Launching an EC2 instance

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In this lesson, we will go through the steps of launching an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance.

To begin, log in to your AWS account and go to the EC2 dashboard by clicking on the "Services" menu at the top of the page and selecting "EC2" under the "Compute" category:

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Opening the AWS EC2 Service Dashboard

Click the "Launch Instance" button to begin the process of launching an EC2 instance.

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Launch an AWS EC2 Instance

Under Name and tags specify a name for your EC2 instance. I am going to name it AmazonLinux after the OS:

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Name EC2 Instance

The Application and OS Images can be left blank at Amazon Linux, or you are free to select a specific image or OS. Remember that some of these can incur additional (probably not significant) charges.

Under Instance type, t2.micro should be selected by default which falls under the free tier so we will chose this option:

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Select EC2 Instance Type

Amazon EC2 key pairs are a security feature of Amazon EC2 that allows users to securely connect to their Amazon EC2 instances. Since we haven't configured any key pairs let's click the Create new key pair to do so now. I will use firstkeypair as the name and choose RSA and .pem.

If you plan to use PuTTY (i.e. your on Windows and don't have an SSH client which is provided on newer installations of Windows), you will want to use .ppk for the private key file format.

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Create AWS Key Pair

Click the Create key pair button and you will see the key pair download. You might want to back this file up because if you lose it you'll need to recreate your keypair and it can make your EC2 instances unreachable.

Now you should see the firstkeypair selected in the key pair section.

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AWS EC2 Key Pair selection

Expand the Network settings and change the Allow SSH traffic from to My IP.

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Configure connections

This ensures that other people cannot connect to your VM and do something that would break the rules (such as hacking or other illegal actions) using your AWS account resources.

We can leave the Configure storage section default at 8GB. Remember, we get up to 30GB free (check to verify), so that means we can have multiple VMs as long as they fall under the 30GB of storage.

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AWS EC2 Storage

Review the settings you have chosen, then click Launch instance:

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Launch AWS EC2 instance

You will now see the page displaying the VM creation process. Once it is done, either click the instance ID shown below or go back to the EC2 instances overview page by clicking Instances in the breadcrumbs at the top of the screen.

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EC2 Instance Launched

Note that I needed to refresh the page before my EC2 instance was visible, so you may need to do that as well before seeing your instance in the list:

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AWS EC2 Instances

That's it! You've successfully created your AWS EC2 Instance. Great job! Next is connecting to the EC2 instance. See you in the next lecture!

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