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Is there a way to hook into the first-boot process of a new Windows Amazon EC2 instance to run initialization scripts? We would like to automate the setup of our instances without resorting to creating our own custom AMIs.

The Amazon Linux AMI's have CloudInit to make this easier. Is there an equivalent for Windows?

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I know I tried looking for one for awhile. Then I finally decided to create my own open source one for everyone else to use.

http://cloudinitnet.codeplex.com/

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I havent found one yet, but the way i was looking at this was to instance data option. The plan, which has not yet been put to the test, was as follows:

  • build a basic Windows Image (ok, i know you mentioned you didn't want to do this, but this is the best option i can think of).
  • the image should only have a basic Windows service which calls out to the instance data URL (http://169.254.169.254/latest/user-data). this should be in a format that the service knows about (XML is probably best). the data should point to URLs to exes, msis, etc, that you want to install.

This is the only option, other than creating your own fully custom AMI, i can think of. you might not get it to install SQL server (though, unattended install might be an option...) but installing basic tools, IIS, etc, could be easy enough to do.

Hope this helps.

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