[ubuntu-cloud] Ubuntu AMI creation

Devon Strawn ubuntucloud at refinerdesign.com
Fri Apr 6 20:38:35 UTC 2012

Hi all,

I'm trying to create a custom Ubuntu AMI that's as "official" and 
compatible with EC2 as possible.  The core problem is that it's 
difficult to determine the most up-to-date information on AMI creation. 
  There are plenty of blog posts & wikis, but the bulk of that knowledge 
is out-of-date or incorrect, due to the rapid pace of change in recent 


    * What's the most straightforward way to create a custom AMI from
      /install media/ (.ISOs) on a local machine / VM ?
    * What's the most straightforward way to create a custom AMI from
      /an existing Ubuntu VM disk image/ (e.g., from .ISOs) on a local
      machine / VM ?
    * How is this process different when targeting EBS vs. S3 storage?
    * How does cloud-init play into these scenarios?
          o Does cloud-init require special handling when building the
            AMI vs. first-run and subsequent runs on EC2?
    * I'd like to run these same AMIs on a local KVM host -- does this
      require additional steps (I read somewhere that EC2 is Xen-based),
      or should this just work?
    * What's the status of EC2 support for vmbuilder?
          o The tool seems to still accept the "-ec2" parameter(s), but
            it's reported that this has been broken since Lucid and the
            is now "won't fix" - is this indeed the case?
    * Is there a basic "theory" (however primitive) that helps when
      thinking about creating AMIs -- at various levels of the stack?

And a meta-question: how should I go about finding answers to questions 
like these for myself?
In other words, what's the process for figuring out solutions to these 
kinds of problems in the Ubuntu ecosystem?

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