Official Ubuntu Images for Amazon EC2 from Canonical


Canonical has released official Ubuntu images for EC2 for Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic.

The primary technical benefit brought by Canonical’s involvement in building official Ubuntu images is that custom kernels can be built for EC2 through a relationship with Amazon. This means that the Ubuntu images can now run on more modern Ubuntu kernels instead of on Amazon’s older, Fedora kernels.

Other differences are listed below: Ubuntu images Canonical Ubuntu images
Kernel 2.6.21 Karmic: 2.6.31
Releases 9.04 Jaunty
8.10 Intrepid
8.04 Hardy (LTS)
7.10 Gutsy (obsolete)
7.04 Feisty (obsolete)
6.10 Edgy (obsolete)
6.06 Dapper (LTS)
9.10 Karmic
Flavors server
ssh access ssh to root ssh to “ubuntu” with sudo to root
Apt Sources main
Alestic PPA
Apt Mirror Jaunty, Intrepid, Hardy: (load balanced with failover)
Default runlevel runlevel 4 runlevel 2
Tools Amazon EC2 AMI tools installed
runurl installed
euca2ools installed
Amazon tools available (multiverse)
runurl available through Alestic PPA

Items listed are likely to change as images are enhanced. This table may or may not be updated to match. Please leave comments if you notice or question other differences.

Note: There are some older (2009-04) Canonical AMIs floating around for Hardy and Intrepid. These have not been maintained and are not recommended at this point.

Updated 2009-06-15: Jaunty is using an Ubuntu mirror inside EC2. images using load balanced mirror with failover between EC2 availability zones.

Updated 2009-06-25: published Karmic (Alpha) but later withdrew.

Updated 2009-10-29: Canonical released Karmic. None of the image currently have RightScale support built in, but RightScale has their own Ubuntu AMIs.


What do you mean by rightscale support ?

The official Ubuntu images for EC2 have special RightScale hooks that are activated when the image is started from within the RightScale environment. This loads the RightScale software which allows the use of server templates (startup configuration), monitoring, automation, and other advanced integration with the RightScale platform.

On I used to publish separate RightScale Ubuntu images for EC2 with RightScale's support, but have discontinued this line of AMIs now that the official Ubuntu images include RightScale support. RightScale is working directly with Canonical so that everybody can benefit.

Do the official Ubuntu images have the other alestic features we have come to depend on like "On first boot, runs instance user-data script"? A full comparison with the feature set listed on this page would be helpful

Peter: Yes, the official Ubuntu images for EC2 have copied pretty much all of the startup functionality which I published in the community Ubuntu images on , though it was rewritten in Python.

This includes the hook to run user-data on first boot if it starts with the two characters "#!" (which still remains barely documented since there is so little to say about it).

I have been working closely with the great folks at Canonical for almost half a year, and have been testing alpha and beta releases as they come out. I think I've submitted the most bug reports and requests by far. At the beginning I was submitting patches, but it turned out to be easier just to let them do the development :)

If you find any problems upgrading from the Ubuntu images to the official Ubuntu images, please raise a flag. It may still be possible to fix incompatibilities, provided they were not intentional.

The full comparison table is a nice idea, but as far as I know, the above are all of the significant differences.

I need 9.04 Jaunty images. I wont move to official ubuntu images until they release Jaunty!

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