What’s new in Azure Linux: Community, events, new features, and more.

This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Microsoft Tech Community - Latest Blogs - .

Azure Linux (aka Mariner) was released four years ago, empowering internal Microsoft services such as Minecraft, Xbox, HDInsight, Microsoft Threat Protection, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and Azure Operator Nexus to operate on a secure, Azure-optimized platform. Last year at Microsoft Build, the General Availability of Azure Linux as a container host (node) for AKS was announced. The response from customers and partners has been nothing short of remarkable, with over 1,000 enterprise customers shaping the roadmap and growth of Azure Linux. This blog highlights updates to Azure Linux, upcoming roadmap features, and offers insights on how to stay connected with the team. 


Upcoming events 

KubeCon EU: The Azure Linux team will be available at the Microsoft booth at KubeCon EU from March 20-22, ready to chat with customers and address inquiries. Customers can also register for AKS day, taking place on March 19. The team is looking forward to connecting at KubeCon! 


Open Source Summit NA: Microsoft is a Platinum sponsor at Open Source Summit North America, which is taking place in Seattle, WA from April 16-18, 2024. The Azure Linux team will be available at the Microsoft booth, and we invite attendees to drop by! 


Linuxfest Northwest: Another opportunity to connect with the Azure Linux team will be at Linuxfest Northwest, a local Linux conference in Bellingham, WA, taking place from April 24-25. The Azure Linux team will present a session on their learnings and challenges in building a Linux distribution at Microsoft, as well as showcasing features and benefits of Azure Linux. 



The Azure Linux team is making community investments to help users connect to discuss new features, provide feedback, and learn more about others' usage of Azure Linux. These include: 

  • Hosting Azure Linux community calls featuring a summary of updates, demos, and open discussions. Click here for the schedule and link to join. 
  • Hosting AKS community calls covering the benefits of Azure Linux, getting started guides, and migration strategies with zero impact. 
  • Publishing a feature roadmap that shows features in development, available for Preview, and Generally Available. This feature roadmap will be published on the Azure Linux GitHub page in the near future.


New features 

OSsku In-Place Migration: The OSsku in-place migration feature enables users to trigger a node image upgrade from one Linux SKU (e.g. Ubuntu) to another (e.g. Azure Linux) on an existing nodepool. This feature, available for Public Preview, can be deployed via ARM template and CLI (via AKS preview extension). Once Generally Available, it will also be available via Terraform. 


Cgroupsv2: Starting with the AKS 1.29 release, Azure Linux nodes will use cgroupsv2 by default, impacting all new nodepools created with AKS 1.29 and existing nodepools upgraded to 1.29. cgroupsv2 offers benefits such as improved resource isolation, unified hierarchy, and simplified configuration. Azure Linux nodes have been running with the correct runc version (1.1.9), which contains the fix reported by the community for higher than expected memory consumption being reported. As of Kubernetes version 1.29, the correct version of cadvisor is also being used for memory reporting. Therefore, moving to cgroupsv2 for 1.29 aligns with all upstream patches. 


Coming down the line 

Support for broader GPU SKUs: Azure Linux currently supports NVIDIA V100 and T4 GPUs, with plans to add support for NVIDIA A100 and H100 GPUs. 


GPU operator support: Support for NVIDIA GPU Operator on Azure Linux AKS nodes will allow customers to manage GPU driver installations. 


Kernel live patching: In preview later this year with Azure Linux, kernel live patching allows kernel CVE patches to be applied on a running VM without requiring a reboot. 


Azure Linux 3.0: The next major version of Azure Linux will include updates to packages, including OpenSSL, Containerd, Runc, Systemd, and the 6.6 Kernel. Azure Linux 3.0 will also see SELinux defaulting to enforcing, and continuous quality and performance improvements. 


Growing the partner ecosystem 

The Azure Linux team extends a warm welcome to its latest partners: CloudCasa by Catalogic, Solo.io, and Akuity.


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The partner ecosystem is in a state of continual growth, with ISV solutions spanning across all major verticals to support the Azure Linux Container Host on AKS.


Stay in touch with the team  

To stay updated, provide feedback, and submit features requests for Azure Linux, there are a few ways to connect with the team: 

  • Attend community calls for feature updates and to connect with other Azure Linux users. 
  • Ask questions and submit feedback via Azure Linux GitHub Issues. 
  • For attendees of KubeCon EU who are interested in learning more about Azure Linux and the Azure Linux ISV partner program, they are invited reach out to azurelinuxisv@microsoft.com to schedule a meeting. 

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