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Microsoft Renames CBL-Mariner to Azure Linux

For some unknown reasons, Microsoft renamed the in-house Linux distribution CBL-Mariner to Azure Linux.

Microsoft, the tech giant has recently renamed its in-house Linux distribution, CBL-Mariner, to Azure Linux. This rebranding represents a key shift for Microsoft, which has been increasingly “embracing” Linux in recent years.

CBL_Mariner is renamed as Azure Linux
CBL_Mariner is renamed as Azure Linux

CBL-Mariner, which stands for “Common Base Linux,” has been used by Microsoft for a variety of purposes, including as the foundation for its Azure Sphere operating system for IoT and microcontroller use. However, Azure Linux is a separate project that has evolved out of CBL-Mariner and is intended for use in cloud-native environments.

The transition to Azure Linux is already underway, with the release of CBL-Mariner 2.0.20240301. The CBL-Mariner repository on GitHub has been renamed to “AzureLinux,” and other references to CBL-Mariner have been transitioned to Azure Linux branding. Although majority of packages, emails, gpgkeys are still holding the CBL name.

GitHub main page now renamed
GitHub main page now renamed

While the motivation behind this rebranding and evolution of CBL-Mariner to Azure Linux is not yet clear, it is possible that Microsoft is looking to better position its in-house Linux platform publicly and distinguish it from other Linux distributions. The move may also signal Microsoft’s Linux strategy, with a greater focus on cloud-native environments and Azure.

The new branding is expected to make it easier to distinguish between CBL-Mariner and Azure Linux, reducing confusion and making it easier to identify the appropriate use cases for each. Additionally, the transition is likely to bring greater alignment between Microsoft’s Linux platform and its cloud services, making it easier for developers to build and deploy cloud-native applications on Azure.

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