AWS Systems Manager
User Guide

Step 1: Complete Session Manager Prerequisites

Before using Session Manager, make sure your environment meets the following requirements.

Session Manager Prerequisites

Requirement Description

Supported Operating Systems

AWS Session Manager supports the following operating system versions:


Session Manager supports Amazon EC2 instances, as well as servers or virtual machines (VMs) in your hybrid environment that use the advanced-instances tier. For more information about advanced instances, see Using the Advanced-Instances Tier.


Session Manager supports all the versions of Linux that are supported for AWS Systems Manager as a whole. For information, see Systems Manager Prerequisites.


Session Manager supports Windows Server 2008 R2 through Windows Server 2016.


Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Nano is not supported.

SSM Agent

SSM Agent version or later must be installed on the instances you want to connect to through sessions.


When a version of SSM Agent that supports Session Manager starts on an instance, it creates a user account with root or administrator privileges called ssm-user. Sessions are launched using the credentials of this user account. For information about restricting administrative control for this account, see Step 6: (Optional) Disable or Enable ssm-user Account Administrative Permissions.

To install or update SSM Agent, see Installing and Configuring SSM Agent.


(Optional) If you use the AWS CLI to start your sessions (instead of using the AWS Systems Manager console), version 1.16.12 or later of the CLI must be installed on your local machine.

You can call aws --version to check the version.

If you need to install or upgrade the CLI, see Installing the AWS Command Line Interface in the AWS Command Line Interface User Guide.

In addition, to use the CLI to manage your instances with Session Manager, you must first install the Session Manager plugin on your local machine. For information, see (Optional) Install the Session Manager Plugin for the AWS CLI.