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InfoQ Homepage News Amazon Introduces Bottlerocket, a Linux-Based OS for Container Hosting

Amazon Introduces Bottlerocket, a Linux-Based OS for Container Hosting

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Amazon has announced a new Linux-based open-source operating system (OS) called Bottlerocket, which is purpose-built to run containers. Bottlerocket is currently in public preview as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for customers to experiment with.

The tech giant designed and optimized Bottlerocket specifically for use as a container host, and it comes with a single-step update mechanism. Furthermore, Bottlerocket only includes essential software to run containers. Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for AWS, stated in a blog post on Bottlerocket: 

Bottlerocket reflects much of what we have learned over the years. It includes only the packages that are needed to make it a great container host, and integrates with existing container orchestrators. It supports Docker image and images that conform to the Open Container Initiative (OCI) image format.


Bottlerocket comes with several benefits for its users:

  • Higher uptime with lower operational cost and management complexity. The OS has a smaller resource footprint, boot times, and security attack surface compared to general-purpose OSes.
  • Improved security from automatic OS updates. Bottlerocket uses a simple, image-based model that allows for a rapid and complete rollback if necessary.
  • Open development model, enabling customers, partners, and others to make code and design changes to Bottlerocket. The code is currently available on GitHub repro.
  • Premium support as AWS-provided builds of Bottlerocket deployed on Amazon EC2 are provided under the same AWS support plans covering AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon EKS, and so on.

Amazon launched Bottlerocket in cooperation with several partners, including Alcide, Armory, CrowdStrike, Datadog, New Relic, Sysdig, Tigera, Trend Micro and Weaveworks. Chanwit Kaewkasi, DX engineer at Weaveworks, states in a recent company blog post

Our Fork Clone Run model works nicely to enable GitOps on a Bottlerocket cluster. Bottlerocket OS simplifies and speeds up Kubernetes cluster creation, providing a seamless, secure GitOps user-experience.

Bottlerocket includes support for use with Amazon EKS, and according to the announcement, Amazon will soon support Amazon ECS. Furthermore, the tech giant is aiming to release Bottlerocket to the general public later this year.

Amazon is not the first organisation to create a container-optimized OS. Red Hat have created Project Atomic and inherited (via their CoreOS acquisition) Container Linux, Rancher Labs have created Rancher OS, Canonical have Ubuntu Core, and Google Cloud Platform have a Container-Optimized OS.

Community reaction to the release was generally positive. Adrian Mouat, author of Using Docker, stated via Twitter

So the bottlerocket OS from AWS looks pretty awesome. It seems to a stripped down Linux for running containers with an API instead off ssh. I hope it see wider usage outside of AWS instances.

Customers can start using Bottlerocket now by launching Amazon EC2 instances with the Bottlerocket AMI, and joining them to an Amazon EKS cluster following the QuickStart guide.

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