The Amazon Linux AMI is a supported and maintained Linux image provided by Amazon Web Services for use on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). It is designed to provide a stable, secure, and high performance execution environment for applications running on Amazon EC2. It supports the latest EC2 instance type features and includes packages that enable easy integration with AWS. Amazon Web Services provides ongoing security and maintenance updates to all instances running the Amazon Linux AMI. The Amazon Linux AMI is provided at no additional charge to Amazon EC2 users.
An AMI includes the following:
- A template for the root volume for the instance (for example, an operating system, an application server, and applications)
- Launch permissions that control which AWS accounts can use the AMI to launch instances
- A block device mapping that specifies the volumes to attach to the instance when it’s launched
Think of an AMI (Amazon Machine Image) as an exact copy of the root file system that gets copied to the hard disk when you start a new instance. The AMI is a hard disk sitting on a shelf. You make an exact copy of the hard disk on the shelf, install the new hard disk in a server, and turn the server on. You can do this for as many servers as you’d like to start without affecting the master copy.
The AMI defines the initial state of each instance. Each instance changes as it runs, but you can never change the original AMI once it has been created (other than to delete it).
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