Vanishree shows you how to
launch a Linux EC2 instance
that will be covered by the Free Tier


I want to create an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance that runs Amazon Linux. How do I do that?

Amazon Web Services provides an AWS Free Tier option for evaluation purposes. The AWS Free Tier provides access to many products and services, including Amazon EC2, at no cost, within certain limitations. After creating an AWS account you can quickly create an Amazon Linux Free Tier eligible instance with a public IP address. For more information, see Create an AWS account.

Preliminary steps

  1. Create an AWS account.
  2. Open the Amazon EC2 console.
  3. In the Region selector in the navigation bar, select the Region that is geographically closest to you. All resources required to run your instance must be created in the same Region.
  4. You need a key pair to transfer files between your computer and the instance. From the EC2 Dashboard under Resources, select Key Pairs to create key pairs. For detailed steps to create key pairs, see Create a Key Pair. If you plan to connect to your Amazon Linux instance from Windows, be sure to follow the instructions in the section titled (Optional) To prepare to connect to a Linux instance from Windows using PuTTY. Save the resulting .ppk file to the same folder as the .pem file that you downloaded.

Create an EC2 instance

  1. In the console navigation pane, choose EC2 Dashboard. In the Create Instance section of the console, choose Launch Instance.
  2. On the Step 1: Choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) page, find the Amazon Linux AMI Free Tier eligible AMI, and then choose Select.
  3. On the Step 2: Choose an Instance Type page, accept the default General Purpose t2.micro instance type, and then choose Next: Configure Instance Details.
  4. On the Step 3: Configure Instance Details page, accept the following default selections, or configure them to your requirements, and then choose Next: Add Storage.
    Number of Instances – 1 (default).
    Purchasing option Request Spot Instances unchecked (default). Spot instances aren't covered under the Free Tier option.
    Network – Select an existing VPC, or create a new one to determine where to launch the instance.
    Subnet – Select a subnet in the same Region where you created a key pair.
    Auto-assign Public IP – Select Enable.
    IAM role None (default).
    Shutdown behaviorStop (default).
    Enable termination protection – Check Protect against accidental termination.
    MonitoringEnable CloudWatch detailed monitoring unchecked (default).
    TenancyShared tenancy (muti-tenant hardware) (default). Dedicated servers aren't covered under the Free Tier option.
  5. On the Step 4: Add Storage page, enter the following options, and then choose Next: Add Tags.
    Size (GiB) – 20
    Volume TypeGeneral Purpose (SSD)
    Delete on Termination – Unchecked
  6. On the Step 5: Tag Instance page, enter the following values, and then choose Next: Configure Security Group.
    Key - name
    Value - Amazon Linux Test
  7. On the Step 6: Configure Security Group page, for Source choose My IP, and then choose Review and Launch. You can change the security options later.

Launch the instance

  1. On the Step 7: Review Instance Launch page, review your instance launch details, and then choose Launch.
  2. From the Select an existing key pair or create a new key pair dialog box, select the key pair you created in the preliminary steps from the Select a key pair drop-down list. Check the acknowledgement box, and then choose Launch Instances. In this step, you can also create a new key pair that will be used to access the instance.
    Note: The generated key file can be downloaded only after it has been created. If you create a new key pair, be sure to save this key file to a secure location for future use.
  3. On the Launch Status page, in the Your instance is now launching section, choose the instance ID (i-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx).
  4. When the Status Checks complete successfully and Instance State status is running, connect to your instance. For more information, see Connect to Your Linux Instance.

To avoid unnecessary charges on your account, stop your instance when you're not using it. While using Free Tier, be sure that you understand the pricing guidelines. When you are finished with your instance, you should clean up by terminating the instance. For more information, see Clean Up Your Instance.

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Published: 2014-12-18

Updated: 2018-11-07