What Is AMI In AWS? | What are the types of AWS AMI? (2022)

Are you working on the Amazon Web Services (or AWS) cloud platform? Amazon Machine Image (or AMI) offers an easy and visual mode of launching instances of your virtual machine on the cloud platform.

For example, you may want to launch multiple and identical instances of the same virtual machine for your applications. AMI allows you to do that by creating an unlimited number of instances having the same configuration in a short period of time.

Additionally, you can use AMI to create multiple instances of different virtual machines when you require instances of different configurations.

How does the AMI technology work and what are the different types of AMI that are available for your use? Let’s discuss all this and more in the following below-given sections.

In this article, we will go through the below topics:
  1. What is AWS AMI?
  2. What are the types of AWS AMI?
  3. What are Shared AMIs?
  4. What are Paid AMIs?
  5. What are the types of Linux AMI Virtualization?
  6. How do you find a Linux AMI?
  7. How do you create your own AMI?
  8. How to deregister your AMI?

What is AWS AMI

In simple words, an AWS AMI is a virtual image that can be used to create an instance of a virtual machine. How does it operate? Here’s an illustration that summarizes the AMI lifecycle:

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What Is AMI In AWS? | What are the types of AWS AMI? (1)

The first step is to create and register the AMI, which is then used to launch or set up AWS instances. Alternatively, you can launch instances from another AMI provided the AMI creator grants you the necessary launch permissions. You can also copy an existing AMI within the same or different AWS region. Finally, you need to deregister an AMI once you no longer require it.

An AMI typically consists of the following three components:

  • The template is the root volume for the AWS instances (for example, application server, operating system, or web application).
  • Launch permissions that determine which AWS account can use this AMI to set up an instance.
  • Block device mapping that specifies the root device volumes that are attached to the AWS instance after launch.

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What are the types of AWS AMI?

As an AWS user, you can choose your AMI on the basis of the following parameters:

Operating System

You can choose an AMI on the basis of the supported operating system (or OS) like Windows or Linux.

32-bit or 64-bit Architecture

This parameter is based on the architecture of your selected OS.

Region

This parameter is based on the selected region of the Amazon machine image that comprises regions, availability zones, and local zones. Each region operates in different geographical regions and is independent of each other.

Storage (EBS or Instance store)

This AMI parameter is based on the storage of the root device. Based on storage, AMIs are categorized as either of the following two types namely:

(Video) AWS EC2 AMI Introduction

  • EBS-backed instances: In this case, the root device for an AWS instance – launched using AMI – is an Amazon EBS volume that has been created from Amazon EBS.
  • Instance store-backed instances: In this case, the root device for an AWS instance – launched using Ami – is an Amazon instance store volume that has been created from an Amazon S3 template.

The table below highlights the main differences between these two storage types:

EBS-backed AMIInstance store-backed AMI
Instance boot time< 1 minute< 5 minutes
Size limit for root device16TiB10GiB
Data persistenceThe root volume is deleted on the termination of the instance.Data persists only during the overall life of the instance.
CostLess expensiveMore expensive

Launch permissions

An AMI owner can determine their instance availability through the following three launch permissions:

  • Public, that grants instance launch permission to all AWS account holders.
  • Explicit, that grants launch permission only to specific AWS accounts.
  • Implicit, where only the AMI owner has permission to launch an instance.

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In simple language, a shared AMI is one that an AWS developer creates and shares with other users for use. Shared AMIs enable any new AWS user to easily get started using the AWS platform. On the flip side, Shared AMIs are not guaranteed any security or integrity and must be treated as any other foreign code.

You can locate the following shared AMIs from the Amazon EC2 console by selecting the “AMIs” option from the navigation pane:

  • Private images: that contain all the shared AMIs that are private and only for your use.
  • Public images: that contain all the shared AMIs that have been created for public use.

Additionally, you can also create your own AMI and share it for public use or with specific AWS accounts.

Here’s how you can share your AMI with all AWS account holders:

  • Open the Amazon EC2 console and choose AMIs from the navigation pane.
  • Select your AMI to be shared, then click Actions > Modify Image Permissions.
  • Select the “Public” option before saving your changes.

Alternatively, you can share your AMI for public use by modifying the “launchPermission” property of your AMI. To do this, run the “modify-image-attribute” command for the specific AMI as follows:

aws ec2 modify-image-attribute --image-id ami-<ID> --launch-permission "Add=[{Group=all}]"

Here’s how you can share your AMI with specific AWS account holders:

  • Open the Amazon EC2 console and choose AMIs from the navigation pane.
  • Select your AMI to be shared, then click Actions > Modify Image Permissions.
  • Specify the AWS account holder by entering their AWS account number in the respective field and then clicking “Add Permission.”

Alternatively, you can share your AMI for public use by modifying the “launchPermission” property of your AMI. To do this, run the “modify-image-attribute” command for the specific AMI as follows:

aws ec2 modify-image-attribute --image-id ami-<ID> --launch-permission "Add=[{ UserId=<UserID>}]"

What are Paid AMIs?

As the name suggests, a paid AMI is when you purchase an AMI from another developer. As an AMI developer, you can create an AMI and then sell the same on the AWS Marketplace that is an online store for paid AMIs. For paid AMIs, the AWS user is charged for the instance based on the rates set by the AMI owner.

You can find a paid AMI either from the Amazon EC2 console or from the AWS Marketplace. Here’s how to find one from the Amazon EC2 console:

  • Open the Amazon EC2 console and choose AMIs from the navigation pane.
  • Choose the “Public images” option from the available filter, followed by “Owner” and “AWS Marketplace.”
  • Search for available paid AMIs from this owner, or enter the specific product code (if you happen to know it).

To find a paid AMI from the AWS Marketplace:

  • Open the AWS Marketplace.
  • Specify your operating system.
  • Search for your paid AMI by using the available search filters.

Alternatively, you can find a paid AMI by running the “describe-images” command as follows:

aws ec2 describe-images --owners aws-marketplace

On running this command, you are provided with a list of paid AMIs along with its product code. You can filter the list of paid AMIs by searching for the product code.

You need to first sign up or purchase a paid AMI before launching an AWS instance using the AMI. To purchase a paid AMI, you can use the Amazon EC2 launch wizard.

What are the types of Linux AMI Virtualization?

For the Linux OS, AMIs uses either of the following virtualization methods, which are primarily different in their booting processes:

(Video) AWS Tutorial 16 - AMI Types

Paravirtual or PV

In this case, the AVM instance boots with the help of a special boot loader, PV-GRUB that starts the boot cycle and then loads the menu.1st file kernel on the image. AVM users deploying this method run their instances on host hardware that do not explicitly support virtualization, hence cannot exploit hardware extensions like GPU processing for better performance.

What Is AMI In AWS? | What are the types of AWS AMI? (2)

Hardware virtual machine (HVM)

AMIs that are based on the HVM method has the ability to directly run an OS on the virtual machine without any underlying modification. HVM allows complete access of the virtualized hardware and booting through the execution of the master boot record of your image’s root block device. HVM users can also exploit the hardware extensions on the host system for better performance.

On the whole, the PV method works better for applications with storage and network operations as compared to HVM. However, for the best overall performance, HVM AMIs work better when launching your instances.

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How do you find a Linux AMI?

As discussed before, you can only launch an instance after selecting a Linux AMI. Here are the two best ways to locate and select an AMI from the Amazon EC2 console:

Choosing an AMI during the EC2 launch

1) Sign in to the Amazon EC2 console and then select from the available AWS regions in which you wish to launch your instance.

2) Next, from the dashboard, click the “Launch Instance” button.

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3) This will open the section where you can now choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). You can choose the AMIs from any of the following four sections:

  • Quick Start: lists the commonly used AMIs.
  • My AMI: contains all the AMIs created by you.
  • AWS Marketplacecontains all the paid AMIs created by other AWS users. You can also create and sell your AMIs on this marketplace.
  • Community AMIs: that contain AMIs that have been created for public use.

4) Review the existing AMIs and check the Root device and virtualization type of each AMI. Finally, choose the AMI that satisfies your instance requirements.

Choosing an AMI using the Images page

1) Sign in to the Amazon EC2 console and then select from the available AWS regions in which you wish to launch your instance.

2) From the Images menu on the left navigation pane, choose the “AMIs” option.

3) From the Filter section, select the “Public Images” option from the drop-down list to view all the machine images that are safe for public use. Alternatively, you can select “Private Images" to view all the shared AMIs that have been shared with you.

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(Video) AWS - AMI Types EBS vs Instance Store

You can also choose to filter the AMIs on the basis of other parameters like AMI name, owner, architecture, and image type.

4) Select the AMI of your choice, then click “Launch” to launch the AWS instance on the next page.

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How do you create your own AMI?

You can also create your own AMI from a running AWS instance. You can use this AMI later to launch additional instances in the near future.

Here are the steps you need to follow to create your own AMI:

1) Sign into the Amazon EC2 console.

2) Next, from the dashboard, select the running instance (as illustrated in the figure), then click the Actions > Image > Create Image option.

What Is AMI In AWS? | What are the types of AWS AMI? (5)

3) The “Click Image” dialog box is displayed with the following instance-related fields:

  • Instance ID: that shows the ID of the current EC2 instance.
  • Image name: where you can specify the name of your AMI.
  • Image description: an optional field where you can enter the AMI description.
  • Instance volume: that shows the default settings for the instance volume. If required, you can modify the volume size and type in the respective fields. You can also add more instance volumes if required.

4) Click “Create Image” to start the creation of your AMI.

5) After creating the AMI, you can view your AMI in the “Owned by me” section along with its details.

How to deregister your AMI?

You can deregister your AMI once you have finished using it to launch new instances. This does not impact any of the running instances that you have launched using the same AMI.

Additionally, deregistering an EBS-backed AMI does not impact the snapshots taken for the instance volumes created when creating the AMI. You need to delete those snapshots separately.

For instance, for store-backed AMIs, deregistering does not impact the files uploaded to the Amazon S3 location when creating the AMI. You need to delete uploaded files separately.

Here’s how you can deregister your AMI:

1) Sign in to the Amazon EC2 console.

2) Next, from the dashboard, click the “AMIs” option in the left navigation pane.

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3) Select the “Owned by me” filter option, and then select the AMI that you want to deregister.

4) Click Actions > Deregister

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5) Click Continue on the Deregister dialog box to complete the deregistration process.

Alternatively, you can deregister your owned AMI by running the “deregister-image” command as follows:

aws ec2 deregister-image --image-id ami_id

Conclusion

As an AWS user, you can use Amazon Machine Image or AMI to create a new image or customize an existing image to launch new instances. You can also copy the AMI to other AWS regions for wider use. Through this guide, we have learned about shared and paid AMIs, as well as how to create and find an AMI for your use. Additionally, we have learned how to deregister an AMI which is no longer in use.

Hope you have found the article helpful and knowledgeable. You can leave a message if you have any doubts regarding AWS AMI.

About Author

What Is AMI In AWS? | What are the types of AWS AMI? (7)

What Is AMI In AWS? | What are the types of AWS AMI? (8)

Prasanthi

(Video) What Is AMI In AWS | Type Of AMI In AWS | Admin Training Tutorial | Complete Beginners Online Course

Prasanthi is an expert writer in MongoDB, and has written for various reputable online and print publications. At present, she is working for MindMajix, and writes content not only on MongoDB, but also on Sharepoint, Uipath, and AWS.

FAQs

What Is AMI In AWS? | What are the types of AWS AMI? ›

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a supported and maintained image provided by AWS that provides the information required to launch an instance. You must specify an AMI when you launch an instance. You can launch multiple instances from a single AMI when you require multiple instances with the same configuration.

What is type of AMI in AWS? ›

All AMIs are categorized as either backed by Amazon EBS or backed by instance store. Amazon EBS-backed AMI – The root device for an instance launched from the AMI is an Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume created from an Amazon EBS snapshot.

How many types of AMI are there? ›

AMI is divided into two categories: EBS - backed Instances. Instance Store - backed Instances.

What is EC2 AMI in AWS? ›

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a master image for the creation of virtual servers -- known as EC2 instances -- in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment. The machine images are like templates that are configured with an operating system and other software that determine the user's operating environment.

What consists of AMI? ›

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a template that contains a software configuration (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications). From an AMI, you launch an instance, which is a copy of the AMI running as a virtual server in the cloud.

How many instance types are in AWS? ›

AWS currently offers nearly 400 different instances with choices across storage options, networking, operating systems.

What are the common types of AMI designs Mcq? ›

25) What are the common types of AMI designs?
  • A. Hybrid AMI.
  • Fully Baked AMI.
  • Just Enough Baked AMI (JeOS AMI)
  • All of the above.
Nov 22, 2021

Where is AMI stored in AWS? ›

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is stored in Amazon S3, but it is not directly accessible. Instead, you must use API calls or the Management Console to use an AMI.

What are the different types of instances? ›

Amazon EC2 Instance Types
  • Mac.
  • T4g.
  • T3.
  • T3a.
  • T2.
  • M6g.
  • M6i.
  • M6a.

What is the difference between EC2 and AMI? ›

The EC2 is used for creating the virtual server instance. The AMI is the EC2 virtual machines image. ECS provides container services such as docker and the AWS lambda is used to run the code without a server.

Which AMI is free in AWS? ›

Pricing. The Amazon Linux AMI is provided at no additional charge to Amazon EC2 users. Standard Amazon EC2 and AWS charges apply for running instances and other services.

What is EC2 stands for? ›

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) provides scalable computing capacity in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud.

How do I create a AWS AMI? ›

To create a custom AMI

Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/ . Choose Launch Instance. Choose Community AMIs. If you identified a base Elastic Beanstalk AMI (using describe-platform-version ) or an Amazon Linux AMI, enter its AMI ID in the search box.

How do I select AMI? ›

To find a Linux AMI using the AMIs page

Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/ . From the navigation bar, select the Region in which to launch your instances. You can select any Region that's available to you, regardless of your location. In the navigation pane, choose AMIs.

What is shared AMI? ›

A shared AMI is an AMI that a developer created and made available for others to use. One of the easiest ways to get started with Amazon EC2 is to use a shared AMI that has the components you need and then add custom content. You can also create your own AMIs and share them with others.

What is the AMI ID? ›

PDF. An Amazon Machine Image, or AMI, is a template for Amazon EC2 instances, created from an Amazon EC2 instance. AWS provides updated AMIs (with patches, for example) every month; however, AWS Managed Services (AMS) requires AMIs that have been modified for AMS use.

What are the three types of EC2 instances? ›

They are On-Demand Instances, Reserved Instances, Spot Instances, and Savings Plans. Amazon also offers the additional option of Amazon EC2 Dedicated Hosts.

What is EC2 instance example? ›

An Amazon EC2 instance is a virtual server in Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for running applications on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure.

What is S3 bucket? ›

A bucket is a container for objects stored in Amazon S3. You can store any number of objects in a bucket and can have up to 100 buckets in your account. To request an increase, visit the Service Quotas Console . Every object is contained in a bucket. For example, if the object named photos/puppy.

What is the full form of AMI Mcq? ›

MCQ: In Alternate Mark Inversion (AMI) is. 0 is encoded as positive pulse and 1 is encoded as negative pulse. 0 is encoded as no pulse and 1 is encoded as negative pulse. 0 is encoded as negative pulse and 1 is encoded as positive pulse. 0 is encoded as no pulse and 1 is encoded as positive or negative pulse.

What are the two types of user data that can be passed to Amazon EC2? ›

You can pass two types of user data to Amazon EC2: shell scripts and cloud-init directives. You can also pass this data into the launch instance wizard as plain text, as a file (this is useful for launching instances using the command line tools), or as base64-encoded text (for API calls).

Why AMI is used in AWS? ›

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a supported and maintained image provided by AWS that provides the information required to launch an instance. You must specify an AMI when you launch an instance. You can launch multiple instances from a single AMI when you require multiple instances with the same configuration.

Can AMI be stored in S3? ›

You can store an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) in an Amazon S3 bucket, copy the AMI to another S3 bucket, and then restore it from the S3 bucket.

What is the maximum size of S3 bucket? ›

The total volume of data and number of objects you can store are unlimited. Individual Amazon S3 objects can range in size from a minimum of 0 bytes to a maximum of 5 TB. The largest object that can be uploaded in a single PUT is 5 GB.

What is spot instance in AWS? ›

A Spot Instance is an instance that uses spare EC2 capacity that is available for less than the On-Demand price. Because Spot Instances enable you to request unused EC2 instances at steep discounts, you can lower your Amazon EC2 costs significantly. The hourly price for a Spot Instance is called a Spot price.

What are the different types of VMS used in AWS? ›

Linux Amazon Machine Images use one of two types of virtualization: paravirtual (PV) or hardware virtual machine (HVM). The main differences between PV and HVM AMIs are the way in which they boot and whether they can take advantage of special hardware extensions (CPU, network, and storage) for better performance.

How do I know my EC2 instance type? ›

To find an instance type using the console

Open the Amazon EC2 console at https://console.aws.amazon.com/ec2/ . From the navigation bar, select the Region in which to launch your instances. You can select any Region that's available to you, regardless of your location. In the navigation pane, choose Instance Types.

Is AMI a container image? ›

An AMI is an image. Docker containers are lighter than AMIs. Developers can transport Docker containers between providers easily. Developers choose an environment to run Docker containers.

Is AMI same as Docker? ›

An AMI is an image. This is a whole machine that you can start new instances from. A docker container is more lightweight and portable. A docker container should be transportable between providers while an AMI is not (easily).

What is difference between snapshot and AMI in AWS? ›

A snapshot is of an EBS volume where you are able to save state and reboot with the same data at a certain point in time. An AMI is similar, but it's for the EC2 instances themselves. You cannot take a snapshot of a non-ebs backed instance, but you can create an AMI (system image) of one.

What is AMI cost in AWS? ›

Amazon Machine Image (AMI)-based product charges fall into two categories: Infrastructure Pricing Details – All AMI-based products incur associated AWS infrastructure charges depending on the services and infrastructure used. These rates and fees are defined and controlled by AWS, and can vary between AWS Regions.

What does S3 stand for in AWS? ›

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.

What is AWS AMI update? ›

The AWS-UpdateWindowsAmi Document automates the following workflow: Launch a temporary EC2 instance from a source Windows AMI. Perform Operating System compatibility checks. (Optional) Invoke a user-provided, pre-update hook script.

Is EC2 instance a VM? ›

Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) is a virtual server that can be used to run applications on Amazon Web Services (AWS). You can configure an EC2 instance to customize CPU, storage, memory, and network resources. You can also select different types of instances according to your budget and needs.

What is the difference between S3 and EC2? ›

An EC2 instance is like a remote computer running Windows or Linux and on which you can install whatever software you want, including a Web server running PHP code and a database server. Amazon S3 is just a storage service, typically used to store large binary files.

Is EC2 a virtual machine or container? ›

EC2 instance is a virtual machine running on a physical host. If you want to run a container, make sure docker is installed on your instance, and run your docker commands. Docker host is your EC2 instance.

What are the different types of instances? ›

Amazon EC2 Instance Types
  • Mac.
  • T4g.
  • T3.
  • T3a.
  • T2.
  • M6g.
  • M6i.
  • M6a.

Which AMI is free in AWS? ›

Pricing. The Amazon Linux AMI is provided at no additional charge to Amazon EC2 users. Standard Amazon EC2 and AWS charges apply for running instances and other services.

What is the difference between EC2 and AMI? ›

The EC2 is used for creating the virtual server instance. The AMI is the EC2 virtual machines image. ECS provides container services such as docker and the AWS lambda is used to run the code without a server.

What is shared AMI? ›

A shared AMI is an AMI that a developer created and made available for others to use. One of the easiest ways to get started with Amazon EC2 is to use a shared AMI that has the components you need and then add custom content. You can also create your own AMIs and share them with others.

Videos

1. Understanding AWS KeyPair, SG, Instance Types And AMI | Things to know before AWS Instance provision
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2. AWS Essentials: Amazon Machine Images (AMIs)
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3. What is Amazon Machine Image | Basics of AMI Explained | AWS EC2 AMI Introduction | Attari Classes
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4. What is difference between AMI and Snapshot | AWS AMI vs Snapshot
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5. AWS Essentials: Amazon Machine Images (AMIs)
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6. Snapshots & AMI's Explanation In Telugu
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