Alibaba Cloud Linux is a Linux distribution developed by Alibaba Cloud. It is built on the Anolis OS developed by the OpenAnolis community (OpenAnolis) and is fully compatible with the CentOS and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) ecosystems. Alibaba Cloud Linux offers a safe, stable, and high-performance customized runtime environment for cloud-based applications and is optimized for Alibaba Cloud infrastructure to improve user experience. Alibaba Cloud Linux 2 and Alibaba Cloud Linux 3 have been released.

For more information, visit the Alibaba Cloud Linux 2 product page.

Use scenarios

Alibaba Cloud Linux is suitable for the following Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance families and workloads:
  • A variety of instance families, including ECS Bare Metal Instance families. For more information, see Instance family. Take note of the following items:
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux supports instances that have up to 768 vCPUs.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux supports instances that have 0.5 GiB to 12,288 GiB of memory.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux does not support non-I/O optimized instances.
  • A variety of workloads in cloud environments, such as databases, cloud native containers, data analytics, web applications, and other workloads in the production environment.

Billing

Alibaba Cloud Linux images are provided free of charge. However, you must pay for other resources that are consumed when you create instances from the images, such as vCPUs, memory, storage, public bandwidth, and snapshots. For information about the billing details, see Overview.

Advantages

Compared with other Linux distributions, Alibaba Cloud Linux has the following advantages:
  • Alibaba Cloud provides long-term free software maintenance and technical support for Alibaba Cloud Linux. For information about the end of life (EOL) plans of different Alibaba Cloud Linux releases, see EOL plans of Alibaba Cloud Linux.
  • Alibaba Cloud Linux is optimized for integration with Alibaba Cloud infrastructure and increases system startup speeds and runtime performance. It has long-tested and refined from its extensive use in Alibaba and Alibaba Cloud services and proved its outstanding performance and stability.
  • Alibaba Cloud Linux is equipped with an updated Linux kernel, user-mode packages, and toolkits, and provides the latest enhanced operating system features from the Linux community to support cloud-based application environments.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux 3 is powered by Linux kernel 5.10 LTS and uses GCC 10.2, Binutils 2.35, and glibc 2.32 by default.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux 2 is powered by Linux kernel 4.19 LTS and provides devtoolset support for GCC 7.3.1, GCC 8.2.1, and GCC 9.1.1. For information about how to use devtoolset, see the "Use experimental software packages" section in Use experimental software packages.
  • Alibaba Cloud Linux is compatible with the CentOS and RHEL ecosystems. Most CentOS and RHEL software can run on Alibaba Cloud Linux with little or no modifications.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux 3 is built on Anolis OS 8 and compatible with the CentOS 8 and RHEL 8 ecosystems.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux 2 is built on Anolis OS 7 and compatible with the CentOS 7 and RHEL 7 ecosystems.
  • Alibaba Cloud Linux provides policies for monitoring and fixing security vulnerabilities and ensures system security. For more information, see Security updates.

Features

  • Alibaba Cloud Linux is distributed with the latest version of the Alibaba Cloud kernel.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux 2 is developed based on Linux kernel 4.19 LTS, and Alibaba Cloud Linux 3 is developed based on Linux kernel 5.10 LTS. Alibaba Cloud Linux is optimized to provide features for cloud-based scenarios, improve performance, and fix bugs. For more information, see Release notes for Alibaba Cloud Linux 2 and Release notes for Alibaba Cloud Linux 3.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux provides customized and optimized kernel startup parameters and system configuration parameters for the ECS instance environment.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux provides kdump, which is a kernel dumping mechanism used when the operating system fails. You can enable or disable this feature without the need to restart the operating system.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux provides Kernel Live Patching (KLP). For more information, see Overview of the Kernel Live Patching feature.
  • Alibaba Cloud Linux has software pre-installed or updated.
  • Alibaba Cloud Linux accelerates the startup process, improves runtime performance, and enhances system stability.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux optimizes the startup speed of ECS instances. Tests have proven that Alibaba Cloud Linux can reduce the startup time by up to 60% compared with other operating systems.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux optimizes the scheduling, memory, and I/O subsystems. In some open source benchmark tests, the performance of Alibaba Cloud Linux exceeds that of other operating systems by up to 30%.
    • Alibaba Cloud Linux provides enhanced system stability and can reduce downtime by 50% compared with other operating systems.

Alibaba Cloud Linux images

Release Image ID of the latest image version Image description
Alibaba Cloud Linux 3 Alibaba Cloud Linux 3.2104 64-bit aliyun_3_x64_20G_alibase_20210910.vhd The default standard Alibaba Cloud Linux image that supports the x86 architecture.
Alibaba Cloud Linux 3.2104 64-bit (Quick Start) aliyun_3_x64_20G_qboot_alibase_20211214.vhd
This image is an image customized based on the Alibaba Cloud kernel. It supports quick boot (Qboot) and starts instances from the kernel. Instances created from this image start faster than those created from other images and share the same default runtime as those created from the standard image. This image has the following characteristics:
  • The first-time startup of instances is accelerated, whereas subsequent startup of instances remains at normal speed.
  • The memory initialization process is optimized and accelerated, devices that take time to start such as mice are modularized, and the kernel boot is sped up.
  • The cloud-init service is replaced with the latest AliyunInit service to reduce the amount of time required to initialize the operating system.
  • The kernel startup parameter of this image cannot be modified.
  • This image does not support the following instance families: GPU-accelerated compute-optimized instance families, vGPU-accelerated instance families, FPGA-accelerated compute-optimized instance families, NPU-accelerated compute-optimized instance families, heterogeneous instance families, Super Computing Cluster (SCC) instance families, and security-enhanced instance families.
Alibaba Cloud Linux 3.2104 64-bit (UEFI) aliyun_3_x64_20G_uefi_alibase_20210910.vhd This image is developed based on the default x86-based standard image and supports only the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) boot mode.
Alibaba Cloud Linux 3.2104 64 for ARM aliyun_3_arm64_20G_alibase_20210910.vhd The default standard Alibaba Cloud Linux image that supports the ARM architecture.
Alibaba Cloud Linux 2 Alibaba Cloud Linux 2.1903 LTS 64-bit aliyun_2_1903_x64_20G_alibase_20210726.vhd The default standard Alibaba Cloud Linux image that supports the x86 architecture.
Alibaba Cloud Linux 2.1903 LTS 64-bit (Quick Start) aliyun_2_1903_x64_20G_qboot_alibase_20210726.vhd
This image is an image customized based on the Alibaba Cloud kernel. It supports quick boot (Qboot) and starts instances from the kernel. Instances created from this image start faster than those created from other images and share the same default runtime as those created from the standard image. This image has the following characteristics:
  • The first-time startup of instances is accelerated, whereas subsequent startup of instances remains at normal speed.
  • The memory initialization process is optimized and accelerated, devices that take time to start such as mice are modularized, and the kernel boot is sped up.
  • The cloud-init service is replaced with the latest AliyunInit service to reduce the amount of time required to initialize the operating system.
  • The kernel startup parameter of this image cannot be modified.
  • This image does not support the following instance families: GPU-accelerated compute-optimized instance families, vGPU-accelerated instance families, FPGA-accelerated compute-optimized instance families, NPU-accelerated compute-optimized instance families, heterogeneous instance families, Super Computing Cluster (SCC) instance families, and security-enhanced instance families.
Alibaba Cloud Linux 2.1903 LTS 64-bit (UEFI) aliyun_2_1903_x64_20G_uefi_alibase_20210726.vhd This image is developed based on the default x86-based standard image and supports only the UEFI boot mode.
Alibaba Cloud Linux 2.1903 64-bit (Trusted) aliyun_2_1903_x64_20G_secured_alibase_20210325.vhd This image is developed based on the default x86-based standard image and supports Alibaba Cloud trusted instances.

Obtain Alibaba Cloud Linux images

You can use one of the following methods to obtain and use Alibaba Cloud Linux images:

Release notes

Security updates

For information about security updates for CVEs for Alibaba Cloud Linux, see the following documents:

Technical support

Alibaba Cloud provides the following technical support for Alibaba Cloud Linux:
  • Security updates and vulnerability fixes are provided free of charge based on the lifecycle of Alibaba Cloud Linux releases. For information about the lifecycle of different Alibaba Cloud Linux releases, see EOL plans of Alibaba Cloud Linux. You can submit a ticket to obtain free technical support.
  • Alibaba Cloud Linux repositories are frequently updated and base images are updated every month. Updates cover new features, security updates, and vulnerability fixes.
  • Security updates are provided from YUM repositories. You can run the yum update command to update an image to the latest version.