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(I suspect that this may already be answered somewhere, since it seems like it would be a common operation. But I can't find it, so...)

I am a relative AWS newbie. I have inherited a running Amazon EC2 instance, with various items (Apache, MySQL, Sphinx, ...) installed on it and a bunch of configuration. I'd like to turn it into an AMI that I can spin up other instances from.

I can't find any information on creating a custom AMI on Amazon's site - only the fact that you can, repeatedly referenced, as if to taunt me...

I believe this is not an EBS-backed instance, just an "ordinary" one. I do not know what AMI it was originally created from.

How would I create an AMI that I could use for spinning up other instances which will be identical except for the hostname?

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Right-click on the instance in the Console. –  ceejayoz Oct 3 '12 at 21:10
    
@ceejayoz This only gives you "run more of these", but only with the settings of the AMI which you used in the first place. This does not take the manual configurations into account. –  Alexander Janssen Oct 3 '12 at 21:39
    
That's what "Create Image" is for. –  ceejayoz Oct 3 '12 at 21:46
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I would recommend you start with an EBS boot AMI/instance. It makes creating an AMI from the instance easier and has many other benefits. Here's an article I wrote about this: alestic.com/2012/01/ec2-ebs-boot-recommended –  Eric Hammond Oct 3 '12 at 21:56
    
@Eric Hammond: Okay, I can believe that EBS-backed instances are superior, but what the existing teammembers have developed is a non-EBS-backed instance. As far as I can tell the linked post doesn't have any instructions on how to convert from one to the other, so I'm not clear on what action you're suggesting I take. –  Arkaaito Oct 4 '12 at 0:59

2 Answers 2

Use ec2-ami-tools

  1. ec2-bundle-vol
  2. ec2-upload-bundle
  3. ec2-register

Check this post for further instructions: http://alestic.com/2009/06/ec2-ami-bundle

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In the console, select your instance and in the Instance Actions dropdown select Create Image (EBS AMI).

Selecting the instance in the console and viewing the Description pane in the bottom window will provide you with a wealth of information including the zone, type, security rules, base AMI, and other useful information regarding that instance.

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