Amazon Web Services

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AWS offers "fleets" of virtualized machines and various networking infrastructure atop them.

Getting started using Debian

  • There's a "Free Tier" for new customers, providing 5GB of space and 1 year of an EC2 "Micro" instance
    • A valid credit card and phone number are required
  • Download the command line tools (a Java package)


  • Go to the "Security Credentials" page and acquire your "Access ID" and "Access Key" (~40 byte hashes), and your X509 cert and key.
  • You can use the access key in three ways:
    • Fill in the template values in credential-file-path.template from the unpacked command line tools' directory, and export AWS_CREDENTIAL_FILE pointing to this file
    • Reference this same file via --aws-credential-file file as an argument to all commands
    • Provide --I ID --S Key as arguments to all commands
  • You can use the X509 key in two ways:
    • Export EC2_CERT=cert and EC2_PRIVATE_KEY=key
    • Reference these same files via --ec2-cert-file-path cert and --ec2-private-key-file-path key

Environment Variables

  • I add the following to .bashrc:
export AWS_AUTO_SCALING_HOME="$HOME/local/aws"
export AWS_CREDENTIAL_FILE="$AWS_AUTO_SCALING_HOME/credential-file-path.template"
export JAVA_HOME=/usr

You ought now be able to run a remote command:

[skynet](0) $ as-describe-auto-scaling-groups --headers
No AutoScalingGroups found
[skynet](0) $ 

Managing Fleets