When creating an Amazon AWS EC2 HVM AMI (TLA!!!!), how do you include your own software, when on the same partition as the root volume, but not necessarily in /usr? (in this way more efficiently use disk space)

Turns out this is the default behavior!

This document specifies a crazy amount of manual/scripted work that need be done, but the standard "Create Image" popup from the AWS Console's

EC2 --> Instances --> <instance> -->
   (right click popup) --> Image --> Create Image

dialog is enough to do the trick.

Just make sure to select the correct volume type to match the needs of instances that will use this AMI image (General Purpose, Provisioned IOPS, "magnetic").

(This question was originally asking why this didn't work. Some form of pilot error was likely involved)

  • What you describe should work. There must be details that you are omiting. What directory did you install your software in? Are you 100% sure your 2nd instance was created from your new AMI? Dec 1, 2015 at 0:23
  • There's a lot of scripted work to be done because having people click around in a web GUI is a fairly appalling process, when you can have software do it for you, instead.
    – womble
    Dec 1, 2015 at 0:29
  • Thanks, @MattHouser . It did indeed work on a follow-up try. I am semi-curious to find out what went wrong on previous attempts, though. Dec 1, 2015 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


As per Matt Houser's annotation, what was described SHOULD work. I do not know what happened (I had tried it twice before to no success). Question has been edited and left up, as I am sure that others will want to do this too.

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