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Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Finding a Linux AMI

Before you can launch an instance, you must select an AMI to use. As you select an AMI, consider the following requirements you might have for the instances that you'll launch:

  • The region

  • The operating system

  • The architecture: 32-bit (i386) or 64-bit (x86_64)

  • The root device type: Amazon EBS or instance store

  • The provider: Amazon Web Services, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, or the community

If you need to find a Windows AMI, see Finding a Windows AMI in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Microsoft Windows Instances.

Finding a Linux AMI Using the Amazon EC2 Console

You can find Linux AMIs using the Amazon EC2 console. You can search through all available AMIs using the Images page, or select from commonly used AMIs on the Quick Launch tab when you use the console to launch an instance.

To find a Linux AMI using the Images page

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console.

  2. From the navigation bar, select a region. You can select any region that's available to you, regardless of your location. This is the region in which you'll launch your instance.

  3. In the navigation pane, click AMIs.

  4. (Optional) Use the Filter options to scope the list of displayed AMIs to see only the AMIs that interest you. For example, to list all Linux AMIs provided by AWS, select Public images. Click the Search bar and select Owner from the menu, then select Amazon images. Click the Search bar again to select Platform and then the operating system from the list provided.

  5. (Optional) Click the Show/Hide Columns icon to select which image attributes to display, such as the root device type. Alternatively, you can select an AMI from the list and view its properties in the Details tab.

  6. Before you select an AMI, it's important that you check whether it's backed by instance store or by Amazon EBS and that you are aware of the effects of this difference. For more information, see Storage for the Root Device.

  7. To launch an instance from this AMI, select it and then click Launch. For more information about launching an instance using the console, see Launching Your Instance from an AMI. If you're not ready to launch the instance now, write down the AMI ID (ami-xxxxxxxx) for later.

To find a Linux AMI when you launch an instance

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console.

  2. From the console dashboard, click Launch Instance.

  3. On the Choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) page, on the Quick Start tab, select from one of the commonly used AMIs in the list. If you don't see the AMI that you need, select the AWS Marketplace or Community AMIs tab to find additional AMIs.

Finding an AMI Using the AWS CLI

You can use command line parameters to list only the types of AMIs that interest you. For example, you can use the describe-images command as follows to find public AMIs owned by you or Amazon.

$ aws ec2 describe-images --owners self amazon

Add the following filter to the previous command to display only AMIs backed by Amazon EBS:

--filters "Name=root-device-type,Values=ebs"

After locating an AMI that meets your needs, write down its ID (ami-xxxxxxxx). You can use this AMI to launch instances. For more information, see Launching an Instance Using the AWS CLI in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

Finding an AMI Using the Amazon EC2 CLI

You can use command line parameters to list only the types of AMIs that interest you. For example, you can use the ec2-describe-images command as follows to find public AMIs owned by you or Amazon.

$ ec2-describe-images -o self -o amazon

Add the following filter to the previous command to display only AMIs backed by Amazon EBS:

--filter "root-device-type=ebs"

After locating an AMI that meets your needs, write down its ID (ami-xxxxxxxx). You can use this AMI to launch instances. For more information, see Launching an Instance Using the Amazon EC2 CLI in the Amazon EC2 Command Line Reference.