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Amazon web services recently introduced a free tier, where you basically get free stuff to try out AWS and run tiny sites and projects. Basically it's free as long as you remain below a certain limit of bandwidth, disk storage etc.

Since going over the limits can quickly become quite expensive (for a hobbyist) I would like some recommendations or suggestions about which AMI's I can run on the free tier, for the purpose of trying out Ruby on Rails and/or Django.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Use the Amazon Linux AMI. It's the only AMI that's officially supported and maintained by Amazon. It's optimized for EC2 with the ec2-api-tools included, boots from EBS, and a package repository that's hosted on EC2. It also includes great features like CloudInit.

There's more info info in the Amazon Linux AMI User Guide.

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For anyone who finds this via Google, try the official Ubuntu AMIs that work: http://cloud.ubuntu.com/2010/11/using-ubuntu-images-on-aws-free-tier/

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You might want to check out ami-c2a255ab. Its a 10GB EBS-based Ubuntu Lucid server. You will have to manually install what you need but it seems to be the only 10GB Ubuntu server right now.

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Be aware of this please: forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.jspa?messageID=232839 "Just set up ami-c2a255ab and noticed ~/.ssh/authorized_keys contains a key from the author (guru)... might want to take that out if you're running this instance" –  Alexey Shcherbak Apr 8 '11 at 12:26

Note if you're using Amazon's web panel, when you open the "Launch Instance" dialog you can filter the list of AMIs by "Free Tier Eligible", and the CLI has a filter param as well. That was the quickest way I found to see what AMIs are available for the free tier micro-instances.

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You can get Ruby on Rails, Django and many other EBS AMIs from our project BitNami The EBS are completely free and we try to keep them up to date

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