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I'm trying to set up my first Amazon EC2 instance and having trouble selecting the right AMI given the huge amount of choice available.


  • Intended to run one (smallish) web site with a Java based application server
  • Run the latest Java 1.6 server version
  • Serve some static files efficiently e.g. with Apache
  • As simple to administer as possible - I'm a primarily a developer, not a sysadmin!
  • 32 bit instance to start with, but have the option to move to 64 bit as needed

What Linux version / AMI would you recommend to meet these requirements?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I would go for one of the public AMIs with a recent version of Ubuntu. The Amazon standard AMIs can be useful, but they are all on really old releases such as Fedora 8 due to the kernel that they use, so you might have problems installing recent versions of packages that you need.

I see there are a few public AMIs with Ubuntu Karmic - you should be good with a 32-bit version of that running on an m1.small type instance.

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Update; Amazon just introduced User Managed Kernels (…) to let you specify your own kernel. – gareth_bowles Jul 16 '10 at 18:58
Thanks! I ended up using this AMI: ami-2d4aa444 (US East) – mikera Jul 20 '10 at 13:32

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