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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 (for example, Amazon Web Services)

  • Additional software (for example, SQL server)

If you need to find a Windows AMI, see Finding a Windows AMI in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for 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 Start tab when you use the console to launch an instance. AMI IDs are unique to each region.

To find a Linux AMI using the Choose AMI page

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/.

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

  3. From the console dashboard, choose Launch Instance.

  4. On 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.

To find a Linux AMI using the Images page

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/.

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

  3. In the navigation pane, choose 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. Choose the Search bar and select Owner from the menu, then select Amazon images. Choose the Search bar again to select Platform and then the operating system from the list provided.

  5. (Optional) Choose 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 choose 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, make note of the AMI ID for later.

Finding an AMI Using the AWS CLI

You can use AWS CLI commands for Amazon EC2 to list only the Linux AMIs that meet your needs. After locating an AMI that meets your needs, make note of its ID so that you can use it to launch instances. For more information, see Launching an Instance Using the AWS CLI in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

The describe-images command supports filtering parameters. For example, use the --owners parameter to public AMIs owned by Amazon.

aws ec2 describe-images --owners self amazon

You can add the following filter to the previous command to display only AMIs backed by Amazon EBS:

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