[OSS] Linux on Azure – Overview

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When it comes to Open Source Software (OSS) on Azure, I still hear some customers saying: „But Azure is from Microsoft, do they really support this?“

And the answer is: OOOHHH YES!!!

Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure

If you follow Azure for a while you may know that it all started in 2008 with the announcement of the Windows Azure Platform. At this point most people were still working on their Virtualization strategy, or didn’t even know that.

Started as Windows Azure Microsoft decided in 2014 to rename the platform to „Microsoft Azure“. The official explanation at this time:

This change reflects Microsoft’s strategy and focus on Azure as the public cloud platform for customers as well as for our own services […] Today we support one of  the broadest set of operating systems, languages, and services of any public cloud—from Windows, SQL and .NET to Python, Ruby, Node.js, Java, Hadoop, Linux, and Oracle. […]

This clearly stated that Microsoft Azure is not a Microsoft only solution. It is the Cloud Platform for everything … even Linux 🙂

Linux usage on Azure

There were a lot of rumors around the usage of Linux on Azure…but from time to time Microsoft made some statements. So for example in 2018 where Scott Guthrie mentioned in an interview that

…about half Azure VMs are Linux…

Years before it have been 25% and 40%

But in 2019 the Microsoft Linux Kernel Developer Sasha Levin requested access to the Linux Security list. In his application he stated:

the Linux usage on our cloud has surpassed Windows …

So Linux is a serious topic for Microsoft and they also created their own Linux-based OS for their Azure Sphere devices

Linux on Azure – Support

Now let us have a look which Linux distributions are supported in Azure:

Linux on Azure - Distributions

If you need some more information you can find a detailed list, including supported versions : Endorsed Linux distributions on Azure

There you will also learn that publishers and vendors are required to at least update their images in the Azure marketplace on a quarterly basis.

Also Microsoft is working together with some of the Linux Distributors. So there are some „Azure-tuned“ kernels available for SLES, Debian, CentOS and Ubuntu.

Use Linux in Azure

If you want to use Linux in Azure then you could easily go to the marketplace and search for Linux offerings there. You will find quite a lot and much more than only the server images:

Linux on Azure Marketplace

Here you can also see that Azure native services like Functions and Web Apps do offer a Linux support. If you create a web app for example, you have the option to choose between the running operating system:

Linux on Azure Web App

So feel free to use Linux on Azure and happy OSS-ing

Dieser Post ist auch verfügbar auf: Englisch

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