Last update: Saturday, March 5, 2011, 8:16:42 AM.

A picture named ec2Poets.gif

Notes on using EC2/Windows Permalink to this headline.

Just a place where I take notes on how to do various tasks in EC2. I keep forgetting! smile

Running an instance from EBS Permalink to this headline.

1. From the console, choose the AMIs tab.

2. Choose EBS Images from the Viewing popup. I'm using ami-ba22c0d3 which is the basic Windows Server 2003 image without SQL.

3. Click the Launch button. Up comes the launch dialog. Here's how I filled it in. The mywebserver group is defined in the EC2 for Poets howto.

I launched it at 10:53AM. The EBS instances are supposed to launch much faster than the S3-based ones. Let's see.

Uhhhh yeah. It was running when I brought the browser to the front after typing the sentence above. That's a lot faster.

4. From the console, choose the Images tab. Right-click on the newly launched instance and choose Get Windows Password from the popup menu. A dialog appears containing the encrypted password and a place to enter the contents of the text from your Key-Pair file (in my case Durango). Open the file in a text editor, select-all, copy, then paste into the dialog. The decrypted password appears in a dialog (the password itself is erased in the screen shot).

5. Launch Remote Desktop Connection using the information in the dialog in step 4. If all goes well, a virgin copy of Windows Server 2003 should launch.

Customizing WIndows Server 2003 Permalink to this headline.

Some notes on how I customized the server.

1. The Start menu. I go for classic, small icons, expand all the system menus so you can get directly to control panels from the menu.

2. Install Firefox 3.5. Use Internet Explorer to download Firefox. As you try to download you'll have to specifically allow downloads from and the download site.

4. Install OPML with River2. Go to and follow the installation instructions. Open the Tool Catalog page and install River2. Done.

5. Set River2 prefs to allow rssCloud notification, remote viewing and posting.

6. I'm going to leave it running for an hour or so, then go on to the next step, to see what happens.

Stopping and restarting an instance Permalink to this headline.

There are new commands that allow you to stop an instance and restart it. The question is -- how much of the state of the machine is saved? Hopefully it resumes exactly where it left off.

1. When it restarts it comes back at a different IP address.

2. None of the apps are running, but the apps are installed. So it's not as if the computer had been put asleep, it's as if it had been rebooted.

Bundling up an EBS-based AMI Permalink to this headline.

The end goal of this mini-project is to have a replicate-able River2 aggregator, so everyone can have a realtime RSS feed reader.

1. In the instance you want to clone, run Ec2ConfigServiceSettings.exe in C:\Program Files\Amazon\Ec2ConfigService\.

2. Enable the "Set a random password..." option as shown in this screen shot.

3. In the console, right-click on the instance and choose Create Image (EBS AMI). A dialog appears.

4. In a minute or so it will appear in the AMI panel of the console as a "pending" image. Then a few minutes after that it will be ready.

I tested my image, and sure enough, Amazon is able to generate a password for it. So I'm now ready to go into the AMI business. Beauty! smile

Step-by-step for producing a virgin EC2 AMI. Permalink to this headline.

1. In the OPML Editor, open and run ec2supportsuite.shipping.

2. Change the Windows Administrator password so that you'll be able to access this Instance again once the AMI has been created from it. Amazon is clear about this in the Get Windows Password command.

3. In the file system, open C:Program Files:Amazon:EC2ConfigService:EC2ConfigServiceSettings.exe.

4. Click the checkbox next to "Set a random password..." Click OK.

5. Close all desktop windows, quit all apps, remember to quit flaunch.exe so that opml.exe doesn't re-launch.

6. Go to the Instances page in AWS.

7. Right-click on the one you've been running as the prototype. I call this one Mookie. Choose Create Image (EBS AMI) from the popup menu.

8. The image name is ec2ForPoetsX (where X varies with the version). The one I am creating today is ec2ForPoets2. The description is: Windows-based server for use with the EC2 For Poets tutorial.

9. Click Create This Image and hold your breath. (11:35AM)

10. Your server will shut down. The status on the AMI is "pending." (Still churning at noon.)

11. When the status changes to "Available" put the cursor on the AMI and click on Permissions. Change it from Private to Public.

Now I like to check that the Instance is usable.

1. Follow the instructions in EC2 for Poets.

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First published: Saturday, March 5, 2011, 8:13:39 AM.