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I had to migrated a few VMs from EC2 into a VPC and to do so, I created an image of every VM, stopped it, and launched a new instance in the VPC from the AMI I've created. I am now wondering, if I have to keep all the AMIs, once the new VMs are running. Is it safe to de-register them, or will this break the instances started with the respective AMI?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Launchable AMI's are independent of their 'child' instances, so can be safely deleted. Amazon doesn't do things like block-level deduplication of templates to children (at least, that they've admitted to) so there is no relationship between a source AMI and an instance other than an attribute in metadata.

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