I am currently using Natty_FreeNx_RubyRails (ami-6754970e) and it can be a little slow when browsing simple websites remotely. Before going to a 'small' instance, I would like to know if we can optimize this AMI further to make work a bit faster without any sluggishness with the micro instance.

  • What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to get a remote desktop to look at websites through the Amazon instance? "remote login" for a linux box can also mean any command line environment, and the smallest available AMI can do that. – cjc Jan 19 '12 at 21:18
  • Why in the world would a Rails server require a GUI? All of the action is at the command line! – Skyhawk Jan 19 '12 at 21:58

If you refer to the Ubuntu system requirements for current versions, you will note that:

  • For a desktop installation with GUI components installed, the requirement is 1024 megabytes (1 GB) of RAM.
  • A server installation with CLI access only requires only 128 megabytes (1/8 GB) of RAM.

Micro Instances have 613 megabytes of RAM. Yes, Ubuntu Desktop will run on a machine with less than one gigabyte, but it is unlikely to perform well with less than the minimum required resources.

For "normal" performance, you need to use a system that meets the minimum requirements. This can be achieved either by reducing the amount of RAM required (i.e. using a CLI-only operating system that requires less RAM), or by increasing the amount of RAM available.

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    Definitely makes sense! I wish there is an AMI that has desktop capabilities with remote login (NX) enabled without all the bells and whistles. Just want it to browse the internet via Chrome/Firefox for sites that are slower from my IP. – ThinkCode Jan 19 '12 at 22:35
  • @ThinkCode The desktop capabilities are the bells and whistles. – Skyhawk Jan 19 '12 at 23:02

It seems like you're only using this for browsing. Why not just setup a proxy? Something like squid will run just fine on a micro instance, and you could use your regular desktop browser environment.

Just remember to limit squid to either user a username/password or limited to your IP (otherwise you'll run a free proxy for the entire internet).

  • That was my first bet too : I tried various guides but failed everytime : serverfault.com/questions/346600/… – ThinkCode Jan 20 '12 at 14:32
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    @ThinkCode Strongly recommend mindset adjustment: failing at implementing a simple solution to a problem is not a good reason to move on to a more complex solution. – Skyhawk Jan 20 '12 at 16:23
  • @MilesErickson : Trust me, I don't give up that easily! I tried what I thought should fix the issue and it didn't. Remote desktop works for now for my needs, hence trying to fine-tune it. – ThinkCode Jan 20 '12 at 16:40
  • @ThinkCode Sysadmins are like Marines: we don't give up, we escalate. – Skyhawk Jan 20 '12 at 16:43
  • I am not a Sysadmin. I am a programmer. We don't have a Sysadmin that I can escalate this to. – ThinkCode Jan 20 '12 at 16:47

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