Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Windows Instances

Identify EC2 Instances

You may benefit from a simple method to determine whether a system is an EC2 instance to determine if other resources like the Instance Metadata Service should be used to configure or verify the EC2 identity of the system. This topic describes two approaches to identifying an EC2 instance, one of them quick but potentially inaccurate, and the other more involved but also definitive.

Inspecting the System UUID

The methods described in this section determine optimistically whether a system is an EC2 instance by examining the system UUID. This approach looks for the presence of the characters "EC" in the beginning octet of the UUID.


There is a small chance that a system that is not an EC2 instance could also include these characters.

You can discover the system UUID using the approaches below. To handle all types of EC2 instances, both approaches must be used. For information about identifying Linux instances, see

  • On a Windows system, you can use the Windows Management Instrumentation command line (WMIC):

    C:\>wmic path win32_computersystemproduct get uuid

    This returns the UUID:

    UUID 8D7126EC-E6BC-C83B-5EA2-01234EXAMPLE

    In this example, the appended "EC" indicates that the system is probably an EC2 instance.

  • Alternatively, you can use PowerShell:

    PS C:\>Get-WmiObject -query "select uuid from Win32_ComputerSystemProduct" | Select UUID

    This returns:

    UUID ---- 8D7126EC-E6BC-C83B-5EA2-01234EXAMPLE

Inspecting the Instance Identity Document

For a definitive and cryptographically verified method of identifying an EC2 instance, check the instance identity document, including its signature. These documents are available on every EC2 instance at the local, non-routable address For more information, see Instance Identity Documents .