Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Stop and Start Your Instance

You can stop and restart your instance if it has an Amazon EBS volume as its root device. The instance retains its instance ID, but can change as described in the Overview section.

When you stop an instance, we shut it down. We don't charge usage for a stopped instance, or data transfer fees, but we do charge for the storage for any Amazon EBS volumes. Each time you start a stopped instance we charge a minimum of one minute for usage. After one minute, we charge only for the seconds you use. For example, if you run an instance for 20 seconds and then stop it, we charge for a full one minute. If you run an instance for 3 minutes and 40 seconds, we charge for exactly 3 minutes and 40 seconds of usage.

While the instance is stopped, you can treat its root volume like any other volume, and modify it (for example, repair file system problems or update software). You just detach the volume from the stopped instance, attach it to a running instance, make your changes, detach it from the running instance, and then reattach it to the stopped instance. Make sure that you reattach it using the storage device name that's specified as the root device in the block device mapping for the instance.

If you decide that you no longer need an instance, you can terminate it. As soon as the state of an instance changes to shutting-down or terminated, we stop charging for that instance. For more information, see Terminate Your Instance. If you'd rather hibernate the instance, see Hibernate Your Instance. For more information, see Differences Between Reboot, Stop, Hibernate, and Terminate.

Overview

You can only stop an Amazon EBS-backed instance. To verify the root device type of your instance, describe the instance and check whether the device type of its root volume is ebs (Amazon EBS-backed instance) or instance store (instance store-backed instance). For more information, see Determining the Root Device Type of Your AMI.

When you stop a running instance, the following happens:

  • The instance performs a normal shutdown and stops running; its status changes to stopping and then stopped.

  • Any Amazon EBS volumes remain attached to the instance, and their data persists.

  • Any data stored in the RAM of the host computer or the instance store volumes of the host computer is gone.

  • In most cases, the instance is migrated to a new underlying host computer when it's started.

  • The instance retains its private IPv4 addresses and any IPv6 addresses when stopped and restarted. We release the public IPv4 address and assign a new one when you restart it.

  • The instance retains its associated Elastic IP addresses. You're charged for any Elastic IP addresses associated with a stopped instance.

  • When you stop and start a Windows instance, the EC2Config service performs tasks on the instance, such as changing the drive letters for any attached Amazon EBS volumes. For more information about these defaults and how you can change them, see Configuring a Windows Instance Using the EC2Config Service in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Windows Instances.

  • If your instance is in an Auto Scaling group, the Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling service marks the stopped instance as unhealthy, and may terminate it and launch a replacement instance. For more information, see Health Checks for Auto Scaling Instances in the Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling User Guide.

  • When you stop a ClassicLink instance, it's unlinked from the VPC to which it was linked. You must link the instance to the VPC again after restarting it. For more information about ClassicLink, see ClassicLink.

For more information, see Differences Between Reboot, Stop, Hibernate, and Terminate.

You can modify the following attributes of an instance only when it is stopped:

  • Instance type

  • User data

  • Kernel

  • RAM disk

If you try to modify these attributes while the instance is running, Amazon EC2 returns the IncorrectInstanceState error.

Stopping and Starting Your Instances

You can start and stop your Amazon EBS-backed instance using the console or the command line.

By default, when you initiate a shutdown from an Amazon EBS-backed instance (using the shutdown or poweroff command), the instance stops. You can change this behavior so that it terminates instead. For more information, see Changing the Instance Initiated Shutdown Behavior.

To stop and start an Amazon EBS-backed instance using the console

  1. In the navigation pane, choose Instances, and select the instance.

  2. Choose Actions, select Instance State, and then choose Stop. If Stop is disabled, either the instance is already stopped or its root device is an instance store volume.

    Warning

    When you stop an instance, the data on any instance store volumes is erased. To keep data from instance store volumes, be sure to back it up to persistent storage.

  3. In the confirmation dialog box, choose Yes, Stop. It can take a few minutes for the instance to stop.

  4. While your instance is stopped, you can modify certain instance attributes. For more information, see Modifying a Stopped Instance.

  5. To restart the stopped instance, select the instance, and choose Actions, Instance State, Start.

  6. In the confirmation dialog box, choose Yes, Start. It can take a few minutes for the instance to enter the running state.

To stop and start an Amazon EBS-backed instance using the command line

You can use one of the following commands. For more information about these command line interfaces, see Accessing Amazon EC2.

Modifying a Stopped Instance

You can change the instance type, user data, and EBS-optimization attributes of a stopped instance using the AWS Management Console or the command line interface. You can't use the AWS Management Console to modify the DeleteOnTermination, kernel, or RAM disk attributes.

To modify an instance attribute

To modify an instance attribute using the command line

You can use one of the following commands. For more information about these command line interfaces, see Accessing Amazon EC2.

Troubleshooting

If you have stopped your Amazon EBS-backed instance and it appears "stuck" in the stopping state, you can forcibly stop it. For more information, see Troubleshooting Stopping Your Instance.