Microsoft has developed its own Linux distro, CBL-Mariner, and released it under the open source MIT License recently.
Microsoft said in the CBL-Mariner repository on GitHub that it is an internal Linux distribution for Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and edge products and services. The company said it was designed to provide a consistent platform for these devices and services and enhance Microsoft’s ability to stay current on Linux updates.
“This initiative is part of Microsoft’s increasing investment in a wide range of Linux technologies, such as SONiC, Azure Sphere OS and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). CBL-Mariner is being shared publicly as part of Microsoft’s commitment to Open Source and to contribute back to the Linux community,” reads the repository.
CBL-Mariner has said to be engineered with the notion that a small common core set of packages can address the universal needs of first party cloud and edge services while allowing individual teams to layer additional packages on top of the common core to produce images for their workloads.
Whether deployed as a container or a container host, CBL-Mariner consumes limited disk and memory resources. The lightweight characteristics of CBL-Mariner also provides faster boot times and a minimal attack surface. By focusing the features in the core image to just what is needed for our internal cloud customers there are fewer services to load, and fewer attack vectors. When security vulnerabilities arise, CBL-Mariner supports both a package-based update model and an image based update model. Leveraging the common RPM Package Manager system, CBL-Mariner makes the latest security patches and fixes available for download with the goal of fast turn-around times, the company said.
Microsoft engineer Juan Rey had published an easy-to-follow guide to installing the distribution that makes it easy for anyone with a bit of Linux know-how to use.