Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

Develop, build, test, and sign Apple apps on Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Mac instances allow you to run on-demand macOS workloads in the cloud for the first time, extending the flexibility, scalability, and cost benefits of AWS to all Apple developers. By using Amazon EC2 Mac instances, you can create apps for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Safari. You can provision and access macOS environments within minutes, dynamically scale capacity as needed, and benefit from pay-as-you-go pricing.

x86-based EC2 Mac instances are built on Apple Mac mini computers, featuring Intel Core i7 processors, and are powered by the AWS Nitro System. You can choose from Mac instances that can run on macOS Mojave (version 10.14), macOS Catalina (version 10.15), macOS Big Sur (version 11), and macOS Monterey (version 12) as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). To get started with x86-based EC2 Mac instances, see the Amazon EC2 User Guide.

Amazon EC2 M1 Mac instances are built on Apple M1 Mac mini computers and are powered by the AWS Nitro System. These instances deliver up to 60% better price performance over x86-based EC2 Mac instances for iOS and macOS application build workloads. EC2 M1 Mac instances enable Arm64 macOS environments for the first time on AWS, and support macOS Big Sur (version 11) and macOS Monterey (version 12) as Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). To learn more, see the Amazon EC2 FAQs.

Mac processor

Get started with Amazon EC2 Mac instances quickly

Visit our GitHub repository for helpful technical documents, guides, videos, and more. Learn how to setup Apple developer environments, build CI/CD pipelines, or test your Jamf workflows on x86 and Apple silicon-based EC2 Mac instances.

Overview of Amazon EC2 Mac Instances (1:25)

Benefits

Quickly provision macOS environments

Time and resources previously spent building and maintaining on-premises macOS environments can now be refocused on building creative and useful apps. Development teams can now seamlessly provision and access macOS compute environments on demand to enjoy convenient distributed testing and fast app builds. This brings additional choices to developers so they can use Mac as their trusted platform, on premises or in the cloud. EC2 Mac instances help offload the effort in managing infrastructure to AWS, so Apple developers can focus on building their applications.

Extend your toolkits

EC2 Mac instances provide developers with seamless access to dozens of AWS services, so developers can more easily and efficiently collaborate with team members and develop, build, test, analyze, and improve their apps. Similar to other EC2 instances, you can use EC2 Mac instances together with AWS services and features, such as Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for network security, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) for expandable storage, Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) for distributing build queues, Amazon FSx for scalable file storage, and AWS Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent) for configuring, managing, and patching macOS environments.

Simplify rearchitecting, building, and testing for Apple silicon

EC2 M1 Mac instances enable Apple Silicon macOS environments, for the first time on AWS, to develop, build, test, deploy, and run Apple applications. When rearchitecting your macOS applications for Apple silicon Mac computers, you can now achieve faster builds with bare-metal performance and convenient distributed testing without having to procure, install, manage, patch, and upgrade the physical infrastructure.

Reduce costs

EC2 Mac instances allow developers to launch macOS environments within minutes, adjust provisioned capacity as needed, and only pay for actual usage with pay-as-you-go pricing. Developers save money since they only need to pay for the systems that are in use. For example, more capacity can be used when building an app, and less capacity when testing.

Features

Choice of Apple Mac hardware

EC2 Mac instances support multiple Apple Mac computers to address diverse use cases and requirements. Our x86-based EC2 Mac instances are built on Apple Mac mini computers, which feature 32 GiB of memory and eighth-generation 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7 processors with 6 physical and 12 logical cores. EC2 M1 Mac instances are built on Apple M1 Mac mini computers with the Apple silicon M1 chip, 8 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores, 16 GiB of memory, and the 16-core Apple Neural Engine.

Scaled on highly reliable infrastructure

EC2 Mac instances are designed so that you can build critical applications with confidence. AWS has the most secure, extensive, and reliable global infrastructure for running workloads that require high availability and is recognized as an industry leader for uptime standards. EC2 Mac instances let your macOS workloads benefit from the scale, elasticity, reliability, and experience that our secure, on-demand infrastructure has offered to millions of customers for more than a decade.

Enabled by the AWS Nitro System

The AWS Nitro System is a rich collection of building blocks that offloads many traditional, software-defined functions to dedicated hardware and software to deliver high performance, high availability, and high security. Amazon EC2 Mac instances are uniquely enabled by the AWS Nitro System, which makes it possible to offer Mac mini computers as fully integrated and managed EC2 instances, providing 10 Gbps of Amazon VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of Amazon EBS storage bandwidth.

Product details

  • x86-based EC2 Mac instances
  • x86-based EC2 Mac instances are powered by a combination of Mac mini computers, which feature Intel’s eighth-generation 3.2 GHz (4.6 GHz turbo) Core i7 processors, 6 physical and12 logical cores, and 32 GiB of memory; and the AWS Nitro System, which provides up to 10 Gbps of Amazon VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of Amazon EBS storage bandwidth through high-speed Thunderbolt 3 connections. x86-based EC2 Mac instances are uniquely enabled by the AWS Nitro System, which makes it possible to offer Mac mini computers as fully integrated and managed compute instances with Amazon VPC networking and Amazon EBS storage, just like any other Amazon EC2 instance. EC2 Mac instances are available in bare-metal instance size (mac1.metal) and support macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Big Sur (11), and macOS Monterey (12) as AMIs.

    Instance family  Instance size Processor Physical cores vCPUs Memory (GiB) Instance storage Network bandwidth (Gbps) EBS bandwidth (Gbps)
    Mac1 mac1.metal Intel Core i7 6 12 32 EBS-Only 10 8
  • EC2 M1 Mac instances
  • EC2 M1 Mac instances are powered by a combination of the AWS Nitro System, which provides up to 10 Gbps of Amazon VPC network bandwidth and 8 Gbps of Amazon EBS storage bandwidth through high-speed Thunderbolt connections; and Apple silicon Mac mini computers, which feature the M1 chip with 8 CPU cores, 8 GPU cores, 16 GiB of memory, and the 16-core Apple Neural Engine. EC2 M1 Mac instances are uniquely enabled by the AWS Nitro System, which makes it possible to offer Mac mini computers as fully integrated and managed compute instances with Amazon VPC networking and Amazon EBS storage, just like any other Amazon EC2 instance. EC2 M1 Mac instances support both macOS Big Sur (11) and macOS Monterey (12) as AMIs.

    Instance family  Instance size Processor Physical cores vCPUs Memory (GiB) Instance storage Network bandwidth (Gbps) EBS bandwidth (Gbps)
    Mac2 mac2.metal Apple M1 4 performance and 4 efficiency cores 12 16 EBS-Only 10 8

Pricing

Amazon EC2 Mac instances are available for purchase as Dedicated Hosts through the On-Demand and Savings Plans pricing models. Billing for EC2 Mac instances is per second with a 24-hour minimum allocation period to comply with the Apple macOS Software License Agreement. Through On Demand, you can launch an EC2 Mac host and be up and running within minutes. At the end of the 24-hour minimum allocation period, the host can be released at any time with no further commitment. With both Compute and Instance Savings Plans available, you can save up to 44 percent off On-Demand pricing with a 3-year commitment. For more information on Dedicated Hosts and complete pricing information, see the Dedicated Hosts pricing page. You can also access EC2 Mac instances pricing on the AWS Pricing Calculator for Dedicated Hosts.

Customers

Twitch
Pinterest
NBCUniversal
East Side Games
Flipboard
Intuit
Dimps Corp.
Electronic Arts
The Pokémon Company
Riot Games
Strabag
Goldman Sachs

Customers

  • Pinterest
  • How Pinterest Modernized iOS Build Infrastructure with Amazon EC2 Mac Instances (40:34)

    “Before EC2 Mac, physically procuring and managing our Mac build infrastructure was challenging, and our output was limited by the available physical machines. Now with EC2 Mac instances, we can scale our iOS build fleet, easily bake, roll back, and roll forward custom macOS environments with AMIs, and debug any build or test failures with fully reproducible macOS environments. We have also modernized our iOS development pipeline by integrating with multiple AWS services such as IAM roles and policies to provide least privilege access, Secrets Manager to centralize macOS authentication, AWS Lambda and Amazon SNS to create Auto Scaling groups, and CloudWatch to give us centralized monitoring. Today, 100% of our production builds are running on EC2 Mac - our builds are 18.4% faster and 80.5% more reliable - and our iOS developers love it!”

    - Oliver Koo
    Senior Software Engineer, Pinterest

  • Twitch
  • twitch

    "Before updating to EC2 Mac instances, we didn't have immediate access or a reliable SLA for our on-premises Mac machines— it could take days to get an offline build agent investigated or more capacity added. Whenever we wanted to upgrade Xcode, we had to download and install it one machine at a time which took us hours. Additionally, access and security credentials had to be managed per on-premises machine. Now with EC2 Mac instances, I can spin up a new virtual machine in minutes, improve security by using EC2 Instance Profiles, and create, test, and roll-out a new Xcode AMI across all of our build agents 4x faster. To top it all off - EC2 Mac instances are more powerful than the on-premises build agents we used to have and the network interconnect is faster as well. These speed improvements enabled us to reduce our macOS fleet size by 50%."

    - Heath Borders
    Senior Mobile Engineer, Twitch

  • The Pokémon Company International
  • AWS Summit 2021: Flipboard and Amazon EC2 Mac instances (05:16)

    "Flipboard is an award-winning app that curates news and information for millions of customers in a user-friendly magazine format. We recently started using Amazon EC2 instances for our iOS build machines for tasks such as daily betas, App Store builds and submissions, and UI testing. We were able to easily migrate from our previous solution to EC2 Mac instances in three days including software installation, VNC sessions, accounts created, and moving all of our Jenkins jobs. The setup has been very reliable, and we also enjoy the flexibility to use either command line or screen sharing. Build times have reduced from 20 minutes to 5 minutes. UI automation tests that used to take 3 hours now take less than 1 hour. Download speeds are amazing, and the VNC sessions are as smooth as butter. Needless to say, this project was a huge success and we are super happy with the finished results.”

    - Colin Caufield
    Lead iOS Engineer, Flipboard

  • The Pokémon Company International
  • “At The Pokémon Company International, a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan that manages the property outside of Asia, we migrated our entire client build farm and Unity CI/CD to EC2 Mac instances to consolidate our build pipeline, take advantage of build automation, leverage CI/CD tooling such as Jenkins and TeamCity, and speed up build times. With the on-demand EC2 Mac instances, we are able to more effectively scale and support automated testing of our products. After migrating our Unity CI/CD from a third-party provider to EC2 Mac, we were thrilled that our Unity builds are 400 percent faster.”

    - Carla Dreyer
    Senior Manager of DevOps Engineering, The Pokémon Company International

  • Intuit
  • Intuit and Amazon EC2 Mac Instances

    "Intuit is a mission-driven, global financial platform company. Its products - including TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint - are designed to empower more than 50 million consumer, small business and self-employed customers around the world to improve their financial lives. EC2 Mac instances, with their familiar EC2 interfaces and APIs, have enabled us to seamlessly migrate our existing iOS and macOS build-and-test pipelines to AWS, altogether improving developer productivity. We’re experiencing up to 30 percent better performance over our data center infrastructure, thanks to elastic capacity expansion, and a high availability setup leveraging multiple zones. We’re now running around 80 percent of our production builds on EC2 Mac instances, and are excited to see what the future holds for AWS innovation in this space."

    - Pratik Wadher
    VP of Product Development, Intuit

  • Riot Games
  • “The Legends of Runeterra team was excited to take advantage of EC2 Mac instances to consolidate our entire build pipeline (Windows, Linux, and now macOS) on AWS. Our build pipeline currently supports ~100 builds per day, up to 3,000 builds per month, and our source control has over 270K commits to-date. Prior to migrating to EC2 Mac instances, our team had to spend time on managing on-premises Macs. Now, with EC2 Mac instances our build pipeline delivers a complete end-to-end cross-platform build process for Unity CI/CD in the AWS cloud. This has allowed our team of over one hundred talented engineers, artists, and designers to decrease development time and accelerate innovation for the games Riot players have come to know and love."

    - Guy Kisel
    Staff Software Engineer, LoR, Riot Games

Resources

Amazon EC2 Mac Instances Tech Tutorials - Part 1 - Getting Started (7:40)
Amazon EC2 Mac Instances Tech Tutorials - Part 2 - How to Use Block and File Storage (7:32)
Amazon EC2 Mac Instances Tech Tutorials - Part 3 - macOS Workers with Kubernetes and Jenkins (5:03)
WIRED feature: Bye, Bye Bender
January 29, 2022

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AWS re:Invent 2021: Build native Apple silicon apps with EC2 M1 Mac instances, ft. Goldman Sachs
December 2, 2021

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Mobile CI/CD with EC2 macOS: Goldman Sachs feature
December 2, 2021

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Announcing Amazon EC2 M1 Mac instances for macOS
December 2, 2021

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Amazon EC2 Mac Instances now support macOS Monterey
November 22, 2021

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Amazon EC2 Mac Instances now support macOS Big Sur
February 23, 2021

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Get started with EC2 Mac instances

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