Setting up Amazon EMR - Amazon EMR
Services or capabilities described in Amazon Web Services documentation might vary by Region. To see the differences applicable to the China Regions, see Getting Started with Amazon Web Services in China (PDF).

Setting up Amazon EMR

Complete the tasks in this section before you launch an Amazon EMR cluster for the first time:

Before you use Amazon EMR for the first time, complete the following tasks:

Sign up for an Amazon Web Services account

If you do not have an Amazon Web Services account, use the following procedure to create one.

To sign up for Amazon Web Services
  1. Open and choose Sign Up.

  2. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Amazon sends you a confirmation email after the sign-up process is complete. At any time, you can view your current account activity and manage your account by going to and choosing My Account.

Secure IAM users

After you sign up for an Amazon Web Services account, safeguard your administrative user by turning on multi-factor authentication (MFA). For instructions, see Enable a virtual MFA device for an IAM user (console) in the IAM User Guide.

To give other users access to your Amazon Web Services account resources, create IAM users. To secure your IAM users, turn on MFA and only give the IAM users the permissions needed to perform their tasks.

For more information about creating and securing IAM users, see the following topics in the IAM User Guide:

Create an Amazon EC2 key pair for SSH


With Amazon EMR release versions 5.10.0 or later, you can configure Kerberos to authenticate users and SSH connections to a cluster. For more information, see Use Kerberos for authentication with Amazon EMR.

To authenticate and connect to the nodes in a cluster over a secure channel using the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol, create an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) key pair before you launch the cluster. You can also create a cluster without a key pair. This is usually done with transient clusters that start, run steps, and then terminate automatically.

If... Then...

You already have an Amazon EC2 key pair that you want to use, or you don't need to authenticate to your cluster.

Skip this step.
You need to create a key pair. See Creating your key pair using Amazon EC2.

Next steps