Before you begin

  • Amazon WorkSpaces allows you to choose a virtual desktop based on Microsoft Windows, Amazon Linux 2, or Ubuntu Desktop operating systems in a variety of underlying CPU, graphics, memory, and storage configurations to fit your use case. You can even bring your own Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise license for use on Amazon WorkSpaces. 

    A WorkSpace is a cloud-based virtual desktop within Amazon WorkSpaces that collects and provides an organization’s content, resources, and tools in a secure, fully managed solution.

    Amazon WorkSpaces helps businesses: 

    • Enable a remote and hybrid workforce 
    • Accelerate time to productivity for new users
    • Avoid infrastructure overprovisioning with pay-as-you-go hourly billing
    • Empower developers to quickly build, test, and deploy code across multiple environments
    • Create virtual learning environments
  • Amazon WorkSpaces Quick Setup is a do-it-yourself (DIY) virtual desktop deployment tool that lets you launch WorkSpaces in a few minutes.

    It is designed to easily deploy WorkSpaces by automating the following setup tasks:

    • Creating an entity, called AWS Identity and access Management (IAM) role, to assign specific permissions to users. This allows trusted identities to perform actions within AWS. WorkSpaces creates a new IAM role for you (named workspaces_DefaultRole). You can customize this IAM role later, if needed. 
    • Creating a secure, isolated, virtual private cloud (VPC), which allows you to launch your WorkSpaces in a logically isolated virtual network, hosted remotely by AWS. If you already have your own AWS VPC and want to use it instead, make sure it meets the requirements noted in Configure a VPC for WorkSpaces
    • Setting up a directory in the VPC, called the Simple Active Directory (AD), to store user and WorkSpaces information. A Simple AD is compatible with Microsoft Active Directory and hosted on AWS.
    • Creating specified AWS accounts and adding them to the directory. The first AWS account created by quick setup is your admin AWS account. You cannot update this AWS account from the WorkSpaces Console. Do not share the information for this account with anyone else. 
    • Creating WorkSpaces. Each WorkSpace receives a public IP address to allow internet access. The default mode is AlwaysOn, which allows users to immediately access a WorkSpace anytime they log in. The running mode of a WorkSpace determines its immediate availability and how you pay for it (monthly or hourly). You can choose between the AlwaysOn and AutoStop (see Manage the WorkSpace running mode for details).
    • Sending invitation emails to the specified users. Users then log in to their account using the instructions provided in their invitation email.
    1. You should have an AWS account. If you do not have an AWS account, you can create one. End users (employees, contractors, etc.) do not need an AWS account to connect and use WorkSpaces.
    2.  Select from the following AWS Regions to deploy WorkSpaces:
      • US East (N. Virginia)
      • US West (Oregon)
      • Europe (Ireland)
      • Asia Pacific (Singapore)
      • Asia Pacific (Sydney)
      • Asia Pacific (Tokyo)

    Read more about WorkSpaces pricing by AWS Region


    1. If you have not set up credentials for the user already, open the invitation email (received on the email address entered in step 1) and follow the directions. 

    2. End users can access their WorkSpace using their browser or the WorkSpaces client application for their endpoint device. Each client has different requirements to connect to the WorkSpace. Review requirements for each client. 

    3. When prompted, download one of the client applications or launch Web Access.  You cannot use a web browser (Web Access) to connect to Amazon Linux WorkSpaces (see details).

    4. Using the client or Web Access, enter the registration code from the invitation email, and choose Register.

    5. When prompted to sign in, enter the sign-in credentials, and then click Sign In. After you sign in, the client displays the WorkSpace desktop.

Good to know

  • Simple AD is made available to you free of charge to use with WorkSpaces. If there are no WorkSpaces being used with your Simple AD for 30 consecutive days, this directory will be automatically deregistered for use with Amazon WorkSpaces, and you will be charged for this directory as per the AWS Directory Service pricing terms. To avoid AWS Directory Service charges, make sure to delete empty directories (see Delete the directory for your WorkSpaces). If you delete your Simple AD, you can always create a new one when you want to start using WorkSpaces again.