ec2-consistent-snapshot: New release 0.35


ec2-consistent-snapshot version 0.35 has been released on the Alestic PPA. This software is a wrapper around the EBS create-snapshot API call and can be used to help ensure that the file system and any MySQL database on the EBS volume are in a consistent state, suitable for restoring at a later time.

The most important change in this release is a fix for a defect that has been nagging many folks for months. In rare situations, the create-snapshot API call itself took longer than 10 seconds to return from the EC2 web service at Amazon. The software did not trap the alarm correctly and exited without unfreezing the XFS file system which forced us to add an awkward unfreeze command in all cron jobs.

Thanks to Mike Lawlor who tracked down and provided a patch for this bothersome bug.

Thanks also to Brian Smith, who provided a patch implementing an new --mysql-socket option that a few users had been wishing for.

And thanks to Kenny Gryp, who provided a patch to clean up an error message when both the --help and --xfs-filesystem options were specified.

To get the latest version of ec2-consistent-snapshot installed, then you should be able to upgrade from the Alestic PPA with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alestic &&
sudo apt-get update &&
sudo apt-get install ec2-consistent-snapshot

New bugs in this software can be reported in launchpad at:


Hi Eric,

Thank you for your wonderful script.

Since I did the 0.35 upgrade, ec2-consistent-snapshot does not work anymore. We have the following error:

ec2-consistent-snapshot: ERROR: 501 Protocol scheme 'https' is not supported (Crypt::SSLeay or IO::Socket::SSL not installed)

It has been running fine for months on a unbuntu karmic box.


I don't know why that would suddenly change. Nothing to that effect was modified in this release. See if the following fixes the problem:

sudo apt-get install libcrypt-ssleay-perl

Had the same problem, sudo apt-get install libcrypt-ssleay-perl fixed it, thanks

masterkain: Thanks for confirming. To track this dependency, I've created bug

I am getting the same error that Bertrand got. I tried: sudo apt-get install libcrypt-ssleay-perl
but I failed with the following errors:
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package libcrypt-ssleay-perl is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source
E: Package libcrypt-ssleay-perl has no installation candidate

Any help is appreciated.


Joyo: What Ubuntu release are you using? I just tested on a fresh Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid and it worked well.

Will it work on other file systems like jfs, ext3 & ext4. I use raid10 using 8 * 1 TB of volume and looking for a way to take snapshot for all the volumes as backup purpose, OR is there any other way to take snapshot of volumes while RAID & services are up and running. I use jfs file system.

Please suggest.

Thanks in advance.


ec2-consistent-snapshot can be used with any file system. Even if the file system does not support freezing, it tries to get it as consistent as possible (e.g., with sync). This may not be good enough for RAID consistency. Ext3 does not support freezing. Ext4 does support it if you have the correct kernel. You'll need to do some testing to see if your version is recent enough. I haven't used JFS in years and don't remember if it supports freezing. I'd welcome a patch to ec2-consistent-snapshot to support JFS.

Leave a comment

Ubuntu AMIs

Ubuntu AMIs for EC2:

More Entries

EC2 create-image Does Not Fully "Stop" The Instance
The EC2 create-image API/command/console action is a convenient trigger to create an AMI from a running (or stopped) EBS boot instance. It takes a snapshot of the instance’s EBS volume(s)…
Finding the Region for an AWS Resource ID
use concurrent AWS command line requests to search the world for your instance, image, volume, snapshot, … Background Amazon EC2 and many other AWS services are divided up into various…
Changing The Default "ubuntu" Username On New EC2 Instances
configure your own ssh username in user-data The official Ubuntu AMIs create a default user with the username ubuntu which is used for the initial ssh access, i.e.: ssh ubuntu@<HOST>…
Default ssh Usernames For Connecting To EC2 Instances
Each AMI publisher on EC2 decides what user (or users) should have ssh access enabled by default and what ssh credentials should allow you to gain access as that user.…
New c3.* Instance Types on Amazon EC2 - Nice!
Worth switching. Amazon shared that the new c3.* instance types have been in high demand on EC2 since they were released. I finally had a minute to take a look…
Query EC2 Account Limits with AWS API
Here’s a useful tip mentioned in one of the sessions at AWS re:Invent this year. There is a little known API call that lets you query some of the EC2…
Using aws-cli --query Option To Simplify Output
My favorite session at AWS re:Invent was James Saryerwinnie’s clear, concise, and informative tour of the aws-cli (command line interface), which according to GitHub logs he is enhancing like crazy.…
Reset S3 Object Timestamp for Bucket Lifecycle Expiration
use aws-cli to extend expiration and restart the delete or archive countdown on objects in an S3 bucket Background S3 buckets allow you to specify lifecycle rules that tell AWS…
Installing aws-cli, the New AWS Command Line Tool
consistent control over more AWS services with aws-cli, a single, powerful command line tool from Amazon Readers of this tech blog know that I am a fan of the power…
Using An AWS CloudFormation Stack To Allow "-" Instead Of "+" In Gmail Email Addresses
Launch a CloudFormation template to set up a stack of AWS resources to fill a simple need: Supporting Gmail addresses with “-” instead of “+” separating the user name from…
New Options In ec2-expire-snapshots v0.11
The ec2-expire-snapshots program can be used to expire EBS snapshots in Amazon EC2 on a regular schedule that you define. It can be used as a companion to ec2-consistent-snapshot or…
Replacing a CloudFront Distribution to "Invalidate" All Objects
I was chatting with Kevin Boyd (aka Beryllium) on the ##aws Freenode IRC channel about the challenge of invalidating a large number of CloudFront objects (35,000) due to a problem…
Email Alerts for AWS Billing Alarms
using CloudWatch and SNS to send yourself email messages when AWS costs accrue past limits you define The Amazon documentation describes how to use the AWS console to monitor your…
Cost of Transitioning S3 Objects to Glacier
how I was surprised by a large AWS charge and how to calculate the break-even point Glacier Archival of S3 Objects Amazon recently introduced a fantastic new feature where S3…
Running Ubuntu on Amazon EC2 in Sydney, Australia
Amazon has announced a new AWS region in Sydney, Australia with the name ap-southeast-2. The official Ubuntu AMI lookup pages (1, 2) don’t seem to be showing the new location…
Save Money by Giving Away Unused Heavy Utilization Reserved Instances
You may be able to save on future EC2 expenses by selling an unused Reserved Instance for less than its true value or even $0.01, provided it is in the…
Installing AWS Command Line Tools from Amazon Downloads
When you need an AWS command line toolset not provided by Ubuntu packages, you can download the tools directly from Amazon and install them locally. In a previous article I…
Convert Running EC2 Instance to EBS-Optimized Instance with Provisioned IOPS EBS Volumes
Amazon just announced two related features for getting super-fast, consistent performance with EBS volumes: (1) Provisioned IOPS EBS volumes, and (2) EBS-Optimized Instances. Starting new instances and EBS volumes with…
Which EC2 Availability Zone is Affected by an Outage?
Did you know that Amazon includes status messages about the health of availability zones in the output of the ec2-describe-availability-zones command, the associated API call, and the AWS console? Right…
Installing AWS Command Line Tools Using Ubuntu Packages
See also: Installing AWS Command Line Tools from Amazon Downloads Here are the steps for installing the AWS command line tools that are currently available as Ubuntu packages. These include:…
Ubuntu Developer Summit, May 2012 (Oakland)
I will be attending the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) next week in Oakland, CA. ┬áThis event brings people from around the world together in one place every six months to…
Uploading Known ssh Host Key in EC2 user-data Script
The ssh protocol uses two different keys to keep you secure: The user ssh key is the one we normally think of. This authenticates us to the remote host, proving…
Seeding Torrents with Amazon S3 and s3cmd on Ubuntu
Amazon Web Services is such a huge, complex service with so many products and features that sometimes very simple but powerful features fall through the cracks when you’re reading the…
There are a number of CloudCamp events coming up in cities around the world. These are free events, organized around the various concepts, technologies, and services that fall under the…
Use the Same Architecture (64-bit) on All EC2 Instance Types
A few hours ago, Amazon AWS announced that all EC2 instance types can now run 64-bit AMIs. Though t1.micro, m1.small, and c1.medium will continue to also support 32-bit AMIs, it…
ec2-consistent-snapshot on GitHub and v0.43 Released
The source for ec2-conssitent-snapshot has historically been available here: ec2-consistent-snapshot on using Bazaar For your convenience, it is now also available here: ec2-consistent-snapshot on GitHub using Git You are…
You Should Use EBS Boot Instances on Amazon EC2
EBS boot vs. instance-store If you are just getting started with Amazon EC2, then use EBS boot instances and stop reading this article. Forget that you ever heard about instance-store…
Retrieve Public ssh Key From EC2
A serverfault poster had a problem that I thought was a cool challenge. I had so much fun coming up with this answer, I figured I’d share it here as…
Running EC2 Instances on a Recurring Schedule with Auto Scaling
Do you want to run short jobs on Amazon EC2 on a recurring schedule, but don’t want to pay for an instance running all the time? Would you like to…
AWS Virtual MFA and the Google Authenticator for Android
Amazon just announced that the AWS MFA (multi-factor authentication) now supports virtual or software MFA devices in addition to the physical hardware MFA devices like the one that’s been taking…