Sign up ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

After a routine reboot of a Linux ec2 instance with 1 small root volume and 1 small attached volume I was not able to ssh into the instance. It is not clear why rebooting the instance caused it to be inaccessible from ssh. The instance showed as running in the AWS console but ssh, http,etc was not responsive. I tried to create an AMI from this running instance. However, the AMI was never created. Instead I just saw "pending" in the AMI section of the AWS console for hours. Eventually I de-registered the AMI. Next I tried to stop the ec2 instance. However I am not able to stop the instance - it has been stuck in the stopping state for hours. I also tried force stopping the instance with no success. I then tried to detach the volumes but they constantly report "detaching" Does anyone have any suggestions about how to handle this? It seems that Amazon does not offer any kind of email or phone support unless you are a premium member. Thanks very much for your help.

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

If you don't have premium support, then "stuck" instances (where you can't stop/terminate them) and "stuck" volumes (where you can't detach/delete them) can be reported to Amazon on the EC2 forum:

Amazon AWS EC2 Forum

Make sure you list the specific instance/volume ids involved.

Nobody but Amazon can really help in these situations.

Fortunately, you should not be charged for instance hours once it enters the "stopping" or "terminating" state.

Your original problem about not being able to connect to the instance through ssh could also be posted on the EC2 forum for help from the community, but it is a common problem and has many potential causes. I've written an article to help start diagnose this and to point out pieces of information you should include in your forum post:

Solving: "I can't connect to my server on Amazon EC2"

I've also written an article describing a method that can be used to diagnose EBS boot instances by looking at the log files on the disk even if you can't connect to the instance:

Fixing Files on the Root EBS Volume of an EC2 Instance

However, you won't be able to use this approach until Amazon helps you detach your EBS volume.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for your detailed suggestions and your articles - they are very helpful. – Snap Shot Sep 13 '11 at 15:06

I know this post is old, but you can also click stop again, and the dashboard will ask you if you want to do a forced stop. Sometimes, I know this from experience, you have to do two or three forced stops to get it to work.

Credit to Robin Scott.

share|improve this answer

I ran into a related situation after I created an Elastic Beanstalk environment within an ec2 instance. To terminate my ec2 instance, I had to terminate my eb environment first, which I did by visiting:

Where the value supplied to region= is the region that contains the environment to be shut down. On that page, one can easily deactivate multiple environments swiftly:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer

on reboot internal IPs and public DNS change, so if you dont have elastic IP associated with your system then this might be the reason why you cant SSH in to the system.

share|improve this answer
Thank you for your suggestion. There is an elastic IP associated with the instance and it was associated to the instance after the reboot. – Snap Shot Sep 13 '11 at 15:10
Rebooting an EC2 instance does not change internal IP addresses, does not change public IP addresses, and does not disassociate any Elastic IP address from the instance. Stopping and starting an instance will do all these things, but rebooting will not. – Eric Hammond Sep 13 '11 at 20:22
"If you reboot an instance, the IP address is maintained."… "A reboot or restart of an instance has no impact on the mapping of an Elastic IP to it." – Eric Hammond Sep 13 '11 at 20:37

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.