Applications and hardware plans - Amazon Lightsail for Research

Applications and hardware plans

When you create an Amazon Lightsail for Research virtual computer, you select an application and a hardware plan (plan) for it.

An application provides a software configuration (for example, an application and operating system). A plan provides the hardware of the virtual computer, such as the number of vCPUs, memory, storage space, and monthly data transfer allowance. Together, the application and plan make up the virtual computer configuration.


You can't change the application or plan of your virtual computer after it's created. However, you can create a snapshot of the virtual computer, and then choose a new plan when creating a new virtual computer from the snapshot. For more information about snapshots, see Snapshots.


Amazon Lightsail for Research provides and manages machine images that contain the application and operating system required to launch a virtual computer. You choose from a list of applications when you create a virtual computer in Lightsail for Research. All Lightsail for Research application images use the Ubuntu (Linux) operating system.

The following applications are available in Lightsail for Research:

  • JupyterLab – JupyterLab is a web-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for notebooks, code, and data. With its flexible interface you can configure and arrange workflows in data science, scientific computing, computational journalism, and machine learning. For more information, see the Jupyter Project Documentation.

  • RStudio – RStudio is an open-source Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics, and Python. It combines a source code editor, build automation tools and a debugger, as well as tools for plotting and workspace management. For more information, see the RStudio IDE.

  • VSCodium – VSCodium is a community-driven, binary distribution of Microsoft’s editor VS Code. For more information, see VSCodium.

  • Scilab – Scilab is an open source numerical computational package, and a high-level, numerically oriented programming language. For more information, see Scilab.

  • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – Ubuntu is an open source Linux distribution based on Debian. Lean, fast and powerful, Ubuntu Server delivers services reliably, predictably and economically. It's a great base on which to build your virtual computers. For more information, see Ubuntu releases.


A plan provides the hardware specifications and determines the pricing for your Lightsail for Research virtual computer. A plan includes a fixed amount of memory (RAM), compute (vCPUs), SSD-based storage volume (disk) space, and a monthly data transfer allowance. Plans are charged on an hourly, on-demand basis, so you only pay for the time your virtual computer is running.

The plan that you choose might depend on the resources that your workload requires. Lightsail for Research offers the following plans types:

  • Standard – Standard plans are compute-optimized and ideal for compute-bound applications that benefit from high-performance processors.

  • GPU – GPU plans provide a cost-effective, high-performance platform for general purpose GPU computing. You can use these plans to accelerate scientific, engineering, and rendering applications and workloads.

Standard plans

Following are the hardware specifications of the standard plans available in Lightsail for Research.

Plan name vCPUs Memory Storage space Monthly data transfer allowance
Standard XL 4 8 GB 50 GB 512 GB
Standard 2XL 8 16 GB 50 GB 512 GB
Standard 4XL 16 32 GB 50 GB 512 GB

GPU plans

Following are the hardware specifications of the GPU plans available in Lightsail for Research.

Plan name vCPUs Memory Storage space Monthly data transfer allowance
GPU XL 4 16 GB 50 GB 1 TB
GPU 2XL 8 32 GB 50 GB 1 TB
GPU 4XL 16 64 GB 50 GB 1 TB