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ec2 - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud tips and howtos

Amazon ec2 Introduction & Beginners Guide

This page is part of larger set of tips & howtos on ec2 by flurdy.
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Other ec2 docs by flurdy

Benefits of ec2

Why use ec2? It does not fit everyones requirements. It does fit people whom require Software-as-a-Service or people whom require hosting of servers (me). I think of it as hosting in the cloud, and the end results are often SaaS.

ec2 as colocation hosting is not the cheapest. However it is quite resonable and was cheaper than my previous hosting service provider. It is however exceptionally flexible with its ability to launch instances as required and you pay only for that use. It is quite fun launching 10s if not 100s of servers to test out some load balancing etc. You can do that immidietly at any time and use it for whatever you need. Then you shut them down, knowing you have not committed to pay for those servers the rest of the month or similar which a normal provider would insist. Or worse having bought all that the hardware yourself.

In the end it fits my needs very much, and I hope yours too.


Some of the drawbacks are:

Beginners guide

Pre requisits

Read up

Find out as much as you can about the Amazon elastic compute cloud.

Register with Amazon Web Services


You can install the command line tools, but these pages will assume you have installed the preferable elasticfox gui. However the more recent aws console is easy and a good choice.


You should pick your ec2 region, EU or USA. Then via Elasticfox's KeyPairs tab create a SSH key to use with ec2.

Security Groups

The default security group is quite open I tend to create thse 5 groups in addition:

Group Name Protocol From port To port Source
SSH tcp 22 22
Web tcp 80 80
tcp 443 443
tcp 8000 8999
Mail tcp 25 25
tcp 143 143
tcp 465 465
tcp 587 587
tcp 993 993
tcp 110 110
tcp 995 995
VNC tcp 5500 5510
tcp 5800 5810
tcp 5900 5910
Ping icmp -1 -1
icmp 8 8


Get a feel for ec2 by experimenting with images.

Take care of shutting down and terminating all at the end.


Beware of the risks of using Amazon ec2.

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