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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Importing a VM into Amazon EC2 as an Image

You can import a virtual machine (VM) from your virtualization environment such as Citrix Xen, Microsoft Hyper-V, or VMware vSphere, and import it as an AMI in Amazon EC2. For more information about how to launch an Amazon EC2 instance from an AMI, see Launch Your Instance.

To use your VM in Amazon EC2, you must first export it from the virtualization environment, and then import it into Amazon EC2 using the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) or API tools.

The following diagram shows the process of exporting a VM from your on-premises virtualization environment to AWS.

VM Import/Export Architecture

Whether you use the CLI or the API, you will follow the same steps for importing VMs or volumes into Amazon EC2. This is the process for using the CLI.

To import a VM into Amazon EC2

  1. Install the AWS CLI. For more information, see Step 1: Install the AWS CLI.

  2. Prepare the VM for import to Amazon EC2. For more information, see Step 2: Prepare Your VM.

  3. Export the VM from the virtualization environment. For more information, see Step 3: Export Your VM from Its Virtual Environment.

  4. Import the VM into Amazon EC2. For information, see Step 4: Importing Your VM into Amazon EC2.

  5. Launch the instance in Amazon EC2. For more information, see Step 5: Launch the instance in Amazon EC2.