Thursday, February 4, 2010

Setting up your workstation for Amazon's Services

This post explains how to setup your local machine for smoother operation of Amazon's Services.
Let me explain my current setup so that its easier for you to put things in context.

Workstation Configuration (this is the PC used to connect to the clouds and have fun there ;-):

OS: Windows XP. (Highly recommend installing Cygwin. Whats cygwin? Basically Unix type environment on top of windows. Useful because it has many utility stuff which comes naturally with Unix but not with windows. The entry below should explain them).

SSH Client : You could use putty.exe. However I have cygwin installed which has a lot of other utility programs included along with ssh (such as scp,ftp etc).

EC2 Api Tools : This is the set of tools provided by Amazon AWS which can be used for controlling the Instances on Amazon EC2. Get the latest version of it. (At the time of writing this , the latest version was here.)
Unzip this to a folder. No need to run any scripts for installing it.

In order to properly use the tools , you would need to set some Environment Variables in Cygwin. Here they are:
  1. export EC2_HOME=/cygdrive/c/amazonec2/ec2-api-tools
  2. export PATH=$PATH:/cygdrive/c/amazonec2/ec2-api-tools/bin
  3. export EC2_PRIVATE_KEY=/cygdrive/c/amazonec2/keys/
  4. export EC2_CERT=/cygdrive/c/amazonec2/keys/
  5. export JAVA_HOME=/cygdrive/C/Program\ Files/Java/jdk1.6.0_18
  6. export PATH=~/cygdrive/c/amazonec2/ec2-api-tools/bin:$PATH
(Notes: Notice the escape character in 5 .If you let Java install in its normal path in window, this escape is necessary)
    Amazon EC2's Management Console is very good at most of the Management work you would need for playing with your instance but its good to have a command line option as well.

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