I have looked through the following questions, notably How to use "Instance Store Volumes" storage in Amazon EC2?

However, it didn't answer. I created a EC2 small instance with EBS as the root device. The AWS instance types list an "instance store" of 160GB. But where is it?

$ df -h
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/xvda1            7.9G  3.6G  4.3G  46% /
tmpfs                 1.9G     0  1.9G   0% /dev/shm

$ mount
/dev/xvda1 on / type ext4 (rw,noatime)
proc on /proc type proc (rw)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,gid=5,mode=620)
tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw)
none on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw)

So how to find the empheral store (160GB) and use it.

Note: I am aware of the difference between ephemeral and elastic stores. I need this space for use temporary, transient data used by the application to help with disk I/O between EBS.


Requested output per comments:

$ fdisk -l
Disk /dev/xvda1: 8589 MB, 8589934592 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 1044 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disk identifier: 0x00000000

$ cat /proc/partitions
major minor  #blocks  name

 202        1    8388608 xvda1
  • Run fdisk -l to see if there a 160G disk available. Or cat /proc/partitions to see if there is any xvd* disk besides xvda.
    – Daniel t.
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 19:34
  • Correction. See update. Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 19:53
  • Dupe of: serverfault.com/questions/583289/… Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 23:14
  • Actually @ChrisMoschini, theirs is a dupe of mine, considering I asked first. Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 23:10
  • @JasonMcCreary Fair enough. Whatever happens someone at Serverfault needs to do some cleanup - if you click over there I linked to even more dupes in the comments. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 15:15

1 Answer 1


RTFM - I found my answer in the Amazon EC2 Instance Store docs.

Instances that use Amazon EBS for the root device do not, by default, have instance store available at boot time. Also, you can't attach instance store volumes after you've launched an instance. Therefore, if you want your Amazon EBS-backed instance to use instance store volumes, you must specify them using a block device mapping when you create your AMI or launch your instance. Examples of block device mapping entries are: /dev/sdb=ephemeral0 and /dev/sdc=ephemeral1.

So in my case, since I choose an EBS root device, I'll need to rebuild the instance with the instance store volume.

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