Amazon Elastic Container Service
Developer Guide (API Version 2014-11-13)

Container Instance AMIs

The basic Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) container instance specification consists of the following:


  • A modern Linux distribution running at least version 3.10 of the Linux kernel.

  • The Amazon ECS container agent (preferably the latest version). For more information, see Amazon ECS Container Agent.

  • A Docker daemon running at least version 1.9.0, and any Docker runtime dependencies. For more information, see Check runtime dependencies in the Docker documentation.


    For the best experience, we recommend the Docker version that ships with and is tested with the corresponding Amazon ECS agent version that you are using. For more information, see Amazon ECS Container Agent Versions.


  • An initialization and nanny process to run and monitor the Amazon ECS agent. The Amazon ECS-optimized AMIs use the ecs-init RPM to manage the agent. For more information, see the ecs-init project on GitHub.

The Amazon ECS-optimized AMIs are preconfigured with these requirements and recommendations. We recommend that you use the Amazon ECS-optimized Amazon Linux 2 AMI for your container instances unless your application requires a specific operating system or a Docker version that is not yet available in that AMI. For more information, see Amazon ECS-Optimized Amazon Linux 2 AMI.