Amazon Machine Image Customization

Overview

If AWS Portal does not offer the software/plugins that you need, it is possible to customize an AMI (Amazon Machine Image) to fit your environment. By creating an EC2 instance from one of the AWS Portal AMIs you can install the software and plugins needed, create your own AMI and specify it when launching a fleet.

Launch an Instance

The first step to creating a Custom AMI is to choose the base AWS Portal AMI to start from. Go to AWS Management Console > Services > EC2 > AMIs > Public Images and filter “Deadline Slave Base Image”. It’s important to make sure the owner is listed as “357466774442”, you can also filter by this id. Right click the desired AMI and Launch an instance from it.

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Launch the instance into the default or your own VPC (Virtual Private Cloud). If you do not have a VPN (Virtual Private Network) setup, you will need to assign a public ip to the instance in order to make it accessible via the internet to connect remotely. The root volume will need enough space allocated for the software being installed. Create or assign a security group that allows you to connect to the instance. RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) on port TCP 3389 for Windows or SSH (Secure Shell) on port TCP 22 for Linux. Assign your networks public ip, xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/32 to lock down who can connect, MyIP can be selected as the source to autofill the ip.

Additional information on launching an Amazon EC2 Instance can be found in the AWS Launching an Instance documentation.

Connect to the Instance

Now that the instance has been launched you can connect to the instance to make modifications. Depending on the operating system you will need to follow the Linux/Mac or Windows connection documentation.

Software Installation

To install software you will need to transfer or download the installers to the instance. If the installers are accessible via the internet or S3 they can be downloaded. The following links outline methods for transferring data to Linux or Windows instances from your local network.

Transfer Data to a Linux instance using:

Transferring files to a Windows Instance.

Create an AMI

Linux

Once the Linux instance has been configured go to AWS Management Console > EC2 > Instance. Right click your instance, select Image and create the AMI.

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Windows

Once the Windows instance has been configured run EC2LaunchSettings from the start menu. Enable “Set Computer Name” and then execute “Shutdown without Sysprep”.

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Once the EC2 instance has been stopped, right click the instance and create an image.

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Launch a Custom AMI with AWS Portal

Once the status has changed from pending to available, the AMI is ready to be used. This information can be found in the AWS Management Console at Services > EC2 > AMIs > Owned by me > AMI Name.

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When launching a fleet enable “Use AMI ID” and select your AMI.

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