Basic AWS Setup

Before you can deploy anything on AWS, you must do a few things.

Get an AWS Account

If you don't already have an AWS account, you can sign up for one for free at

Install the AWS Command Line Interface

To install the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), do the following:

pip install awscli

Create an AWS Access Key

Next, you will need AWS access keys (access key ID and secret access key). If you don’t have those, see the AWS documentation about access keys.

You should also pick a default AWS region name (e.g. eu-central-1). The AWS documentation has a list of them.

Once you’ve got your AWS access key and you’ve picked a default AWS region name, go to a terminal session and enter:

aws configure

and answer the four questions. For example:

AWS Secret Access Key [None]: wJalrXUtnFEMI/K7MDENG/bPxRfiCYEXAMPLEKEY
Default region name [None]: eu-central-1
Default output format [None]: [Press Enter]

This writes two files: ~/.aws/credentials and ~/.aws/config. AWS tools and packages look for those files.

Generate an RSA Key Pair for SSH

Eventually, you’ll have one or more instances (virtual machines) running on AWS and want to SSH to them. To do that, you need a public/private key pair. The public key will be sent to AWS; you can tell AWS to put it in any instances you provision there. You will keep the private key on your local workstation.

See the appendix page about how to generate a key pair for SSH.

Send the Public Key to AWS

To send the public key to AWS, use the AWS Command Line Interface:

aws ec2 import-key-pair \
--key-name "<key-name>" \
--public-key-material file://~/.ssh/<key-name>.pub

If you're curious why there's a file:// in front of the path to the public key, see issue aws/aws-cli#41 on GitHub.

If you want to verify that your key pair was imported by AWS, go to the Amazon EC2 console, select the region you gave above when you did aws configure (e.g. eu-central-1), click on Key Pairs in the left sidebar, and check that <key-name> is listed.

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