Naming and versioning - Amazon Linux 2023
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Naming and versioning

AL2023 provides a minor release every three months during the two years of standard support. Each release is identified by an increment from 0 to N. 0 refers to the original major release for that iteration. All releases will be called Amazon Linux 2023. When Amazon Linux 2025 is released, AL2023 will enter extended support and receive updates for security updates and critical bug fixes.

For example, minor releases of AL2023 have the following format:

  • 2023.0.20230301

  • 2023.1.20230601

  • 2023.2.20230901

The corresponding AL2023 AMIs have the following format:

  • al2023-ami-2023.0.20230301.0-kernel-6.1-x86_64

  • al2023-ami-2023.1.20230601.0-kernel-6.1-x86_64

  • al2023-ami-2023.2.20230901.0-kernel-6.1-x86_64

Within a specific minor version, regular AMI releases occur with a timestamp of the date of the AMI release.

  • al2023-ami-2023.0.20230301.0-kernel-6.1-x86_64

  • al2023-ami-2023.0.20230410.0-kernel-6.1-x86_64

  • al2023-ami-2023.0.20230520.0-kernel-6.1-x86_64

The recommended method for identifying an AL2 or AL2023 instance starts with reading the Common Platform Enumeration (CPE) string from /etc/system-release-cpe. Then, split the string into its fields. Finally, read the platform and version values.

AL2023 also introduces new files for platform identification:

  • /etc/amazon-linux-release symlinks to /etc/system-release

  • /etc/amazon-linux-release-cpe symlinks to /etc/system-release-cpe

These two files indicate that an instance is Amazon Linux. There's no need to read a file or split the string into fields, unless you want to know the specific platform and version values.