Running CoreOS Container Linux on EC2

The current AMIs for all Container Linux channels and EC2 regions are listed below and updated frequently. Using CloudFormation is the easiest way to launch a cluster, but it is also possible to follow the manual steps at the end of the article. Questions can be directed to the CoreOS IRC channel or user mailing list.

Choosing a channel

Container Linux is designed to be updated automatically with different schedules per channel. You can disable this feature, although we don't recommend it. Read the release notes for specific features and bug fixes.

The Alpha channel closely tracks master and is released frequently. The newest versions of system libraries and utilities will be available for testing. The current version is Container Linux 1772.0.0.

View as json feed
EC2 Region AMI Type AMI ID CloudFormation
ap-northeast-1 PV ami-837b93fc Launch Stack
HVM ami-1b7b9364 Launch Stack
ap-northeast-2 PV ami-9007aefe Launch Stack
HVM ami-4e04ad20 Launch Stack
ap-south-1 PV ami-ffab8890 Launch Stack
HVM ami-67ab8808 Launch Stack
ap-southeast-1 PV ami-2e615552 Launch Stack
HVM ami-3f605443 Launch Stack
ap-southeast-2 PV ami-202bfc42 Launch Stack
HVM ami-ca2bfca8 Launch Stack
ca-central-1 PV ami-0f90106b Launch Stack
HVM ami-23911147 Launch Stack
cn-north-1 PV ami-2dae7040 Launch Stack
HVM ami-ffae7092 Launch Stack
cn-northwest-1 PV Launch Stack
HVM ami-3f9e8a5d Launch Stack
eu-central-1 PV ami-67466b8c Launch Stack
HVM ami-6f456884 Launch Stack
eu-west-1 PV ami-26f4c05f Launch Stack
HVM ami-550f3b2c Launch Stack
eu-west-2 PV ami-14779573 Launch Stack
HVM ami-3d76945a Launch Stack
eu-west-3 PV Launch Stack
HVM ami-ba9e2fc7 Launch Stack
sa-east-1 PV ami-6ab5e806 Launch Stack
HVM ami-50b4e93c Launch Stack
us-east-1 PV ami-705ad70f Launch Stack
HVM ami-9758d5e8 Launch Stack
us-east-2 PV ami-7c201d19 Launch Stack
HVM ami-dc211cb9 Launch Stack
us-gov-west-1 PV ami-647aed05 Launch Stack
HVM ami-c17ceba0 Launch Stack
us-west-1 PV ami-39031d59 Launch Stack
HVM ami-913e20f1 Launch Stack
us-west-2 PV ami-ffa3d287 Launch Stack
HVM ami-1ea0d166 Launch Stack

The Beta channel consists of promoted Alpha releases. The current version is Container Linux 1745.2.0.

View as json feed
EC2 Region AMI Type AMI ID CloudFormation
ap-northeast-1 PV ami-c37e96bc Launch Stack
HVM ami-877d95f8 Launch Stack
ap-northeast-2 PV ami-9407aefa Launch Stack
HVM ami-1f07ae71 Launch Stack
ap-south-1 PV ami-06a48769 Launch Stack
HVM ami-4ca58623 Launch Stack
ap-southeast-1 PV ami-5763572b Launch Stack
HVM ami-b76256cb Launch Stack
ap-southeast-2 PV ami-a02cfbc2 Launch Stack
HVM ami-8f2bfced Launch Stack
ca-central-1 PV ami-dd8f0fb9 Launch Stack
HVM ami-3c8e0e58 Launch Stack
cn-north-1 PV ami-28ae7045 Launch Stack
HVM ami-fdae7090 Launch Stack
cn-northwest-1 PV Launch Stack
HVM ami-79988c1b Launch Stack
eu-central-1 PV ami-ac436e47 Launch Stack
HVM ami-a5436e4e Launch Stack
eu-west-1 PV ami-a9ffcbd0 Launch Stack
HVM ami-270a3e5e Launch Stack
eu-west-2 PV ami-087a986f Launch Stack
HVM ami-067a9861 Launch Stack
eu-west-3 PV Launch Stack
HVM ami-449f2e39 Launch Stack
sa-east-1 PV ami-a7b4e9cb Launch Stack
HVM ami-80b6ebec Launch Stack
us-east-1 PV ami-7166eb0e Launch Stack
HVM ami-196ae766 Launch Stack
us-east-2 PV ami-1f201d7a Launch Stack
HVM ami-8e231eeb Launch Stack
us-gov-west-1 PV ami-ba7deadb Launch Stack
HVM ami-3967f058 Launch Stack
us-west-1 PV ami-983f21f8 Launch Stack
HVM ami-c8011fa8 Launch Stack
us-west-2 PV ami-82a7d6fa Launch Stack
HVM ami-32a9d84a Launch Stack

The Stable channel should be used by production clusters. Versions of Container Linux are battle-tested within the Beta and Alpha channels before being promoted. The current version is Container Linux 1688.5.3.

View as json feed
EC2 Region AMI Type AMI ID CloudFormation
ap-northeast-1 PV ami-31b1a54d Launch Stack
HVM ami-a2b6a2de Launch Stack
ap-northeast-2 PV ami-6249e60c Launch Stack
HVM ami-cd4de2a3 Launch Stack
ap-south-1 PV ami-d82104b7 Launch Stack
HVM ami-0227026d Launch Stack
ap-southeast-1 PV ami-88471df4 Launch Stack
HVM ami-41461c3d Launch Stack
ap-southeast-2 PV ami-0e8a446c Launch Stack
HVM ami-f58e4097 Launch Stack
ca-central-1 PV ami-3f58de5b Launch Stack
HVM ami-7966e01d Launch Stack
cn-north-1 PV ami-62eb340f Launch Stack
HVM ami-39ee3154 Launch Stack
cn-northwest-1 PV Launch Stack
HVM ami-e7958185 Launch Stack
eu-central-1 PV ami-084e11e3 Launch Stack
HVM ami-604e118b Launch Stack
eu-west-1 PV ami-405b0439 Launch Stack
HVM ami-34237c4d Launch Stack
eu-west-2 PV ami-dc35d4bb Launch Stack
HVM ami-b530d1d2 Launch Stack
eu-west-3 PV Launch Stack
HVM ami-a918aed4 Launch Stack
sa-east-1 PV ami-6b257307 Launch Stack
HVM ami-8d2472e1 Launch Stack
us-east-1 PV ami-12298a6f Launch Stack
HVM ami-9e2685e3 Launch Stack
us-east-2 PV ami-256f5f40 Launch Stack
HVM ami-5d6e5e38 Launch Stack
us-gov-west-1 PV ami-8ea83def Launch Stack
HVM ami-e0aa3f81 Launch Stack
us-west-1 PV ami-9cabbafc Launch Stack
HVM ami-07a6b767 Launch Stack
us-west-2 PV ami-f81c7880 Launch Stack
HVM ami-b41377cc Launch Stack

CloudFormation will launch a cluster of Container Linux machines with a security and autoscaling group.

Container Linux Configs

Container Linux allows you to configure machine parameters, configure networking, launch systemd units on startup, and more via Container Linux Configs. These configs are then transpiled into Ignition configs and given to booting machines. Head over to the docs to learn about the supported features.

You can provide a raw Ignition config to Container Linux via the Amazon web console or via the EC2 API.

As an example, this Container Linux Config will configure and start etcd:

This is the human-readable config file. This should not be immediately passed to Container Linux. Learn more.
# This config is meant to be consumed by the config transpiler, which will
# generate the corresponding Ignition config. Do not pass this config directly
# to instances of Container Linux.

etcd:
  # All options get passed as command line flags to etcd.
  # Any information inside curly braces comes from the machine at boot time.

  # multi_region and multi_cloud deployments need to use {PUBLIC_IPV4}
  advertise_client_urls:       "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2379"
  initial_advertise_peer_urls: "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
  # listen on both the official ports and the legacy ports
  # legacy ports can be omitted if your application doesn't depend on them
  listen_client_urls:          "http://0.0.0.0:2379"
  listen_peer_urls:            "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
  # generate a new token for each unique cluster from https://discovery.etcd.io/new?size=3
  # specify the initial size of your cluster with ?size=X
  discovery:                   "https://discovery.etcd.io/<token>"
This is the raw machine configuration, which is not intended for editing. Learn more. Validate the config here.
{
  "ignition": {
    "config": {},
    "timeouts": {},
    "version": "2.1.0"
  },
  "networkd": {},
  "passwd": {},
  "storage": {},
  "systemd": {
    "units": [
      {
        "dropins": [
          {
            "contents": "[Unit]\nRequires=coreos-metadata.service\nAfter=coreos-metadata.service\n\n[Service]\nEnvironmentFile=/run/metadata/coreos\nExecStart=\nExecStart=/usr/lib/coreos/etcd-wrapper $ETCD_OPTS \\\n  --listen-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2380\" \\\n  --listen-client-urls=\"http://0.0.0.0:2379\" \\\n  --initial-advertise-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2380\" \\\n  --advertise-client-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2379\" \\\n  --discovery=\"https://discovery.etcd.io/\u003ctoken\u003e\"",
            "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf"
          }
        ],
        "enable": true,
        "name": "etcd-member.service"
      }
    ]
  }
}

Instance storage

Ephemeral disks and additional EBS volumes attached to instances can be mounted with a .mount unit. Amazon's block storage devices are attached differently depending on the instance type. Here's the Container Linux Config to format and mount the first ephemeral disk, xvdb, on most instance types:

This is the human-readable config file. This should not be immediately passed to Container Linux. Learn more.
# This config is meant to be consumed by the config transpiler, which will
# generate the corresponding Ignition config. Do not pass this config directly
# to instances of Container Linux.

storage:
  filesystems:
    - mount:
        device: /dev/xvdb
        format: ext4
        create:
          force: false

systemd:
  units:
    - name: media-ephemeral.mount
      enable: true
      contents: |
        [Mount]
        What=/dev/xvdb
        Where=/media/ephemeral
        Type=ext4

        [Install]
        RequiredBy=local-fs.target
This is the raw machine configuration, which is not intended for editing. Learn more. Validate the config here.
{
  "ignition": {
    "config": {},
    "timeouts": {},
    "version": "2.1.0"
  },
  "networkd": {},
  "passwd": {},
  "storage": {
    "filesystems": [
      {
        "mount": {
          "create": {},
          "device": "/dev/xvdb",
          "format": "ext4"
        }
      }
    ]
  },
  "systemd": {
    "units": [
      {
        "contents": "[Mount]\nWhat=/dev/xvdb\nWhere=/media/ephemeral\nType=ext4\n\n[Install]\nRequiredBy=local-fs.target",
        "enable": true,
        "name": "media-ephemeral.mount"
      }
    ]
  }
}

For more information about mounting storage, Amazon's own documentation is the best source. You can also read about mounting storage on Container Linux.

Adding more machines

To add more instances to the cluster, just launch more with the same Container Linux Config, the appropriate security group and the AMI for that region. New instances will join the cluster regardless of region if the security groups are configured correctly.

SSH to your instances

Container Linux is set up to be a little more secure than other cloud images. By default, it uses the core user instead of root and doesn't use a password for authentication. You'll need to add an SSH key(s) via the AWS console or add keys/passwords via your Container Linux Config in order to log in.

To connect to an instance after it's created, run:

ssh core@<ip address>

Optionally, you may want to configure your ssh-agent to more easily run fleet commands.

Multiple clusters

If you would like to create multiple clusters you will need to change the "Stack Name". You can find the direct template file on S3.

Manual setup

TL;DR: launch three instances of ami-705ad70f in us-east-1 with a security group that has open port 22, 2379, 2380, 4001, and 7001 and the same "User Data" of each host. SSH uses the core user and you have etcd and Docker to play with.

Creating the security group

You need open port 2379, 2380, 7001 and 4001 between servers in the etcd cluster. Step by step instructions below.

This step is only needed once

First we need to create a security group to allow Container Linux instances to communicate with one another.

  1. Go to the security group page in the EC2 console.
  2. Click "Create Security Group"
    • Name: coreos-testing
    • Description: Container Linux instances
    • VPC: No VPC
    • Click: "Yes, Create"
  3. In the details of the security group, click the Inbound tab
  4. First, create a security group rule for SSH
    • Create a new rule: SSH
    • Source: 0.0.0.0/0
    • Click: "Add Rule"
  5. Add two security group rules for etcd communication
    • Create a new rule: Custom TCP rule
    • Port range: 2379
    • Source: type "coreos-testing" until your security group auto-completes. Should be something like "sg-8d4feabc"
    • Click: "Add Rule"
    • Repeat this process for port range 2380, 4001 and 7001 as well
  6. Click "Apply Rule Changes"

Launching a test cluster

We will be launching three instances, with a few parameters in the User Data, and selecting our security group.

  1. Open the quick launch wizard to boot ami-705ad70f.
  2. On the second page of the wizard, launch 3 servers to test our clustering
    • Number of instances: 3
    • Click "Continue"
  3. Next, we need to specify a discovery URL, which contains a unique token that allows us to find other hosts in our cluster. If you're launching your first machine, generate one at https://discovery.etcd.io/new?size=3, configure the `?size=` to your initial cluster size and add it to the metadata. You should re-use this key for each machine in the cluster.
  4. Use ct to convert the following configuration into an Ignition config, and back in the EC2 dashboard, paste it into the "User Data" field.
    This is the human-readable config file. This should not be immediately passed to Container Linux. Learn more.
    # This config is meant to be consumed by the config transpiler, which will
    # generate the corresponding Ignition config. Do not pass this config directly
    # to instances of Container Linux.
    
              etcd:
                # All options get passed as command line flags to etcd.
                # Any information inside curly braces comes from the machine at boot time.
              
                # multi_region and multi_cloud deployments need to use {PUBLIC_IPV4}
                advertise_client_urls:       "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2379"
                initial_advertise_peer_urls: "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
                # listen on both the official ports and the legacy ports
                # legacy ports can be omitted if your application doesn't depend on them
                listen_client_urls:          "http://0.0.0.0:2379"
                listen_peer_urls:            "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
                # generate a new token for each unique cluster from https://discovery.etcd.io/new?size=3
                # specify the initial size of your cluster with ?size=X
                discovery:                   "https://discovery.etcd.io/<token>"
    
    This is the raw machine configuration, which is not intended for editing. Learn more. Validate the config here.
    {
      "ignition": {
        "config": {},
        "timeouts": {},
        "version": "2.1.0"
      },
      "networkd": {},
      "passwd": {},
      "storage": {},
      "systemd": {
        "units": [
          {
            "dropins": [
              {
                "contents": "[Unit]\nRequires=coreos-metadata.service\nAfter=coreos-metadata.service\n\n[Service]\nEnvironmentFile=/run/metadata/coreos\nExecStart=\nExecStart=/usr/lib/coreos/etcd-wrapper $ETCD_OPTS \\\n  --listen-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2380\" \\\n  --listen-client-urls=\"http://0.0.0.0:2379\" \\\n  --initial-advertise-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2380\" \\\n  --advertise-client-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2379\" \\\n  --discovery=\"https://discovery.etcd.io/\u003ctoken\u003e\"",
                "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf"
              }
            ],
            "enable": true,
            "name": "etcd-member.service"
          }
        ]
      }
    }
    
    • Paste configuration into "User Data"
    • "Continue"
  5. Storage Configuration
    • "Continue"
  6. Tags
    • "Continue"
  7. Create Key Pair
    • Choose a key of your choice, it will be added in addition to the one in the gist.
    • "Continue"
  8. Choose one or more of your existing Security Groups
    • "coreos-testing" as above.
    • "Continue"
  9. Launch!

We will be launching three instances, with a few parameters in the User Data, and selecting our security group.

  1. Open the quick launch wizard to boot ami-7166eb0e.
  2. On the second page of the wizard, launch 3 servers to test our clustering
    • Number of instances: 3
    • Click "Continue"
  3. Next, we need to specify a discovery URL, which contains a unique token that allows us to find other hosts in our cluster. If you're launching your first machine, generate one at https://discovery.etcd.io/new?size=3, configure the `?size=` to your initial cluster size and add it to the metadata. You should re-use this key for each machine in the cluster.
  4. Use ct to convert the following configuration into an Ignition config, and back in the EC2 dashboard, paste it into the "User Data" field.
    This is the human-readable config file. This should not be immediately passed to Container Linux. Learn more.
    # This config is meant to be consumed by the config transpiler, which will
    # generate the corresponding Ignition config. Do not pass this config directly
    # to instances of Container Linux.
    
              etcd:
                # All options get passed as command line flags to etcd.
                # Any information inside curly braces comes from the machine at boot time.
              
                # multi_region and multi_cloud deployments need to use {PUBLIC_IPV4}
                advertise_client_urls:       "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2379"
                initial_advertise_peer_urls: "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
                # listen on both the official ports and the legacy ports
                # legacy ports can be omitted if your application doesn't depend on them
                listen_client_urls:          "http://0.0.0.0:2379"
                listen_peer_urls:            "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
                # generate a new token for each unique cluster from https://discovery.etcd.io/new?size=3
                # specify the initial size of your cluster with ?size=X
                discovery:                   "https://discovery.etcd.io/<token>"
    
    This is the raw machine configuration, which is not intended for editing. Learn more. Validate the config here.
    {
      "ignition": {
        "config": {},
        "timeouts": {},
        "version": "2.1.0"
      },
      "networkd": {},
      "passwd": {},
      "storage": {},
      "systemd": {
        "units": [
          {
            "dropins": [
              {
                "contents": "[Unit]\nRequires=coreos-metadata.service\nAfter=coreos-metadata.service\n\n[Service]\nEnvironmentFile=/run/metadata/coreos\nExecStart=\nExecStart=/usr/lib/coreos/etcd-wrapper $ETCD_OPTS \\\n  --listen-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2380\" \\\n  --listen-client-urls=\"http://0.0.0.0:2379\" \\\n  --initial-advertise-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2380\" \\\n  --advertise-client-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2379\" \\\n  --discovery=\"https://discovery.etcd.io/\u003ctoken\u003e\"",
                "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf"
              }
            ],
            "enable": true,
            "name": "etcd-member.service"
          }
        ]
      }
    }
    
    • Paste configuration into "User Data"
    • "Continue"
  5. Storage Configuration
    • "Continue"
  6. Tags
    • "Continue"
  7. Create Key Pair
    • Choose a key of your choice, it will be added in addition to the one in the gist.
    • "Continue"
  8. Choose one or more of your existing Security Groups
    • "coreos-testing" as above.
    • "Continue"
  9. Launch!

We will be launching three instances, with a few parameters in the User Data, and selecting our security group.

  1. Open the quick launch wizard to boot ami-12298a6f.
  2. On the second page of the wizard, launch 3 servers to test our clustering
    • Number of instances: 3
    • Click "Continue"
  3. Next, we need to specify a discovery URL, which contains a unique token that allows us to find other hosts in our cluster. If you're launching your first machine, generate one at https://discovery.etcd.io/new?size=3, configure the `?size=` to your initial cluster size and add it to the metadata. You should re-use this key for each machine in the cluster.
  4. Use ct to convert the following configuration into an Ignition config, and back in the EC2 dashboard, paste it into the "User Data" field.
    This is the human-readable config file. This should not be immediately passed to Container Linux. Learn more.
    # This config is meant to be consumed by the config transpiler, which will
    # generate the corresponding Ignition config. Do not pass this config directly
    # to instances of Container Linux.
    
              etcd:
                # All options get passed as command line flags to etcd.
                # Any information inside curly braces comes from the machine at boot time.
              
                # multi_region and multi_cloud deployments need to use {PUBLIC_IPV4}
                advertise_client_urls:       "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2379"
                initial_advertise_peer_urls: "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
                # listen on both the official ports and the legacy ports
                # legacy ports can be omitted if your application doesn't depend on them
                listen_client_urls:          "http://0.0.0.0:2379"
                listen_peer_urls:            "http://{PRIVATE_IPV4}:2380"
                # generate a new token for each unique cluster from https://discovery.etcd.io/new?size=3
                # specify the initial size of your cluster with ?size=X
                discovery:                   "https://discovery.etcd.io/<token>"
    
    This is the raw machine configuration, which is not intended for editing. Learn more. Validate the config here.
    {
      "ignition": {
        "config": {},
        "timeouts": {},
        "version": "2.1.0"
      },
      "networkd": {},
      "passwd": {},
      "storage": {},
      "systemd": {
        "units": [
          {
            "dropins": [
              {
                "contents": "[Unit]\nRequires=coreos-metadata.service\nAfter=coreos-metadata.service\n\n[Service]\nEnvironmentFile=/run/metadata/coreos\nExecStart=\nExecStart=/usr/lib/coreos/etcd-wrapper $ETCD_OPTS \\\n  --listen-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2380\" \\\n  --listen-client-urls=\"http://0.0.0.0:2379\" \\\n  --initial-advertise-peer-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2380\" \\\n  --advertise-client-urls=\"http://${COREOS_EC2_IPV4_LOCAL}:2379\" \\\n  --discovery=\"https://discovery.etcd.io/\u003ctoken\u003e\"",
                "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf"
              }
            ],
            "enable": true,
            "name": "etcd-member.service"
          }
        ]
      }
    }
    
    • Paste configuration into "User Data"
    • "Continue"
  5. Storage Configuration
    • "Continue"
  6. Tags
    • "Continue"
  7. Create Key Pair
    • Choose a key of your choice, it will be added in addition to the one in the gist.
    • "Continue"
  8. Choose one or more of your existing Security Groups
    • "coreos-testing" as above.
    • "Continue"
  9. Launch!

Using CoreOS Container Linux

Now that you have a machine booted it is time to play around. Check out the Container Linux Quickstart guide or dig into more specific topics.