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How To Launch RHEL 8 From Amazon EC2 In AWS Cloud

Provision Red Hat Enterprise Linux Amazon EC2 Instance

By M.S.M. Sivam
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In this article, we are going to learn the step-by-step process to create and launch RHEL 8 from Amazon EC2 in AWS Cloud and how to access the RHEL 8 instance using Putty application.

Before we create the RHEL 8 instance on AWS EC2, let me give you a brief introduction to Amazon EC2.

What is Amazon EC2?

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is used to generate and run virtual computers in the cloud. Amazon is a web service to provision a Virtual Machine. These virtual computers are referred to as "instances" by Amazon Web Services.

Amazon EC2 provides the widest and most comprehensive range of instances, all of which are based on cutting-edge computing, storage, and networking technologies and are optimized for maximum performance and security.

Create an account in AWS

Go to AWS EC2 website and create a free trial account. Once you logged into the AWS console, you can view all the services available under the "service" tab.

From the AWS console page, navigate to Services 🡪 Compute 🡪 EC2.

Access EC2 portal
Access EC2 portal

Once you get into the EC2 portal, there will be an option to launch Instance.

Launch Amazon EC2 Instance
Launch Amazon EC2 Instance

Steps To Launch RHEL 8 From Amazon EC2 In AWS

There are 7 steps to launch a virtual machine from Amazon EC2.

Step 1 - Choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

Select the Amazon MarketPlace and search the server’s name that you are intended to launch. Here, we are launching the RHEL 8 server for demonstration purpose.

Heads Up: Amazon Marketplace is a E-Comm platform where third-party sellers can sell their products. It is owned by Amazon. End users should subscribe and can launch servers from Amazon Marketplace for their own purpose, charging will be calculated on an hourly basis according to the server model.

Click the AWS MarketPlace on the left pane and type rhel8 in the search box. You will see the list of RHEL Virtual machines on the right pane. Click the Select button to launch the RHEL 8 instance of your choice.

Choose RHEL Amazon Machine Image
Choose RHEL Amazon Machine Image

In the next page, you can view the pricing details of each instance type. You can get an idea about the budget and decide the instance type accordingly. Click Continue to proceed.

RHEL Pricing on Amazon EC2
RHEL Pricing on Amazon EC2

Step 2 - Choose an Instance Type

In this option, you can choose the server according to your requirement. Micro instances will come under free tier eligibility.

For demonstration purpose, we are launching t4g.micro instance which consists of 2 vCPUs and 1GB RAM. Once you selected the Instance, click "Configure Instance Details" button at the bottom to proceed further.

Choose Instance Type
Choose Instance Type

Step 3 - Configure Instance Details

You can launch multiple servers at a time. We are launching 2 servers for demonstration. We can go ahead with default remaining configurations as of now.

In real time production, each option should be configured depends on the project design/architecture and requirement.

Configure Instance Details
Configure Instance Details

Step 4. Add Storage

We can specify the storage size in this option. We are moving with 15GB of memory in General purpose SSD.

Add Storage
Add Storage

Step 5. Add tag

A tag is a label that you apply to an Amazon Web Services resource. Here, we are labeling as "OSTechNix" for our Instances.

Add Tag
Add Tag

Step 6. Configure Security Group

We should set the firewall rules to organize the data traffic. This area is highly critical in the real time production. Usually, clear design and requirement details will be planned before launching servers, it varies depending on the use case.

We can name a security group for one use case and apply that security group for the servers used/launched for that use case. Here, we have named as "OSTechNix" and allowing all the traffic.

Configure Security Group
Configure Security Group

Step 7. Review and Launch

In this screen, you'll be prompted to select an existing key pair or create a new key pair. To securely access your Linux instance over SSH, you'll need a key pair. This key pair is like Lock and Key.

The public part of the key will function like a lock and it will be stored in AWS, the private part of the key will function like a key and you can download it to connect the server.

I am going to create a new key pair. To do so, choose "Create a new key pair" option from the drop-down box and select the Key pair type. Click the Download Key Pair and store it in a secure location.

Once downloaded the Key pair, click "Launch Instances" option.

Security Key pair for Instances
Security Key pair for Instances

Your Amazon EC2 instance will start now.

Instance Launch Status
Instance Launch Status

You can view the Instances that you launched in the EC2 dashboard.

View instances in EC2 Dashboard
View instances in EC2 Dashboard

How to connect RHEL 8 EC2 instance using Putty

In the previous step, we have downloaded the .pem key. We have to use that key to create a private key (.ppk file).

Open ‘Putty Key Generator’ and load the .pem file from where you downloaded.

Load .pem file
Load .pem file

You will get a confirmation pop up, click OK to import the key.

Private key imported successfully
Private key imported successfully

Save the private key which would be the .ppk file.

Save private key (.ppk file)
Save private key (.ppk file)

Get the public IP address of the instance from the AWS console. Select the instance, you can get all the details of the instance at the bottom.

Public IP Address of EC2 Instance
Public IP Address of EC2 Instance

Open the putty tool and connect the public IP of RHEL 8 instance using the private key we generated. Follow the below steps to connect the server.

Open Putty and enter the IP of the RHEL 8 instance:

Enter RHEL 8 EC2 instance IP address in Putty
Enter RHEL 8 EC2 instance IP address in Putty

Once you entered the IP, select SSH under the Connection tab. Click "Auth" and load the key (.ppk file) that you downloaded in the previous step. You can browse and load from where you stored the .ppk file. Finally click "Open" to connect the server.

Connect to RHEL 8 instance through Putty
Connect to RHEL 8 instance through Putty

Congratulations! We have successfully connected to the RHEL 8 instance via Putty. The default username is "ec2-user".

Access RHEL 8 instance via Putty
Access RHEL 8 instance via Putty

You can verify the RHEL version by the below command:

$ cat /etc/os-release

Sample output:

NAME="Red Hat Enterprise Linux"
VERSION="8.5 (Ootpa)"
ID="rhel"
ID_LIKE="fedora"
VERSION_ID="8.5"
PLATFORM_ID="platform:el8"
PRETTY_NAME="Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.5 (Ootpa)"
ANSI_COLOR="0;31"
CPE_NAME="cpe:/o:redhat:enterprise_linux:8::baseos"
HOME_URL="https://www.redhat.com/"
DOCUMENTATION_URL="https://access.redhat.com/documentation/red_hat_enterprise_linux/8/"
BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugzilla.redhat.com/"

REDHAT_BUGZILLA_PRODUCT="Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8"
REDHAT_BUGZILLA_PRODUCT_VERSION=8.5
REDHAT_SUPPORT_PRODUCT="Red Hat Enterprise Linux"
REDHAT_SUPPORT_PRODUCT_VERSION="8.5"
[[email protected] ~]$ 

Conclusion

In this article, we have gone through the detailed steps to create and launch a RHEL 8 virtual machine from AWS EC2 and access the RHEL 8 via the Putty tool. As you can see, provisioning Linux virtual machines from Amazon EC2 is not that difficult. We will discuss other services of AWS in the upcoming article.

Resource:

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