Amazon Web Services ec2 Getting Started Guide Table of Contents

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Amazon Web Services EC2 Getting Started Guide

Table of Contents

Table of Contents 2

Introduction 3

Connecting to your EC2 instance 3

Setting up User Accounts 4

Tomcat 4

Installation 4

Configuration 5

Misc 6

Apache 6

Installation 7

Misc 7


Installation 7

Configuration 7

PHPMyAdmin 8

Installation 9

Troubleshooting and Helpful Hints 10


Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides organizations with a flexible solution to the problem of deploying services on the web. All of this is done within the “cloud” which serves as the primary delivery method to end users. The cloud uses Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) as the web service. This web service allows administrators to quickly deploy EC2 instances with minimal or little configuration. These EC2 instances vary in nature but most are Linux derivatives. In reality, these are just virtual machines accessible from the Internet when configured through the Amazon EC2 web service.

NJIT has provided you with an EC2 instance, in which you must use for your project. This EC2 instance is considered to be a base install of a Linux derivative which you must configure appropriately to integrate with AWS. This guide is intended to get you started in preparing the architecture for development.

Connecting to your EC2 instance

By default, your EC2 instance will be accessible by SSH. NJIT’s UCS will have provided you with a private key (typically located in your AFS home directory) to connect to your EC2 instance. This will give you direct root access to your instance. It is recommended that you do not attempt to change this as this is the most secure way of accessing your EC2 instance.

Setting up User Accounts

To setup remote access shell accounts for your fellow classmates, you’ll need to create an account for them and setup a password. Do the following:

Note: It is very important that you create a non-dictionary password. Because this box it will be publicly available on the Internet, it will be susceptible to brute-force attacks. By having a password for any of your users, you are at risk of compromise and loss of all of progress made in your in project.

After you have successfully created your users, they’ll be able to connect directly to the EC2 instance via SSH.


The Tomcat application server allows execution of Java servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSPs). In the preceding directions, Tomcat version 5 was used. Tomcat version 6 should follow a similar installation and configuration.


To begin the installation process, we’ll use the YUM installer:

After it has successfully installed, start the service and open your browser to http://hostname:8080 (NOTE: you must have requested from NJIT UCS prior to open port 8080 on the EC2 instance, changing the port to 80 will not work due to security restrictions.)


To configure a user to access Tomcat you’ll need to modify the tomcat-users.xml file located in /etc/tomcat5.

In this file, you can create users and assign roles. The admin and manager roles are built-in that allow access to the manager web interface and administration interface. By default, the user ‘tomcat’ does not have full access to the administrative interface. Any modifications to this file will require that you restart the Tomcat5 service.


  • Server code for your tomcat web apps is located in /var/lib/tomcat5/webapps. It is recommended that you put most your code for Tomcat in this directory.

  • All configuration files are located in /etc/tomcat5.


Apache is a fully scalable HTTP web server which allows the serving of web pages.


To begin the installation process, we’ll use the YUM installer:
After it has successfully installed, start the service and open your browser to http://hostname (NOTE: you must have requested from NJIT UCS prior to open port 80 on the EC2 instance.)


  • By default, all web content is stored in /var/www/html.


MySQL is a relational database management system which allows for fairly robust database architectures with muti-user level access.


To begin the installation process, we’ll use the YUM installer:

After it has successfully installed, start the service.


In order to begin creating and using the database you’ll need to setup root with administrative access.

Log into mysql with the root user:

To create a database named ‘cs633’, issue the following command:

To grant special privileges to a teammate who will be responsible for administrating the database, issue the following command:

Flush privileges to write the privileges:


If you prefer not to create or manage your database via the command line, you can use a graphical interface such as PHPMyAdmin. Prior to installation of PHPMyAdmin it is recommended that you have installed and configured Apache. Refer to the Installing Apache section if you need assistance.


To begin the installation process, we’ll use the YUM installer:

Now point your browser to http://hostname/phpmyadmin and login with the root password you setup for the database administrator. Additionally, any user which you configured previously, can access this web interface.

Note: if you receive a message such as “Forbidden” or “Access Denied”, you will need to modify the PHPMyAdmin configuration file located at /etc/httpd/conf.d/phpMyAdmin.conf to allow access. To ensure security, it is recommended that you allow PHPMyadmin to be accessible only by a certain IP or IP range. Also, ensure that “deny from all” is uncommented.

Troubleshooting and Helpful Hints

  • The YUM installer can run into issues when it can’t download a specific package and will fail. To fix this issue the following command: yum clean metadata. After issuing this command you should be able to install the package you previously had trouble with.

  • The easiest method to transfer files to your EC2 instance is to use SFTP or SCP. A client such as WinSCP( or FileZilla( can assist you with this. Simply supply your SSH credentials and the hostname to the client. You will then be able to transfer files.

  • If you are looking for a package in the YUM repository try issuing the command: yum search

  • To see a listing of all packages installed on the current system, issue the following command: yum list.

  • To download files directly to the EC2 from the command line, use wget.

  • To get a listing of daemons or services currently running, issue the command: ps –e.

  • To kill a daemon or service, make note of the PID # and kill it by doing the following: kill

  • Just as you can start services you can also shut them down or restart them. To shutdown a service such as the Apache web server you can issue the following command: /etc/init.d/apache shutdown. To restart it, issue the following command: /etc/init.d/apache restart.

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