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There are many public AMIs available to you. To see the available AMIs, go to Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). If the available public AMIs don't provide everything that you're looking for, you can create an AMI that meets your needs.
Creating your own AMI helps you make the most of Amazon EC2. Your AMI becomes the basic unit of deployment; it enables you to rapidly boot new custom instances as you need them. This section gives an overview of your AMI creation options, identifies the tools you need, and walks you through the process.
Before you begin this section, you should be familiar with AMI and instance concepts. For more information, see the following sections:
There are a few different ways to create an AMI. The process you must follow to create an AMI depends on whether you are creating an Amazon EBS-backed AMI or an Amazon EC2 instance store-backed AMI. There are significant differences between Amazon EBS-backed and Amazon EC2 instance store-backed AMIs, such as data persistence. For information on the differences between these choices, see Storage for the Root Device.
First, decide which operating system and root device volume you want, and then you'll know which of these processes to use for creating the AMI:
Amazon EBS-backed AMI
The same general process applies to Linux/UNIX and Windows.
Amazon EC2 instance store-backed AMI
The process depends on the operating system.