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  Build a Custom Amazon EC2 Machine Image (CentOS 6.2) — (24-June-2012)

There is no shortage when it comes to finding an available Amazon Elastic 
Compute Cloud (EC2) Machine Image (AMI). Often times, however, finding an image 
from the community AMIs that meets your particular needs can be a challenge. In 
many cases the image is bloated, provides too much customization, performs 
poorly, or lacks any type of reasonable documentation. Not to mention the 
inherent security concerns associated with some 3rd party AMIs.

In the article described at the end of the newsletter, I will demonstrate how 
to create your own instance store-backed (a.k.a. S3-backed) and EBS-backed 
Amazon EC2 image of CentOS 6.2 (64-bit) with its own kernel. Creating your own 
AMI allows you to make the most of Amazon EC2 and provides better control over 
performance, security, and reproducibility. Your AMIs become the basic unit of 
deployment which allow you to rapidly boot new custom instances as you need 

There are two methods to prepare your own custom Amazon EC2 instances for 
Linux/UNIX systems:

  1.) From an Existing AMI

      Involves launching an existing public AMI and modifying it according to 
      your requirements.

  2.) Create a New AMI from Scratch on Your Own Machine (loopback method)

      Involves building a fresh installation either on a stand-alone machine or 
      on an empty file system mounted by loopback.

Although preparing a new AMI from an existing one is often the easiest method, 
this guide will document the procedures to create a new AMI from scratch using 
a fresh OS install of CentOS 6.2 (64-bit) on an empty file system mounted by 

Build a Custom Amazon EC2 Machine Image (CentOS 6.2)

Jeffrey M. Hunter, OCP
Sr. Database Administrator