I have an EC2 instance whose root device is 'instance-store'. While trying to create AMI for same, i could not see any option in instances tab or under volumes tab. I want to stop this instance & preserve AMI for future use to launch instance from same AMI.


1 Answer 1


The AWS console only provides access to functions that can work without access to your instance's file system. Instance-store AMIs actually have the files bundled, compressed, and encrypted - and therefore need file system access. To create such an AMI, you need to use the command line, from within an instance. (Note the difference between this and an EBS backed instance - with the latter, a snapshot can be generated of the block device, irrespective of the contents of that device.

The process of creating an instance-store AMI is well documented by AWS. Essentially:

  • ec2-bundle-vol to create the AMI
    ec2-bundle-vol -d /mnt -k $EC2_PRIVATE_KEY -c $EC2_CERT -u USERID -s SIZE
  • ec2-upload-bundle to save it to S3
  • ec2-register to register the AMI (this last one can be done from the AWS console).

Depending on your specific scenario, you may also be able to copy the contents of your instance-store volume to an EBS volume and convert your instance to an EBS backed instance (which would be a better approach). See this question for some additional points.

  • Thanks for help. I want to take backup of this instance but can not do same as i can do with EBS backed instances. ANy procedure for same?
    – Finn
    Nov 19, 2012 at 5:24
  • You cannot backup an S3 backed instance in the same way as an EBS backed on. You either have to create an bundle of the S3 instance, OR copy the files to another volume (e.g. with rsync - as a standard backup), OR convert the instance to EBS backed.
    – cyberx86
    Nov 19, 2012 at 5:31
  • Thanks. I tried this winnersdontlose.com/?p=95 but was not able to succeed. Can you help?
    – Finn
    Nov 19, 2012 at 9:39

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