How to launch an EC2 instance

EC2Launch is a set of Windows PowerShell scripts that replaced the EC2Config service on Windows Server 2016 and 2019 AMIs. See this article on how to configure Windows Instance Using EC2Launch for Server 2016. For other related guides, please see the following hyperlinks: Setup a Site-to-Site VPN Connection on AWS, how to Join EC2 instance to AWS Managed AD, How to add an EBS volume to AWS EC2 via the AWS Console and CLI, how to Programmatically Assess AWS Management Console and Create Resources from the Command-line using AWS CLI in Windows. In this article, you will learn how how to launch an EC2 instance.

Note: If a custom AMI is created from this instance, these routes are captured as part of the OS configuration and any new instances launched from the AMI will retain the same routes, regardless of subnet placement. If you wish to update these routes, please see this link.

EC2 Launch

EC2Launch performs the following tasks by default upon initial instance boot.

  1. Sets up new wallpaper that renders information about the instance. (This doesn’t apply to Nano Servers.)
  2. Sets the computer name,
  3. Sends instance information to the Amazon EC2 console.
  4. Sends the RDP certificate thumbprint to the EC2 console. (This doesn’t apply to Nano Server.)
  5. Sets a random password for the administrator account.

Upon completion of EC2Lunch service on Windows 2016 Servers, navigate to this path: C:ProgramDataAmazonEC2-WindowsLaunchConfig. Ensure to modify the LaunchConfig.json file in order not to have the administrator password changed.

Choose the option “DoNothing” if you specified a password in the unattend.xml file. If you don’t run Sysprep and don’t specify a password in unattend.xml, the system uses the password of the parent AMI. Because we do not need to run Sysprep (the default password will always be used).

Installing the Latest Version of EC2Launch for WS 2016

Use the following procedure to download and install the latest version of EC2Launch on your instances. Here are some more interesting guides: How to add an EBS volume to AWS EC2 via the AWS Console and CLI, and How to configure Command Line Interface [Part 2].

Download and install the latest version of EC2Launch

  1. If you have already installed and configured EC2Launch on an instance, make a backup of the EC2Launch configuration file. The installation process does not preserve changes in this file. By default, the file is located in the C:ProgramDataAmazonEC2-WindowsLaunchConfig directory.
  2. Download the to a directory on the instance.
  3. Download install.ps1 to the same directory where you downloaded
  4. Run install.ps1

Here you can download the setup needed to have EC2Launch up and running on Windows Server2016 and this will make the servers available via the run-command on AWS.

I hope you found this blog post helpful on how to launch an EC2 instance. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x