What is Amazon Lightsail? - Amazon Lightsail

What is Amazon Lightsail?

Amazon Lightsail is the easiest way to get started with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for anyone who needs to build websites or web applications. It includes everything you need to launch your project quickly—instances (virtual private servers), container services, managed databases, content delivery network (CDN) distributions, load balancers, SSD-based block storage, static IP addresses, DNS management of registered domains, and resource snapshots (backups)—for a low, predictable monthly price.

Lightsail also offers Amazon Lightsail for Research. With Lightsail for Research, academics and researchers can create powerful virtual computers in the AWS Cloud. These virtual computers come with pre-installed research applications, such as RStudio and Scilab. For more information see the Amazon Lightsail for Research User Guide.

Features of Lightsail

Lightsail provides the following high-level features:


Lightsail offers virtual private servers (instances) that are easy to set up and backed by the power and reliability of AWS. You can launch your website, web application, or project in minutes, and manage your instance from the intuitive Lightsail console or API.

As you’re creating your instance, you'll click-to-launch a simple operating system (OS), a pre-configured application, or development stack—such as WordPress, Windows, Plesk, LAMP, Nginx, and more. Every Lightsail instance comes with a built-in firewall that you can use to allow or restrict traffic to your instances based on source IP, port, and protocol. Learn more


Run and securely access containerized applications in the cloud. A container is a standard unit of software that packages code and its dependencies together so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. Learn more

Load balancers

Route web traffic across your instances so your websites and applications can accommodate variations in traffic, protected against outages, and deliver a seamless visitor experience. Learn more

Managed databases

Lightsail offers a fully configured MySQL or PostgreSQL databases plan that includes memory, processing, storage, and transfer allowance. With Lightsail managed databases, you can easily scale your databases independently of your virtual servers, improve application availability, or run standalone databases in the cloud. Learn more

Block and object storage

Lightsail offers both block and object storage. You can scale your storage quickly and easily with highly available SSD-backed storage for your Linux or Windows virtual server. Learn more

With Lightsail Object storage buckets, you can store and retrieve objects, at any time, from anywhere on the internet. You can also host static content on the cloud. Learn more

CDN distributions

Lightsail enables content delivery network (CDN) distributions, which are built on the same infrastructure as Amazon CloudFront. You can easily distribute your content to a global audience by setting up proxy servers across the world, so that your users can access your website geographically closer to them, thus reducing latency. Learn more

Access to AWS services

Lightsail uses a focused set of features like instances, managed databases and load balancers to make it easier to get started. But that doesn't mean you're limited to those options –you can integrate your Lightsail project with some of the 90+ other services in AWS through Amazon VPC peering. Learn more

For more details about Lightsail, see Amazon Lightsail.

Who is Lightsail for?

Lightsail is for everyone. You can choose an image for your Lightsail instance that jump starts your project so you don't have to spend as much time installing software or frameworks.

If you're an individual developer or hobbyist working on a personal project, Lightsail can help you deploy and manage basic cloud resources. You might also be interested in learning or experimenting with cloud services, such as virtual machines, domains or networking. Lightsail provides a quick way to get started.

Lightsail has images with base operating systems, development stacks like LAMP, LEMP (Nginx), and SQL Server Express, and applications like WordPress, Drupal, and Magento. For more detailed information about the software installed on each image, see Choose a Lightsail instance image.

As your project grows, you can add block storage disks and attach them to your Lightsail instance. You can take snapshots of these instances and disks and easily create new instances from those snapshots. You can also peer your VPC so that your Lightsail instances can use other AWS resources outside of Lightsail.

You can also create a Lightsail load balancer and attach target instances to create a highly available application. You can also configure your load balancer to handle encrypted (HTTPS) traffic, session persistence, health checking, and more.

Access Lightsail

You can create and manage your Lightsail resources with the following interfaces:

Amazon Lightsail console

A simple web interface to create and manage Lightsail instances and resources. If you've signed up for an AWS account, you can access the Lightsail console by signing into the AWS Management Console and selecting Lightsail from the console home page.

AWS Command Line Interface

Enables you to interact with AWS services using commands in your command-line shell. It is supported on Windows, Mac, and Linux. For more information about the AWS CLI , see AWS Command Line Interface User Guide. You can find the Lightsail commands in the Amazon Lightsail API Reference.

AWS Tools for PowerShell

A set of PowerShell modules that are built on the functionality exposed by the AWS SDK for .NET. The Tools for PowerShell enable you to script operations on your AWS resources from the PowerShell command line. To get started, see the AWS Tools for Windows PowerShell User Guide. You can find the cmdlets for Lightsail, in the AWS Tools for PowerShell Cmdlet Reference.

Query API

Lightsail provides a Query API. These requests are HTTP or HTTPS requests that use the HTTP verbs GET or POST and a Query parameter named Action. For more information about the API actions for Lightsail, see Actions in the Amazon Lightsail API Reference.


If you prefer to build applications using language-specific APIs instead of submitting a request over HTTP or HTTPS, AWS provides libraries, sample code, tutorials, and other resources for software developers. These libraries provide basic functions that automate tasks such as cryptographically signing your requests, retrying requests, and handling error responses, making it easier for you to get started. For more information, see Tools to Build on AWS.

Get started with Lightsail

After you set up to use Lightsail, you can walk through Getting started with Lightsail instances to launch, connect to, and clean up an instance.

You can provision Lightsail resources, such as instances and disks, directly using Lightsail. In addition, you can provision resources using other AWS services, such as the following:

Estimates, billing, and cost optimization

To create estimates for your AWS use cases, use the AWS Pricing Calculator.

To see your bill, go to the Billing and Cost Management Dashboard in the AWS Billing and Cost Management console. Your bill contains links to usage reports that provide details about your bill. To learn more about AWS account billing, see AWS Billing and Cost Management User Guide.

If you have questions concerning AWS billing, accounts, and events, contact AWS Support.

You can optimize the cost, security, and performance of your AWS environment using AWS Trusted Advisor.