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When launching an instance, I'm presented with this most cryptic list:

enter image description here

There seems to be absolutely zero documentation on Amazon as to which kernel does what. They explain fairly well what these kernels are for, but without knowing what those numbers mean, kernels appear to be utterly useless.

Where can I find out what a given kernel means, or what the latest kernel is for a given OS?

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Unless you have a specific kernel-based requirement (perhaps a bugfix or feature) there's no need to deviate from the default kernel. – Andy Jun 16 '11 at 17:09
If you don't know what it is, you don't need to change it from Default. – Tom O'Connor Jun 28 '11 at 22:16
@Tom If only the AWS documentation said that then I wouldn't have asked this question... :) – romkyns Jun 30 '11 at 16:27
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Kernels are usually very tightly coupled with the OS they're supposed to run along. Usually, we rather use a AMI (Amazon Machine Image) which includes both the Kernel (AKI) and the associated AMI data to ensure the whole VM will boot without error.

To identify a given AMI, you should use some tools:

Good Luck with EC2 :-)

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