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 1381.0.0.

View as json feed
EC2 Region AMI Type AMI ID CloudFormation
ap-northeast-1 PV ami-b1624fd6 Launch Stack
HVM ami-eb7c518c Launch Stack
ap-northeast-2 PV ami-11f4267f Launch Stack
HVM ami-1cf42672 Launch Stack
ap-south-1 PV ami-3fe29150 Launch Stack
HVM ami-01fe8d6e Launch Stack
ap-southeast-1 PV ami-3806b85b Launch Stack
HVM ami-cc0ab4af Launch Stack
ap-southeast-2 PV ami-12b4ba71 Launch Stack
HVM ami-61b3bd02 Launch Stack
ca-central-1 PV ami-15dc6071 Launch Stack
HVM ami-1adc607e Launch Stack
eu-central-1 PV ami-51f2203e Launch Stack
HVM ami-1df22072 Launch Stack
eu-west-1 PV ami-8e88b2e8 Launch Stack
HVM ami-9795aff1 Launch Stack
eu-west-2 PV ami-f52a3e91 Launch Stack
HVM ami-3bd4c05f Launch Stack
sa-east-1 PV ami-e2aac88e Launch Stack
HVM ami-2ca5c740 Launch Stack
us-east-1 PV ami-bfd15ba9 Launch Stack
HVM ami-79d15b6f Launch Stack
us-east-2 PV ami-f485a191 Launch Stack
HVM ami-7185a114 Launch Stack
us-gov-west-1 PV ami-87d054e6 Launch Stack
HVM ami-57d05436 Launch Stack
us-west-1 PV ami-8e0a2fee Launch Stack
HVM ami-57092c37 Launch Stack
us-west-2 PV ami-67b62507 Launch Stack
HVM ami-3cb7245c Launch Stack

The Beta channel consists of promoted Alpha releases. The current version is Container Linux 1353.4.0.

View as json feed
EC2 Region AMI Type AMI ID CloudFormation
eu-central-1 PV ami-f3f7279c Launch Stack
HVM ami-18fa2a77 Launch Stack
ap-northeast-1 PV ami-8b0f2bec Launch Stack
HVM ami-a9092dce Launch Stack
us-gov-west-1 PV ami-ad0386cc Launch Stack
HVM ami-e5038684 Launch Stack
ap-northeast-2 PV ami-b163b0df Launch Stack
HVM ami-b463b0da Launch Stack
ca-central-1 PV ami-4f07ba2b Launch Stack
HVM ami-c80fb2ac Launch Stack
ap-south-1 PV ami-be6d1ed1 Launch Stack
HVM ami-a56c1fca Launch Stack
sa-east-1 PV ami-5117743d Launch Stack
HVM ami-c91576a5 Launch Stack
ap-southeast-2 PV ami-e8eee18b Launch Stack
HVM ami-56d0df35 Launch Stack
ap-southeast-1 PV ami-77e75814 Launch Stack
HVM ami-6fea550c Launch Stack
us-east-1 PV ami-5246c344 Launch Stack
HVM ami-7941c46f Launch Stack
us-east-2 PV ami-26f0d443 Launch Stack
HVM ami-57f5d132 Launch Stack
us-west-2 PV ami-f1c15691 Launch Stack
HVM ami-98c156f8 Launch Stack
us-west-1 PV ami-bb015bdb Launch Stack
HVM ami-56065c36 Launch Stack
eu-west-1 PV ami-c1a09fa7 Launch Stack
HVM ami-42a09f24 Launch Stack
eu-west-2 PV ami-b71501d3 Launch Stack
HVM ami-4a15012e 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 1298.7.0.

View as json feed
EC2 Region AMI Type AMI ID CloudFormation
eu-central-1 PV ami-11f5257e Launch Stack
HVM ami-c6f424a9 Launch Stack
ap-northeast-1 PV ami-3903275e Launch Stack
HVM ami-ad0f2bca Launch Stack
us-gov-west-1 PV ami-5b0c893a Launch Stack
HVM ami-070f8a66 Launch Stack
ap-northeast-2 PV ami-f263b09c Launch Stack
HVM ami-2163b04f Launch Stack
ca-central-1 PV ami-df09b4bb Launch Stack
HVM ami-d004b9b4 Launch Stack
ap-south-1 PV ami-a06f1ccf Launch Stack
HVM ami-286d1e47 Launch Stack
sa-east-1 PV ami-dd1073b1 Launch Stack
HVM ami-c51675a9 Launch Stack
ap-southeast-2 PV ami-12d0df71 Launch Stack
HVM ami-32d2dd51 Launch Stack
ap-southeast-1 PV ami-aee956cd Launch Stack
HVM ami-deeb54bd Launch Stack
us-east-1 PV ami-ebb035fd Launch Stack
HVM ami-6bb93c7d Launch Stack
us-east-2 PV ami-a7f1d5c2 Launch Stack
HVM ami-40f7d325 Launch Stack
us-west-2 PV ami-46c35426 Launch Stack
HVM ami-fcc4539c Launch Stack
us-west-1 PV ami-3f005a5f Launch Stack
HVM ami-ef015b8f Launch Stack
eu-west-1 PV ami-0ca7986a Launch Stack
HVM ami-f6a49b90 Launch Stack
eu-west-2 PV ami-8b1501ef Launch Stack
HVM ami-16150172 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": {
    "version": "2.0.0",
    "config": {}
  },
  "storage": {},
  "systemd": {
    "units": [
      {
        "name": "etcd-member.service",
        "enable": true,
        "dropins": [
          {
            "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf",
            "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\""
          }
        ]
      }
    ]
  },
  "networkd": {},
  "passwd": {}
}

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": {
    "version": "2.0.0",
    "config": {}
  },
  "storage": {
    "filesystems": [
      {
        "mount": {
          "device": "/dev/xvdb",
          "format": "ext4",
          "create": {}
        }
      }
    ]
  },
  "systemd": {
    "units": [
      {
        "name": "media-ephemeral.mount",
        "enable": true,
        "contents": "[Mount]\nWhat=/dev/xvdb\nWhere=/media/ephemeral\nType=ext4\n\n[Install]\nRequiredBy=local-fs.target"
      }
    ]
  },
  "networkd": {},
  "passwd": {}
}

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-bfd15ba9 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-bfd15ba9.
  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": {
        "version": "2.0.0",
        "config": {}
      },
      "storage": {},
      "systemd": {
        "units": [
          {
            "name": "etcd-member.service",
            "enable": true,
            "dropins": [
              {
                "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf",
                "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\""
              }
            ]
          }
        ]
      },
      "networkd": {},
      "passwd": {}
    }
    
    • 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-5246c344.
  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": {
        "version": "2.0.0",
        "config": {}
      },
      "storage": {},
      "systemd": {
        "units": [
          {
            "name": "etcd-member.service",
            "enable": true,
            "dropins": [
              {
                "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf",
                "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\""
              }
            ]
          }
        ]
      },
      "networkd": {},
      "passwd": {}
    }
    
    • 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-ebb035fd.
  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": {
        "version": "2.0.0",
        "config": {}
      },
      "storage": {},
      "systemd": {
        "units": [
          {
            "name": "etcd-member.service",
            "enable": true,
            "dropins": [
              {
                "name": "20-clct-etcd-member.conf",
                "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\""
              }
            ]
          }
        ]
      },
      "networkd": {},
      "passwd": {}
    }
    
    • 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.