Troubleshoot EC2 Image Builder - EC2 Image Builder

Troubleshoot EC2 Image Builder

EC2 Image Builder integrates with AWS services for monitoring and troubleshooting to help you troubleshoot image build issues. Image Builder tracks and displays the progress for each step in the image building process. Additionally, Image Builder can export logs to an Amazon S3 location that you provide.

For advanced troubleshooting, you can run predefined commands and scripts using AWS Systems Manager Run Command.

Troubleshoot pipeline builds

If an Image Builder pipeline build fails, Image Builder returns an error message that describes the failure. Image Builder also returns a workflow execution ID in the failure message, such as the one in the following example output:

Workflow Execution ID: wf-12345abc-6789-0123-abc4-567890123abc failed with reason: …

Image Builder arranges and directs image build actions through a series of steps that are defined for the runtime stages in its standard image creation process. The build and test stages of the process each have an associated workflow. When Image Builder runs a workflow to build or test a new image, it generates a workflow metadata resource that keeps track of runtime details.

Container images have an additional workflow that runs during distribution.

Research details for runtime instance failures for your workflow

To troubleshoot a runtime failure for your workflow, you can call the GetWorkflowExecution and ListWorkflowStepExecutions API actions with your workflow execution ID.

Review workflow runtime logs
  • Amazon CloudWatch Logs

    Image Builder publishes detailed workflow execution logs to the following Image Builder CloudWatch Logs group and stream:



    LogStream (x.x.x/x):


    With CloudWatch Logs, you can search log data with filter patterns. For more information, see Search log data using filter patterns in the Amazon CloudWatch Logs User Guide.

  • AWS CloudTrail

    All build activity is also logged in CloudTrail if it's activated in your account. You can filter CloudTrail events by the source Alternatively, you can search for the Amazon EC2 instance ID that is returned in the execution log to see more details about the pipeline execution.

  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)

    If you've specified an S3 bucket name and key prefix in your infrastructure configuration, the workflow step runtime log path follows this pattern:


    The logs that you send to your S3 bucket show the steps and error messages for activity on the EC2 instance during the image build process. The logs include log outputs from the component manager, the definitions of the components that were run, and the detailed output (in JSON) of all of the steps taken on the instance. If you encounter an issue, you should review these files, starting with application.log, to diagnose the cause of the problem on the instance.

By default, Image Builder shuts down the Amazon EC2 build or test instance that is running when the pipeline fails. You can change the instance settings for the infrastructure configuration resource that your pipeline uses, to retain your build or test instance for troubleshooting.

To change the instance settings in the console, you must clear the Terminate instance on failure check box located in the Troubleshooting settings section of your infrastructure configuration resource.

You can also change the instance settings with the update-infrastructure-configuration command in the AWS CLI. Set the terminateInstanceOnFailure value to false in the JSON file that the command references with the --cli-input-json parameter. For details, see Update an infrastructure configuration.

Troubleshooting scenarios

This section lists the following detailed troubleshooting scenarios:

To see the details of a scenario, choose the scenario title to expand it. You can have multiple titles expanded at the same time.


The pipeline build fails with "AccessDenied: Access Denied status code: 403".


Possible causes include:

  • The instance profile does not have the required permissions to access APIs or component resources.

  • The instance profile role is missing permissions that are required for logging to Amazon S3. Most commonly, this occurs when the instance profile role does not have PutObject permissions for your S3 buckets.


Depending on the cause, this issue can be resolved as follows:

  • Instance profile is missing managed policies – Add the missing policies to your instance profile role. Then run the pipeline again.

  • Instance profile is missing write permissions for S3 bucket – Add a policy to your instance profile role that grants PutObject permissions to write to your S3 bucket. Then run the pipeline again.


The pipeline build fails with "status = 'TimedOut'" and "failure message = 'Step timed out while step is verifying the Systems Manager Agent availability on the target instance(s)'".


Possible causes include:

  • The instance that was launched to perform the build operations and to run components was not able to access the Systems Manager endpoint.

  • The instance profile does not have the required permissions.


Depending on the possible cause, this issue can be resolved as follows:

  • Access issue, private subnet – If you are building in a private subnet, make sure that you have set up PrivateLink endpoints for Systems Manager, Image Builder, and, if you want logging, Amazon S3/CloudWatch. For more information about setting up PrivateLink endpoints, see VPC endpoints concepts (AWS PrivateLink).

  • Missing permissions – Add the following managed policies to your IAM service-linked role for Image Builder:

    • EC2InstanceProfileForImageBuilder

    • EC2InstanceProfileForImageBuilderECRContainerBuilds

    • AmazonSSMManagedInstanceCore

    For more information about the Image Builder service-linked role, see Using service-linked roles for EC2 Image Builder.


When the instance type used to build an Image Builder Windows AMI does not match the instance type that is used to launch from the AMI, an issue can occur where non-root volumes are offline at launch. This primarily happens when the build instance is using a newer architecture than the launch instance.

The following example demonstrates what happens when an Image Builder AMI is built on an EC2 Nitro instance type and launched on an EC2 Xen instance:

Build instance type: m5.large (Nitro)

Launch instance type: t2.medium (Xen)

PS C:\Users\Administrator> get-disk Number Friendly Name Serial Number Health Status Operational Status Total Size Partition Style ------ ------------- ------------- ------------- ------------------ ---------- --------------- 0 AWS PVDISK vol0abc12d34e567f8a9 Healthy Online 30 GB MBR 1 AWS PVDISK vol1bcd23e45f678a9b0 Healthy Offline 8 GB MBR


Because of Windows default settings, newly discovered disks are not automatically brought online and formatted. When the instance type is changed on EC2, Windows treats this as new disks being discovered. This is because of the underlying driver change.


We recommend that you use the same system of instance types when building your Windows AMI that you intend to launch from. Do not include instance types that are built on different systems in your infrastructure configuration. If any of the instance types you specify use the Nitro system, then they should all use the Nitro system.

For more information about instances that are built on the Nitro system, see Instances built on the Nitro System in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Windows Instances.


You are using a CIS hardened base image and the build fails.


When the /tmp directory is classified as noexec, it can cause Image Builder to fail.


Choose a different location for your working directory in the workingDirectory field of the image recipe. For more information, see the ImageRecipe data type description.


Systems Manager Automation shows a failure in the AssertInventoryCollection automation step.


You or your organization might have created a Systems Manager State Manager association that collects inventory information for EC2 instances. If enhanced image metadata collection is enabled for your Image Builder pipeline (this is the default), Image Builder attempts to create a new inventory association for the build instance. However, Systems Manager does not allow multiple inventory associations for managed instances, and prevents a new association if one already exists. This causes the operation to fail, and results in a failed pipeline build.


To resolve this issue, turn off enhanced image metadata collection, using one of the following methods:

  • Update your image pipeline in the console, to clear the Enable enhanced metadata collection check box. Save your changes and run a pipeline build.

    For more information about updating your AMI image pipeline using the EC2 Image Builder console, see Update AMI image pipelines (console). For more information about updating your container image pipeline using the EC2 Image Builder console, see Update a container image pipeline (console).

  • You can also update your image pipeline with the update-image-pipeline command in the AWS CLI. To do this, include the EnhancedImageMetadataEnabled property in your JSON file, set to false. The following example shows the property set to false.

    { "name": "MyWindows2019Pipeline", "description": "Builds Windows 2019 Images", "enhancedImageMetadataEnabled": false, "imageRecipeArn": "arn:aws:imagebuilder:us-west-2:123456789012:image-recipe/my-example-recipe/2020.12.03", "infrastructureConfigurationArn": "arn:aws:imagebuilder:us-west-2:123456789012:infrastructure-configuration/my-example-infrastructure-configuration", "distributionConfigurationArn": "arn:aws:imagebuilder:us-west-2:123456789012:distribution-configuration/my-example-distribution-configuration", "imageTestsConfiguration": { "imageTestsEnabled": true, "timeoutMinutes": 60 }, "schedule": { "scheduleExpression": "cron(0 0 * * SUN *)", "pipelineExecutionStartCondition": "EXPRESSION_MATCH_AND_DEPENDENCY_UPDATES_AVAILABLE" }, "status": "ENABLED" }

To prevent this from happening for new pipelines, clear the Enable enhanced metadata collection check box when you create a new pipeline using the EC2 Image Builder console, or set the value of the EnhancedImageMetadataEnabled property in your JSON file to false when you create your pipeline using the AWS CLI.