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I have a small EC2 linux instance that I'm using for learning about EC2. I don't need it to be running all the time. I would like to power it on when I need it and shutdown when I don't. I noticed that when I issued "sudo shutdown now", the AWS Console displayed the instance status as "running".

Is what I'm trying to do possible with EC2?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you use EBS as the root device then, yes, you can 'stop' the instance and stop incurring charges for it and start it up again when you want it. With an S3 backed AMI, stopping an instance terminates it and you lose whatever you installed on the device. With EBS it persists when you start the stopped instance.

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I believe you'll need to turn off the instance using the proper EC2 APIs for doing so. Once you do that, you'll no longer be billed for the EC2 instance, but for only the associated EBS or S3 storage.

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