Creating an enclave - AWS

Creating an enclave

After your enclave applications have been packaged as an enclave image file (.eif), you are ready to create the enclave.

To create the enclave, you need to do the following:

Launch the parent instance

First, you need to launch the parent instance. The parent instance is the instance from which you allocate the resources for the enclave. You also use this instance to manage the lifecycle of the enclave. For more information about the supported instance types and sizes, see Requirements.

After you launch the parent instance, make a note of the instance ID. You'll need it to generate PCR4, which is needed for attestation. For more information, see Where to get an enclave's measurements.

You can launch the parent instance using the Amazon EC2 console or the AWS CLI.

Amazon EC2 console
To launch the parent instance using the Amazon EC2 console
  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at

  2. Choose Launch Instance.

  3. On the Choose an AMI page, choose a Linux or Windows operating system.

  4. On the Choose an Instance Type page, select a supported instance type and then choose Next: Configure Instance Details.

  5. On the Configure Instance Details page, for Nitro Enclaves, choose Enable, and then choose Review and Launch.

  6. On the Review Instance Launch page, review the settings, and then choose Launch to choose a key pair and to launch your instance.

To launch a parent instance using the AWS CLI

Use the run-instances command and set the --enclave-options parameter to Enabled=true.

For example, the following command launches a single m5.2xlarge instance using an AMI with an ID of ami-12345abcde67890a1 and a key pair named my_key, and it enables Nitro Enclaves.

$ C:\> aws ec2 run-instances --image-id ami-12345abcde67890a1 --count 1 --instance-type m5.2xlarge --key-name my_key --enclave-options 'Enabled=true'

After you launch the parent instance, you must install the AWS Nitro Enclaves CLI and the development tools. If you're using a Linux parent instance, see Installing the Nitro Enclaves CLI on Linux. If you're using a Windows parent instance, see Installing the Nitro Enclaves CLI on Windows.

Create the enclave

After you have launched the parent instance, you can create the enclave using the enclave image file (.eif). When you create the enclave, it boots the enclave application and its dependencies from the enclave image file into the enclave.


You must have the Nitro Enclaves CLI installed on the parent instance in order to create the enclave. For more information, see Nitro Enclaves Command Line Interface.

To create the enclave

On the parent instance, use the nitro-cli run-enclave CLI command and, at a minimum, specify the following:

  • The number of vCPUs to allocate to the enclave

  • The amount of memory (in MiB) to allocate to the enclave

  • An enclave image file

For example, the following command creates an enclave with 4 vCPUs, 1600 MiB of memory, a context ID of 10, and it uses an enclave image file named sample.eif, which is located in the same directory from which the command is being run.

$ C:\> nitro-cli run-enclave --cpu-count 2 --memory 1600 --eif-path sample.eif --enclave-cid 10

Example output

Instance CPUs [1, 3] going offline Started enclave with enclave-cid: 10, memory: 1600 MiB, cpu-ids: [1, 3] Sending image to cid: 10 port: 7000 { "EnclaveID": "i-abc12345def67890a-enc9876abcd543210ef12", "EnclaveCID": 10, "NumberOfCPUs": 2, "CPUIDs": [ 1, 3 ], "MemoryMiB": 1600 }