Can you Install amazon-linux-extras in Amazon Linux 2023?
The very first time I launched an Amazon Linux 2023 or AL2023 instance, I tried installing a package from amazon-linux-extras. I was very much used to it in Amazon Linux 2.
But to my surprise, I got -bash: amazon-linux-extras: command not found error. As soon as typed amazon-linux-extras, I was greeted by this beautiful error shown in the screenshot.
I was very much intrigued about how I am supposed to install my packages that used to be in amazon-linux-extras?
If you want to know the same, stay with me till the end of this post to find out.
Before we discuss much, let’s get to know a bit about Amazon Linux 2023 and amazon-linux-extras.
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What is Amazon Linux 2023?
Amazon Linux 2023 or AL2023 is a general-purpose rpm-based Linux distribution. Al2023 came as a successor to Amazon Linux 2.
It was released in March 2023 and is designed to provide a secure, stable, high-performance environment to develop and run your cloud applications. It is optimized for high performance for cloud applications. At the same time gives you access to the latest innovations in Linux.
What is amazon-linux-extras?
Amazon Linux extras is a repository of packages that are not usually found in the core package repository of Amazon Linux 2. Amazon-linux-extras lets you install newer versions of software packages on Amazon Linux 2.
Why are we talking about Amazon Linux 2023 and amazon-linux-extras then?
Since Amazon Linux 2023 or Al2023 is the successor of Amazon Linux 2, Our expectation was that it will be present in Al2023 as well. Considering how easy and convenient it is to install a software package from amazon-linux-extras.
However, the reality is Amazon Linux 2023 does not have amazon-linux-extras or anything as such.
Even the newer version of software packages are made available in the core package repository of AL2023 itself. However, the difference is that these packages are made available as namespaced packages in the main package repository.
Let me explain.
If you try to hit the command –
sudo dnf install python3
At the time of writing this, it defaults to Python version 3.9.16. However, you can install newer versions of Python such as 3.11 by using its own namespaced package. In short, the command will look like-
sudo dnf install python3.11
That means in your system, you will have
/usr/bin/python3.11 alongside the
/usr/bin/python3.9 provided by the
And I feel this makes things a bit less complex as everything can be found under the same umbrella.
The alternative of amazon-linux-extras on Amazon Linux 2023
Okay just to re-iterate what we discussed. Remember amazon-linux-extras is not available on Amazon Linux 2023. The alternative is to search for the package in the main repository itself as namespaced packages.
You can find all the package lists available on Amazon Linux 2023 on the official page.
You can also see the packages that are in Amazon Linux 2 but are removed from Linux 2023- List here
At the same time, there are packages that have been upgraded from amazon linux 2 and you can find the list here.
Overall, you can keep track of all package-related changes in Amazon Linux 2023 on this page.
In case you think an important package is missing from the Amazon Linux 2023 main repository. Feel free to raise a PR here. The team at AWS is kind enough to consider your genuine request.
As we discussed if you try to install amazon-linux-extras in Amazon Linux 2023 EC2 instance, you get an error as amazon-linux-extras: command not found error.
And this is obvious. As amazon-linux-extras is not available in Amazon Linux 2023. To fulfil the purpose of amazon-linux-extras, AL2023 provides all the newer versions of packages as namespaced packages in the same core repository or the main repository as you would like to call it.
To me, this is a great move by the team to reduce confusion while installing a package on Amazon Linux 2023. What do you think? Let me know your opinion on this in the comments.
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