[ec2-beta] document: EC2 Ubuntu sudo Guide

Eric Hammond ehammond at thinksome.com
Wed Mar 11 12:16:10 GMT 2009

Jim Cheetham wrote:
> What is the expected use-case for these images?

Here are some of the use cases I would like to make sure the official
Ubuntu images support, just as the images I publish on
http://alestic.com currently do:

First, an instance of the base server image could have a number of
intended life spans including examples like:

  1. Temporary use for fooling around trying things out in Ubuntu or
     accessing other systems from the instance

  2. Short-lived install and configuration of software on the instance
     for rebundling into a new image, then exit

  3. Medium-term life as a batch processing server or as a node in a
     load balanced cluster, exiting when a specific job is complete or
     overall multi-system load level is reached

  4. Long-lived server with no planned termination

The setup of each of the above can be accomplished in a few ways
including one or more of:

  A. ssh in manually, install and configure manually

  B. ssh in automatically, install and configure automatically

  C. pass in user-data script to install and configure automatically
     on first boot

Personally, I use 1A, 1C, 2B, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4C.  We need to make sure that
all of the various options are supported as it's a big world with lots
of existing and potential users out there.

Note that I'm talking specifically about the base server images.
Sometimes people bundle new images, sometimes they don't.  Almost by
definition, more instances of the base image will be run without
rebundling, because as soon as you rebundle it, you're going to start
running a different image.

Though beta1 caused problems for some of the above use cases, I believe
that beta2 resolved all of the issues and supports all approaches.
Method "B" does require a tad more thinking than folks are used to on
current EC2 images which is why I drafted the "sudo guide" for review
and feedback.

Eric Hammond
ehammond at thinksome.com

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