How do I create and copy an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) from one AWS Region to another?

Last updated: 2021-03-15

I want to launch a copy of my Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2) instance to serve clients in other geographical regions and to create redundancy in my application. How do I create an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) of my Amazon EC2 instance and then copy the AMI to another AWS Region?


To create a copy of your AMI in another AWS Region, follow these steps:

  1. Create an AMI of your EC2 instance:
    To create a Linux AMI, see Create your own AMI.
    To create a Windows AMI, see Create a custom Windows AMI.
  2. Copy the AMI of your EC2 instance to another AWS Region:
    To copy a Linux AMI, see Copy an AMI.
    To copy a Windows AMI, see Copy an AMI.

After the copy operation completes, launch a new EC2 instance from your AMI in the new AWS Region.

Copying an encrypted AMI

Linux error message "This AMI was copied from an AMI with a kernel that is unavailable in the destination region: {Image ID}"

Linux paravirtual (PV) AMIs aren't supported in all AWS Regions. If you receive this message, you can create a new HVM instance, and then attach new EBS volumes to the HVM instance. Then, copy over data from the EBS volumes attached to the old PV instance. For more information, see Linux AMI virtualization types.