Update: The process described here is deprecated for building Ubuntu AMIs. The Ubuntu
vmbuilder software has replaced
ec2ubuntu-build-ami. In addition I recommend starting with the Ubuntu images published by Canonical as described in this article:
The below information may be useful for building Debian AMIs, but EC2 kernels are slowly getting out of date for running modern Debian releases.
The Ubuntu and Debian images for EC2 which are published on http://alestic.com were built with the
ec2ubuntu-build-ami software. This program can also be used by advanced users who wish to build from scratch their own Ubuntu or Debian images for EC2.
The basic instructions for using this script are as follows: