Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Desktop with NX Server Free Edition

items>Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Desktop with NX Server Free Edition
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A clean, base install of Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid desktopwith NX Server Free Edition,built by Eric Hammondas part of the Alestic.com series[update 2009-10-11]


Submitted By: Eric Hammond
US East AMI ID: ami-cef615a7
AMI Manifest: alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20091011.manifest.xml
Operating System: Linux/Unix
Created On: June 29, 2008 8:20 AM GMT
Last Updated: October 12, 2009 1:50 PM GMT

Pick the Right Release

For a complete list of the Debian and Ubuntu AMIs available in this series including AMIs in the European EC2 region, please see the following web page:

Selecting the correct Ubuntu AMI for your needs will improve your EC2 experience.


This AMI is an install of Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid desktop with NX Server Free Edition, built by Eric Hammond. This 32-bit AMI is for running on the 32-bit instance sizes including: m1.small, c1.medium

NOTICE! If you do not need the Ubuntu desktop, this AMI is not recommended. Instead, use the Ubuntu 8.04 Intrepid base install AMI which is much smaller and loads and boots in a fraction of the time.

Steps to try out the Ubuntu desktop using NX on this AMI:

  • On the instance, create a system user (remember your new password):
  •   apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y

  • On your local computer, install and run an NX Client from NoMachine.com:
    Clients available for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX, Solaris. For example, on my local Ubuntu system, I use:
  •   curl -O
      sudo dpkg -i nxclient_3.2.0-9_i386.deb 
      /usr/NX/bin/nxclient --wizard

  • Point the NX Client to the external hostname of your Ubuntu desktop EC2 instance and enter the username/password from above. Choose the "Gnome" desktop.


Features include:

  • Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid with upgraded packages (as of 2009-10-11)
  • Amazon EC2 AMI tools (1.3-34544 20071010) installed and patched for Ubuntu
  • Uses Amazon's newer 2.6.21 kernel (

  • Includes 2.6.21 kernel modules

  • Defaults to Ubuntu archive mirrors inside of EC2, hosted by RightScale.
  • Alestic PPA added to software sources so packages can be installed easily including ec2-consistent-snapshot.
  • runurl utility from Alestic PPA pre-installed for use in user-data scripts.
  • openssh-server installed
  • On first boot, runs instance user-data script if it starts with #!
  • Generate new ssh host keys on first boot and output fingerprints
  • ca-certificates installed to support SSL in ec2-bundle-upload
  • libc6-xen installed for performance
  • /etc/apt/sources.list for intrepid main restricted universe multiverse
  • /etc/event.d/tty[2-6] removed to avoid error messages in logs
  • Shadow passwords enabled
  • root password locked
  • ssh PasswordAuthentication enabled
  • 10GB root (/) partition
  • Network: DHCP on eth0, loopback on lo, simple /etc/hosts with localhost
  • root ssh public key creditials retrieved from instance parameters or ephemeral store on startup (standard Amazon EC2 ssh access for public AMIs)
  • Added "UseDNS no" to /etc/ssh/sshd_config as recommended by http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AWSEC2/2007-03-01/DeveloperGuide/public-ami-guidelines.html
  • Comment appended to /etc/motd
  • Locale en_US, Timezone UTC


If you use or are thinking of using this AMI, please subscribe to the ec2ubuntu Google Group where you will find out about updates to the Ubuntu AMIs and tips for running Ubuntu on Amazon EC2.

To subscribe, send an email mesage to ec2ubuntu-subscribe@googlegroups.com

Support is also available through the above forum with a growing number of folks in the community using Ubuntu on EC2 (and a good core of folks willing to answer questions).

Build Process

Advanced users may consult the following page for information on how this AMI was built and to get instructions for building their own.



  • Use new 2.6.21 kernel, ramdisk, and kernel modules from Amazon (security fix)
  • Add Alestic PPA to apt sources on Ubuntu
  • Install runurl from Alestic PPA
  • Pin the ec2-ami-tools package version so it does not get downgraded
  • All packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-ef46a786 - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20090804.manifest.xml

  • Upgrade EC2 AMI tools to 1.3-34544
  • Improve security by running host key regeneration after RNG initialization.
  • All packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-01729468 - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20090614.manifest.xml

  • Improve apt sources to failover through Ubuntu archive mirrors in multiple availability zones if one or two of them are unavailable.
  • Upgrade EC2 AMI tools to 1.3-31780
  • "denyhosts" package installed for added protection from ssh password attacks.
  • All packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-f857b091 - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20090418.manifest.xml

  • Pre-load 2.6.21fc8 XFS kernel module to avoid problems with Amazon's 2.6.21fc8 kernel and XFS.
  • Upgrade desktop to latest 3.3.0 versions of NX Free Edition software
  • All packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-7dfd1a14 - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20090216.manifest.xml

  • NX Server Free Edition has been upgraded to the latest 3.3 version.
  • apt sources.list now uses a local EC2 mirror of Ubuntu provided by RightScale.
  • All packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-365eba5f - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20081222.manifest.xml

  • Upgrade EC2 AMI tools to 1.3-34544 20071010 with support for European region eu-west-1
  • Upgrade NX server to latest 3.3.0 version
  • All packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-5d709434 - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20081130.manifest.xml

  • New --arch option from patch by Don Spaulding II
  • Upgrade EC2 AMI tools to 1.3-26357 20071010
  • The old 2.6.16 kernel modules are no longer bundled with the image.
  • All packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-6606e20f - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20081030.manifest.xml

  • Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex Release

ami-b6d733df - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20080924.manifest.xml

  • bugfix: Mounts /mnt as ephemeral storage with /etc/fstab
  • All packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-f5d4309c - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20080922.manifest.xml

  • DEFECT: This AMI is missing /etc/fstab and does not mount /mnt as ephemeral storage!
  • bugfix: Only generate ssh host keys on first boot, not on every reboot.
  • Install libc6-xen and remove libc6-i686
  • All Ubuntu packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-7dc22614 - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20080908.manifest.xml

  • All Ubuntu packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-d4e206bd - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20080815.manifest.xml

  • All Ubuntu packages upgraded to latest versions (~Alpha 4)

ami-cb9e7aa2 - alestic-64/ubuntu-6.06-dapper-base-64-20080804.manifest.xml

  • Build using latest debootstrap v1.0.10
  • Output new ssh host key fingerprints to console log for security.
  • All Ubuntu packages upgraded to latest versions

ami-b6bc58df - alestic/ubuntu-8.10-intrepid-desktop-20080628.manifest.xml

  • Original (Alpha) release


Great tool
Yep, totally awesome great tool.
Reader from Texas on June 19, 2009 4:53 PM GMT
Ideal EC2 desktop
Works well as a desktop on small and large instances, the NX server is faster than VNC or RDP, and also has free implementations in many operating systems.
Mike Chelen on February 11, 2009 8:46 PM GMT
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