Product Announcements

Announcing Photon OS 5.0 – General Availability

We are delighted to announce the General Availability (GA) of Photon OS 5.0. This release is available in pre-packaged binary formats, including bootable ISO, pre-installed OVA, Amazon AMI image, Google GCE image, and Azure VHD. You can download the Photon OS 5.0 GA images from here .

Overview of Photon OS 5.0 

Kernel Upgrade: 

Photon OS 5.0 uptakes the Long-Term Support Kernel 6.1, including upgrades to the various flavors of the Linux kernel that Photon OS offer.  

  • linux – the generic kernel flavor  
  • linux-esx – linux kernel tuned for VMware Hypervisor and used by CRX and POD VMs 
  • linux-secure – Security-hardened kernel for deployments on Edge  
  • linux-rt – linux kernel tuned for Low latency uses cases and used by Telco VRAN appliances, including optimizations, stability enhancements, and Intel Sapphire Rapids CPU support.  

 Please note, linux-aws kernel flavor in earlier releases is now merged into the linux generic kernel.  

Newer Capabilities 

Photon OS 5.0 brings new capabilities. Photon OS installer now supports XFS and BTRFS filesystems. With cgroupsv2, consumers can now take advantage of better resource management capabilities, unified hierarchy design in API, and Pressure Stall Information, among other benefits cgroupsv2 brings. In addition, photon OS 5.0 now supports ARM64 for the linux-esx kernel flavor.  

Towards Enhanced Security  

Photon OS 5.0 introduces Live Kernel Patching allowing administrators to patch a running kernel without rebooting. Further, this release also supports SELinux Policy to manage access to files, directories, and other system resources, allowing administrators to minimize security breaches. In addition, Rootless Containers allow unprivileged users to create and manage containers without having root privileges on the host machine, further preventing threats to the host.   

Network Management Simplified 

Photon OS 5.0 has brought in several enhancements to Network Configuration Manager, focusing on simplifying the network administration tasks for administrators. Administrators can define a YAML file to perform network configuration using  Netplan syntax. With this release, administrators can perform configuration and administration of various network device parameters (see more). Administrators can seamlessly perform tasks like configuring multiple routes and addresses section, configuring Wire Guard and SRIOV, and managing virtual network devices. pmd-nxtgen has been enhanced to configure the system hostname, the configuration of network SRIOV, Tun, TLS, etc.  

Enhancements to Installer, Build System, and tdnf Experience 

Administrators can now generate a custom initial RAM disk (initrd), custom ISO, and custom- RPM-OSTree ISO using command line tools—more versatile handling of VLAN interfaces with Kickstart network configurations. A/B storage partition system simplifies the upgrades and rollback. Tdnf is now enriched with several new command line parameters like history, mark, etc. It also adds more options to enhance the experience of package installation and updates. 

Package Upgrades: 

As in every major release, 5.0 includes upgrades to packages like gcc (12.2), glibc(2.36), systemd(253), python3(3.11), openssl(3.0.8), go(1.20.2), etc. Please note some packages have been deprecated. For detailed information on package upgrades, please review the What’s new section – here. In addition, PostgreSQL versions 13, 14, and 15 are supported in Photon OS 5.0.  

Upgrade Recommendation 

The End of Support for Photon OS 3.0 is planned for March 2024. Therefore, we strongly recommend appliances and other consumers on Photon OS 3.0 plan their upgrades to Photon OS 5.0. Of course, you can also upgrade to Photon OS 4.0 (released in February 2021 with Expected End of Support in March 2026- subject to change).  

For more detailed information, please visit the page – What’s new in Photon OS 5.0 GA. 

 The Photon OS project team welcomes contributions from the community. Your comments, suggestions, and bug reports would help us improve future Photon OS releases. You can find the resources in the following link to start contributing –