Launch a Linux Virtual Machine

with Amazon Lightsail

Lightsail is the easiest way to get started on AWS. It offers virtual servers, storage, databases and networking, plus a cost-effective, monthly plan. It’s designed to help you start small, and then scale as you grow.

In this tutorial, you create an Amazon Linux instance in Amazon Lightsail in seconds. After the instance is up and running, you connect to it via SSH within the Lightsail console using the browser-based SSH terminal.

Get started with Lightsail for free 



About this Tutorial
Time 10 minutes                                           
Cost Free Tier Eligible
Use Case Compute
Products Amazon Lightsail
Audience Developer
Level Beginner
Last Updated September 11, 2020

1. Create an Amazon Lightsail Account

There are no charges for using Amazon Lightsail for this tutorial. 

Already have an account? Sign-in

2. Create an Amazon Linux instance in Lightsail

a. Choose Create instance in the Instances tab of the Lightsail home page.



3. Configure your Amazon Lightsail instance

a.  An AWS Region and Availability Zone is selected for you. Choose Change Region and Availability Zone to create your instance in another location.



b.   Choose the Linux/Unix platform option, and choose OS only to view the operating system-only instance images available in Lightsail.

To learn more about Lightsail instance images, see Choose an Amazon Lightsail instance image.



c.   Choose the Amazon Linux blueprint option.


d. (Optional) Choose Add launch script to add a shell script that will run on your instance when it launches.



e. (Optional) Choose Change SSH key pair to select, create, or upload the key pair you would like to use to SSH into your instance.


f.  (Optional) Choose Enable Automatic Snapshots to automatically create a backup image of your instance and attached disks on a daily schedule.



g.  Choose your instance plan. You can try the $3.50 USD Lightsail plan free for one month (up to 750 hours). We'll credit one free month to your account.

Learn more on our Lightsail pricing page.



h. Enter a name for your instance. 




i.  (Optional) Choose one of the following options to add tags to your instance:



  • (Optional) Add key-only tags— Enter your new tag into the tag key text box, and press Enter. Choose Save when you’re done entering your tags to add them, or choose Cancel to not add them.



  • (Optional) Create a key-value tag— Enter a key into the Key text box, and a value into the Value text box. Choose Save when you’re done entering your tags, or choose Cancel to not add them.


Key-value tags can only be added one at a time before saving. To add more than one key-value tag, repeat the previous steps.

For more information about key-only and key-value tags, Tags in Amazon Lightsail


j. Chose Create instance.




Within minutes, your Amazon Linux instance is ready, and you can connect to it using the browser-based SSH terminal in the Lightsail console.

4. Connect your instance

Connect to your instance using the browser-based SSH terminal in Lightsail

a. In the Instances tab of the Lightsail home page, choose the terminal icon, or the ellipsis (⋮) icon next to the Amazon Linux instance you just created.

The browser-based SSH terminal window appears. You can type Linux commands into the browser terminal, and manage your instance without configuring an SSH client.


5. Next Steps

Now that you can connect to your instance, what you do next depends on how you plan to use it. For some ideas, make sure you check out our resource center. Some common next steps include:


You used Amazon Lightsail to easily spin up and configure a Linux instance. 

Amazon Lightsail is great for developers, WebPros, and anyone looking to get started on AWS in a quick and cheap way. You can launch instances, databases, SSD-based storage, transfer data, monitor your resources, and so much more in a managed way.  

Whether you're an indvidual developer creating a project or a blogger creating a personal website, Amazon is a great place for you to get started. 

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