$ sudo apt-get install ec2-api-tools ec2-ami-tools
$ brew install ec2-api-tools ec2-ami-tools

Pem files

$ brew info ec2-api-tools
  • Before you can use these tools you must export some variables to your $SHELL and download your X.509 certificate and private key from Amazon Web Services.

  • Your certificate and private key are available at

  • Download two .pem files, one starting with pk-, and one starting with cert-. You need to put both into a folder in your home directory, ~/.ec2.

Key pair

# To use public images (AMI's), you need an SSH keypair from EC2.
  ec2-add-keypair my-keypair > ~/.ec2/my-keypair.pem
  chmod 600 ec2-keypair.pem

Start an instance

# Start an instance using a given AMI image:
# (Use the Ubuntu locator, or ec2-describe-images)
  ec2-run-instances ami-xxxxxx -k ec2-keypair

# Open up ports (in the 'default' security group):
  ec2-authorize default -p 22
  ec2-authorize default -p 80

# Connect
  ssh -i ~/.ec2/my-keypair.pem


# Show running instances

# Kill an instance
  ec2-terminate-instances i-yourinstance


# Create a security group
  ec2-add-group group_name -d "Description"

# Show images (AMI's) owned by amazon, or me
  ec2-describe-images -o self -o amazon

Ubuntu images

Change certificates

export EC2_PRIVATE_KEY="$(/bin/ls $EC2_CERT_PATH/pk-*.pem | /usr/bin/head -1)"
export EC2_CERT="$(/bin/ls $EC2_CERT_PATH/cert-*.pem | /usr/bin/head -1)"