EC2 now has FreeBSD

EC2 now has FreeBSD

Good news. EC2 now has FreeBSD. Though with some quirks…In order to work with EC2, the FreeBSD AMIs are slightly modified from what you would have immediately after installing FreeBSD from a release CD:

  • The network is configured and the sshd daemon is enabled, for obvious reasons.
  • SSH logins as root are enabled, but root’s password is starred out (i.e., password logins as root will fail until a password is set).
  • The first time an AMI is booted, a script fetches the public half of an SSH keypair from EC2 and arranges for root logins using that key.
  • Every time the the AMI boots, it prints the SSH host keys to the console in the same format as Amazon Linux AMIs do.
  • The FreeBSD kernel is located on an ext2 filesystem, in order to allow Amazon’s user provided kernel functionality to work. (Everything else is on a single UFS2 filesystem.)
  • AMIs published from 2010-12-29 onwards have /etc/motd text with some comments about FreeBSD/EC2 and a link to this page.
  • AMIs published from 2010-12-29 onwards by default report kernel panics (including backtraces) to the FreeBSD/EC2 maintainer to assist him in identifying and fixing bugs. 
At the present time, FreeBSD/EC2 should be considered an experimental platform not yet ready for production use.

The following AMIs are available (though there are additional obsolete AMIs…):

FreeBSD version us-east-1 us-west-1 eu-west-1 ap-southeast-1
FreeBSD 9.0-CURRENT @ 2011-01-04
For t1.micro instances only! ami-8cce3fe5 ami-61683824 ami-e388bd97 ami-36bdc364
FreeBSD 8.2-RC @ 2011-01-08
For t1.micro instances only! ami-4a15e423 ami-376e3e72 ami-f77e4a83 ami-3eb6c86c

Note: Apparently FreeBSD will only currently work on t1.micro instances..