compute Blog.