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AWS Blockchain Templates
Developer Guide

Setting Up AWS Blockchain Templates

Before you start with AWS Blockchain Templates, complete the following tasks:

These are fundamental prerequisites for all blockchain configurations. In addition, the blockchain network that you choose may have prerequisites, which vary according to your desired environment and configuration choices. For more information, see the relevant section for your blockchain template in AWS Blockchain Templates and Features.

For step-by-step instructions to set up prerequisites for a private Ethereum network using an Amazon ECS cluster, see Getting Started with AWS Blockchain Templates.

Sign Up for AWS

When you sign up for AWS, your AWS account is automatically signed up for all services. You are charged only for the services that you use.

If you have an AWS account already, skip to the next task. If you don't have an AWS account, use the following procedure to create one.

To create an AWS account

  1. Open https://aws.amazon.com/, and then choose Create an AWS Account.

    Note

    This might be unavailable in your browser if you previously signed into the AWS Management Console. In that case, choose Sign in to a different account, and then choose Create a new AWS account.

  2. Follow the online instructions.

    Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a PIN using the phone keypad.

Note your AWS account number. You need it when you create an IAM user in the next task.

Create an IAM User

Services in AWS require that you provide credentials when you access them, so that the service can determine whether you have permissions to access its resources. The console requires your password. You can create access keys for your AWS account to access the command line interface or API. However, we don't recommend that you access AWS using the credentials for your AWS account; we recommend that you use AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) instead. Create an IAM user, and then add the user to an IAM group with administrative permissions or grant this user administrative permissions. You can then access AWS using a special URL and the credentials for the IAM user.

If you signed up for AWS but have not created an IAM user for yourself, you can create one using the IAM console. If you already have an IAM user, you can skip this step.

To create an IAM user for yourself and add the user to an Administrators group

  1. Use your AWS account email address and password to sign in as the AWS account root user to the IAM console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/iam/.

    Note

    We strongly recommend that you adhere to the best practice of using the Administrator IAM user below and securely lock away the root user credentials. Sign in as the root user only to perform a few account and service management tasks.

  2. In the navigation pane of the console, choose Users, and then choose Add user.

  3. For User name, type Administrator.

  4. Select the check box next to AWS Management Console access, select Custom password, and then type the new user's password in the text box. You can optionally select Require password reset to force the user to create a new password the next time the user signs in.

  5. Choose Next: Permissions.

  6. On the Set permissions for user page, choose Add user to group.

  7. Choose Create group.

  8. In the Create group dialog box, type Administrators.

  9. For Filter, choose Job function.

  10. In the policy list, select the check box for AdministratorAccess. Then choose Create group.

  11. Back in the list of groups, select the check box for your new group. Choose Refresh if necessary to see the group in the list.

  12. Choose Next: Review to see the list of group memberships to be added to the new user. When you are ready to proceed, choose Create user.

You can use this same process to create more groups and users, and to give your users access to your AWS account resources. To learn about using policies to restrict users' permissions to specific AWS resources, go to Access Management and Example Policies.

To sign in as this new IAM user, sign out of the AWS Management Console, then use the following URL, where your_aws_account_id is your AWS account number without the hyphens (for example, if your AWS account number is 1234-5678-9012, your AWS account ID is 123456789012):

https://your_aws_account_id.signin.aws.amazon.com/console/

Enter the IAM user name and password that you just created. When you're signed in, the navigation bar displays "your_user_name @ your_aws_account_id".

If you don't want the URL for your sign-in page to contain your AWS account ID, you can create an account alias. From the IAM dashboard, choose Create Account Alias and enter an alias, such as your company name. To sign in after you create an account alias, use the following URL:

https://your_account_alias.signin.aws.amazon.com/console/

To verify the sign-in link for IAM users for your account, open the IAM console and check under IAM users sign-in link on the dashboard.

For more information, see the AWS Identity and Access Management User Guide.

Create a Key Pair

AWS uses public-key cryptography to secure the login information for the instances in a blockchain network. You specify the name of the key pair when you use each AWS Blockchain Template. You can then use the key pair to access instances directly, for example, to log in using SSH.

If you already have a key pair in the right Region, you can skip this step. If you haven't created a key pair already, you can create one using the Amazon EC2 console. Create the key pair in the same Region that you use to launch the Ethereum network. For more information, see Regions and Availability Zones in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.

To create a key pair

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

  2. From the navigation bar, select a Region for the key pair. You can select any Region that's available to you, regardless of your location, but key pairs are specific to a Region. For example, if you plan to launch an instance in the US East (Ohio) region, you must create a key pair for the instance in the same Region.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Key Pairs, Create Key Pair.

  4. For Key pair name, enter a name for the new key pair. Choose a name that is easy for you to remember, such as your IAM user name, followed by -key-pair, plus the region name. For example, me-key-pair-useast2. Choose Create.

  5. The private key file is automatically downloaded by your browser. The base file name is the name that you specified as the name of your key pair, and the file name extension is .pem. Save the private key file in a safe place.

    Important

    This is the only chance for you to save the private key file. You provide the name of your key pair when you launch the Ethereum network.

For more information, see Amazon EC2 Key Pairs in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances. For more information about connecting to EC2 instances using the key pair, see Connect to Your Linux Instance in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.