Why am I unable to start or launch my EC2 instance?

Last updated: 2020-03-30

I am unable to launch or start my Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance? How can I troubleshoot this problem? 

Short Description

There are multiple reasons why you might be unable to launch or start your EC2 instance. If you aren't receiving an error code when attempting to start the instance, run the describe-instances command. Then, specify the instance ID to view the reason for the problem. In the following example, replace MYINSTANCE with the id of the instance you are trying to start.

aws ec2 describe-instances --instance-id MYINSTANCE --output json

Check the StateReason message in the JSON response returned by the command.

In the following example, the StateReason returned is "Client.InternalError".

"StateReason": {
     "Message": "Client.InternalError: Client error on launch",
     "Code": "Client.InternalError"
   },

Resolution

The following are common errors that can prevent you from starting your instance:

InsufficientInstanceCapacity

Error message: "An error occurred (InsufficientInstanceCapacity) when calling the RunInstances operation (reached max retries: 4). We currently do not have sufficient capacity in the Availability Zone you requested." This error occurs if there isn't enough On-Demand capacity to complete your request.

For information on resolving this error, see How do I troubleshoot InsufficientInstanceCapacity errors when starting or launching an EC2 instance?

InstanceLimitExceeded

Error message: "Your quota allows for 0 more running instance(s)." This error occurs if you launched the maximum allowed instances in your Region.

For information on resolving this error, see How do I troubleshoot InstanceLimitExceeded errors when starting or launching an EC2 instance?

UnauthorizedOperation

The UnauthorizedOperation error indicates that the user attempting to launch the instance doesn't have the required permissions. For information on resolving this error, see Why am I receiving the error message "You are not authorized to perform this operation" when I try to launch an EC2 instance?

Client.InternalError

There are several reasons you might receive this error:

  • An Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume isn't correctly attached.to the instance.
  • An EBS volume that is attached to the instance is in an ERROR state.
  • An EBS volume attached to the instance is encrypted and you don't have permissions to access the AWS Key Management Services (AWS KMS) for decryption.

For information on resolving these issues, see I'm unable to start my instance and I see Client.InternalError when running the describe-instances command. How do I fix this?