Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Making an AMI Public

Amazon EC2 enables you to share your AMIs with other AWS accounts. You can allow all AWS accounts to launch the AMI (make the AMI public), or only allow a few specific accounts to launch the AMI (see Sharing an AMI with Specific AWS Accounts). You are not billed when your AMI is launched by other AWS accounts; only the accounts launching the AMI are billed.

AMIs are a regional resource. Therefore, sharing an AMI makes it available in that region. To make an AMI available in a different region, copy the AMI to the region and then share it. For more information, see Copying an AMI.

To avoid exposing sensitive data when you share an AMI, read the security considerations in Guidelines for Shared Linux AMIs and follow the recommended actions.


If an AMI has a product code, you can't make it public. You must share the AMI with only specific AWS accounts.

Sharing an AMI with all AWS Accounts (Console)

After you make an AMI public, it is available in Community AMIs when you launch an instance in the same region using the console. Note that it can take a short while for an AMI to appear in Community AMIs after you make it public. It can also take a short while for an AMI to be removed from Community AMIs after you make it private again.

To share a public AMI using the console

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at

  2. In the navigation pane, choose AMIs.

  3. Select your AMI from the list, and then choose Actions, Modify Image Permissions.

  4. Choose Public and choose Save.

Sharing an AMI with all AWS Accounts (AWS CLI)

Each AMI has a launchPermission property that controls which AWS accounts, besides the owner's, are allowed to use that AMI to launch instances. By modifying the launchPermission property of an AMI, you can make the AMI public (which grants launch permissions to all AWS accounts) or share it with only the AWS accounts that you specify.

You can add or remove account IDs from the list of accounts that have launch permissions for an AMI. To make the AMI public, specify the all group. You can specify both public and explicit launch permissions.

To make an AMI public

  1. Use the modify-image-attribute command as follows to add the all group to the launchPermission list for the specified AMI.

    aws ec2 modify-image-attribute --image-id ami-12345678 --launch-permission "{\"Add\":[{\"Group\":\"all\"}]}"
  2. To verify the launch permissions of the AMI, use the following describe-image-attribute command.

    aws ec2 describe-image-attribute --image-id ami-12345678 --attribute launchPermission
  3. (Optional) To make the AMI private again, remove the all group from its launch permissions. Note that the owner of the AMI always has launch permissions and is therefore unaffected by this command.

    aws ec2 modify-image-attribute --image-id ami-12345678 --launch-permission "{\"Remove\":[{\"Group\":\"all\"}]}"