I'd like to install this public AMI (NCBO Appliance v1.1) on EC2 in the AWS US-East region. But it's available only in the US-West.

I see only options to launch it in the US-West, and don't find it when searching Public AMIs within the US-East region.

There's a web service to copy them (see SO posts below ) but when I select the AMI and click "Actions" the "Copy" item is disabled.

Is there a way to copy a public AMI to another region?

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2 Answers 2


Using the AMI Copy function, it is only possible to copy those AMI images that belong to your account. It is not possible to copy AMI images belonging to others.


With EC2 AMI copy, you can easily copy the Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) you own to other AWS regions and scale your applications to take advantage of AWS's geographically diverse regions.

To get around this, you can:

  1. launch an instance in the region of the desired AMI
  2. create a new AMI from your instance
  3. copy that AMI to your desired new region.

As this is a public image, read the Amazon documentation on copying AMIs via the updated EC2 CLI tools:

To use AMI Copy, simply select the AMI to be copied from within the AWS Management Console, choose the destination region, and start the copy. AMI Copy can also be accessed via the EC2 Command Line Interface or EC2 API as described in the EC2 User’s Guide. Once the copy is complete, the new AMI can be used to launch new EC2 instances in the destination region.

  • I gave this a +1 as this is clearly the correct answer per the documentation. My challenge is that the "Copy" item in the Actions menu is greyed out, and as a paying customer, can't figure out why. :(
    – prototype
    May 10, 2013 at 1:24
  • Out of curiosity -- no obligations -- if you search for the NCBO Appliance v1.1 in Public Images in the EC2 US-N. California region, and select it, does the Copy item appear active for you?
    – prototype
    May 10, 2013 at 1:30
  • The 'copy' action is grayed out for me. What do you find when you try via the command line? May 10, 2013 at 13:30
  • If you don't have any luck, I'll see if I can dig through my history to see what I ran before. In the meantime, this post may help: stackoverflow.com/questions/5402013/… May 10, 2013 at 13:39
  • This does not work for public images. As the documentation states: "AMI Copy enables you to easily copy your AMIs across AWS regions..." Mar 20, 2015 at 20:59

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