I am trying to customize an existing Debian Jessie HVM AMI(ami-116d857a) and store it as my private AMI. Though the AMI creation process succeeds, I am unable to boot from it. The instance shows started but I am not able to connect via ssh and monitoring also shows ssh connectivity is not available. I see the same issue with any other HVM AMIs. The same procedure works perfectly if it is a PVM AMI.

Here's the procedure I follow

  • Boot from an available AMI.
  • Install additional packages from package manager.
  • Install npm modules.(nodejs and npm have been installed in the previous step)
  • Install all available system upgrades.
  • Download and unarchive ec2-ami-tools in /opt.
  • SCP private key and certificate to the instance.
  • Create image of the instance using the following command

    /opt/ec2-ami-tools-1.5.7/bin/ec2-bundle-vol -c /home/admin/cert.pem -k /home/admin/pk.pem -u $aws_account_id -p $image_prefix -B ami=sda,root=/dev/sda1 --batch --debug

  • Then upload it to an existing S3 Bucket

    /opt/ec2-ami-tools-1.5.7/bin/ec2-upload-bundle -b my-ami-images -m /mnt/$image_prefix.manifest.xml -a $access_key -s $access_secret --retry --de bug

  • And then finally register the AMI

    aws ec2 register-image --name $image_prefix --image-location my-ami-images/$image_prefix.manifest.xml --region us-east-1 --virtualization-type hvm --root-device-name /dev/xvda1

All of these steps go fine without any error and I can see the AMI listed in my account with root device as instance store and virtualization type as HVM.

  • Are you intentionally creating an S3-backed AMI? Is your source AMI image an S3-backed AMI or an EBS-backed AMI? Sep 24, 2015 at 3:16
  • Consider using packer
    – jordanm
    Sep 24, 2015 at 3:17
  • @MattHouser the source is an EBS backed AMI. Would it be more advisable to create an S3 backed AMI after customisation as well?
    – mehulved
    Sep 24, 2015 at 7:09
  • test doing fewer of those steps
    – Skaperen
    Sep 25, 2015 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


Your current AMI-creation process is creating an S3-backed (instance store) AMI image. But your source AMI is an EBS-backed AMI. You need to use a different method to create your AMI which will create an EBS-backed AMI.

Instead of bundling your instance and registering the AMI, do the following:

  1. Stop your EC2 instance.
  2. Using the AWS Management Console, select your EC2 instance and from the Actions menu select "Create Image". This will create an EBS-backed AMI image.

More information about creating EBS-backed AMI images can be found here:

Creating an Amazon EBS-Backed Linux AMI | Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

  • Thank you @matt. That did work. Though it does solve my issue here, I'd love to understand why the same process worked for PVM but not for HVM AMIs. I guess, I'll have to read up more and understand the concepts better.
    – mehulved
    Sep 28, 2015 at 17:13

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