Setting up with Amazon EC2 - Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
AWS services or capabilities described in AWS documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with AWS services in China.

Setting up with Amazon EC2

Complete the tasks in this section to get set up for launching an Amazon EC2 instance for the first time:

When you are finished, you will be ready for the Amazon EC2 Getting started tutorial.

Sign up for AWS

When you sign up for Amazon Web Services (AWS), your AWS account is automatically signed up for all services in AWS, including Amazon EC2. You are charged only for the services that you use.

With Amazon EC2, you pay only for what you use. If you are a new AWS customer, you can get started with Amazon EC2 for free. For more information, see AWS Free Tier.

If you have an AWS account already, skip to the next task. If you don't have an AWS account, use the following procedure to create one.

To create an AWS account

  1. Open https://portal.amazonaws.cn/billing/signup.

  2. Follow the online instructions.

    Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a verification code on the phone keypad.

Create a key pair

AWS uses public-key cryptography to secure the login information for your instance. You specify the name of the key pair when you launch your instance, then provide the private key to obtain the administrator password for your Windows instance so you can log in using RDP.

If you haven't created a key pair already, you can create one using the Amazon EC2 console. Note that if you plan to launch instances in multiple Regions, you'll need to create a key pair in each Region. For more information about Regions, see Regions and Zones.

You can create a key pair using one of the following methods.

New console

To create your key pair

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/ec2/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Key Pairs.

  3. Choose Create key pair.

  4. For Name, enter a descriptive name for the key pair. Amazon EC2 associates the public key with the name that you specify as the key name. A key name can include up to 255 ASCII characters. It can’t include leading or trailing spaces.

  5. For File format, choose the format in which to save the private key. To save the private key in a format that can be used with OpenSSH, choose pem. To save the private key in a format that can be used with PuTTY, choose ppk.

  6. Choose Create key pair.

  7. The private key file is automatically downloaded by your browser. The base file name is the name you specified as the name of your key pair, and the file name extension is determined by the file format you chose. Save the private key file in a safe place.

    Important

    This is the only chance for you to save the private key file.

Old console

To create your key pair

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/ec2/.

  2. In the navigation pane, under NETWORK & SECURITY, choose Key Pairs.

    Note

    The navigation pane is on the left side of the Amazon EC2 console. If you do not see the pane, it might be minimized; choose the arrow to expand the pane.

  3. Choose Create Key Pair.

  4. For Key pair name, enter a name for the new key pair, and then choose Create. The name can include up to 255 ASCII characters. It can’t include leading or trailing spaces.

  5. The private key file is automatically downloaded by your browser. The base file name is the name you specified as the name of your key pair, and the file name extension is .pem. Save the private key file in a safe place.

    Important

    This is the only chance for you to save the private key file.

For more information, see Amazon EC2 key pairs and Windows instances.

Create a security group

Security groups act as a firewall for associated instances, controlling both inbound and outbound traffic at the instance level. You must add rules to a security group that enable you to connect to your instance from your IP address using RDP. You can also add rules that allow inbound and outbound HTTP and HTTPS access from anywhere.

Note that if you plan to launch instances in multiple Regions, you'll need to create a security group in each Region. For more information about Regions, see Regions and Availability Zones.

Prerequisites

You'll need the public IPv4 address of your local computer. The security group editor in the Amazon EC2 console can automatically detect the public IPv4 address for you. Alternatively, you can use the search phrase "what is my IP address" in an Internet browser, or use the following service: Check IP. If you are connecting through an Internet service provider (ISP) or from behind a firewall without a static IP address, you need to find out the range of IP addresses used by client computers.

You can create a custom security group using one of the following methods.

New console

To create a security group with least privilege

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/ec2/.

  2. From the navigation bar, select a Region for the security group. Security groups are specific to a Region, so you should select the same Region in which you created your key pair.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Security Groups.

  4. Choose Create security group.

  5. In the Basic details section, do the following:

    1. Enter a name for the new security group and a description. Use a name that is easy for you to remember, such as your user name, followed by _SG_, plus the Region name. For example, me_SG_uswest2.

    2. In the VPC list, select your default VPC for the Region.

  6. In the Inbound rules section, create the following rules (choose Add rule for each new rule):

    • Choose HTTP from the Type list, and make sure that Source is set to Anywhere (0.0.0.0/0).

    • Choose HTTPS from the Type list, and make sure that Source is set to Anywhere (0.0.0.0/0).

    • Choose RDP from the Type list. In the Source box, choose My IP to automatically populate the field with the public IPv4 address of your local computer. Alternatively, choose Custom and specify the public IPv4 address of your computer or network in CIDR notation. To specify an individual IP address in CIDR notation, add the routing suffix /32, for example, 203.0.113.25/32. If your company allocates addresses from a range, specify the entire range, such as 203.0.113.0/24.

      Warning

      For security reasons, we don't recommend that you allow RDP access from all IPv4 addresses (0.0.0.0/0) to your instance, except for testing purposes and only for a short time.

  7. Choose Create security group.

Old console

To create a security group with least privilege

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.amazonaws.cn/ec2/.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Security Groups.

  3. Choose Create Security Group.

  4. Enter a name for the new security group and a description. Use a name that is easy for you to remember, such as your user name, followed by _SG_, plus the Region name. For example, me_SG_uswest2.

  5. In the VPC list, select your default VPC for the Region.

  6. On the Inbound tab, create the following rules (choose Add rule for each new rule):

    • Choose HTTP from the Type list, and make sure that Source is set to Anywhere (0.0.0.0/0).

    • Choose HTTPS from the Type list, and make sure that Source is set to Anywhere (0.0.0.0/0).

    • Choose RDP from the Type list. In the Source box, choose My IP to automatically populate the field with the public IPv4 address of your local computer. Alternatively, choose Custom and specify the public IPv4 address of your computer or network in CIDR notation. To specify an individual IP address in CIDR notation, add the routing suffix /32, for example, 203.0.113.25/32. If your company allocates addresses from a range, specify the entire range, such as 203.0.113.0/24.

      Warning

      For security reasons, we don't recommend that you allow RDP access from all IPv4 addresses (0.0.0.0/0) to your instance, except for testing purposes and only for a short time.

  7. Choose Create.

Command line

To create a security group with least privilege

Use one of the following commands:

For more information, see Amazon EC2 security groups for Windows instances.