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Note that we're using a public, commercial service. While Amazon makes every attempt to keep this secure, please realize that a public service is open to exploitation. Backup/copy your work regularly, as this is good practice!

This is a work in progress. When things aren't working, let's discuss in class or on the course's discussion forum and fix it.



Happy Path


  • Register and enable your credits
    • tbd
  • Create your own VM Instance from an Amazon Machine Instance (AMI) or GGC custom AMI
  • changing my passwords (once your instance is running)
    • linux ubuntu user
sudo passwd ubuntu
Enter new UNIX password: newpassword
Retype new UNIX password: newpassword
    • vnc password
vncpasswd ubuntu
Password: newpassword
Verify: newpassword

Edge Cases

  • stop your instance
    • go to your AWS ec2 management console, right click, pick Stop
  • restart your instance
    • go to your AWS ec2 management console, right click, pick Reboot
  • restart the instance's vnc server
    • ssh into your instance (see below), then type:
sudo /etc/init.d/vncserver restart
  • change the vnc server's resolution
    • Open the /etc/init.d/vncserver for editing:
sudo gedit /etc/init.d/vncserver
    • Now, within that file, change change the line GEOMETRY="1280x800" to specify your desired resolution. Save the file.
    • Restart the vncserver to complete the change:
sudo /etc/init.d/vncserver restart
  • connect to your instances's console with ssh (xx.xx.xx.xx is your VM's IP address)
    • you normally don't need this, use vnc or rdp (see Accessing your VM above)
    • Linux/MacOS: ssh -i /path/to/your/pem/yourpem.pem ubuntu@xx.xx.xx.xx
    • Windows: ssh -i x:\path\to\yourpem.pem ubuntu@xx.xx.xx.xx
  • End of semester closeout
    • shutdown VMs
    • release elastic IPs
    • remove instances (need to understand billing, if any will persist)

Things that would be nice to document here(student contribs welcomed!!)

  • checking my charges / account balance
  • building a vino-based instance with the unity desktop
  • setting up an elactic IP with your VM
  • links to good linux tutorials
  • setup a windows based VM

Setting Things Up (for Instructors)

Personal tools