AWSVPS

Launch an Amazon EC2 Instance to Host Websites with Virtualmin

Get your Amazon Web Services account ready to host websites. Launch EC2 Instance to use as a web server with Virtualmin.

An Amazon EC2 Instance can be used for many purposes. It can also use as a server to host websites. It’s basically a VPS. But needs extra configuration to be able to act as a web server due to AWS architecture. I’m going to show you how to launch an Amazon EC2 instance that can later configured with Virtualmin host your websites.

I’m going to assume you already have an Amazon Web Services account. If you don’t, please go ahead and create an account. It’s free to join. Registration process will include phone verification and payment method verification. It’s also a good idea to get familiar with EC2 pricing structure.

Navigate to EC2 and select a region

Once you’ve logged in to your account, navigate to EC2 from the services menu on the top. Region will be selected as N. Virginia by default. Change it as per your preference.

Launch an Amazon EC2 Instance

When in your desired location, click Launch Instance button to start the process. You’ll be presented with a list of available AMIs. AMI you select here will be the OS of your EC2 instance. Scroll down and select Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (HVM) if you’re following my tutorials to build your server.

Choose an Instance Type

Second step is to select an Instance Type. T2.micro is free tier eligible. But it has poor performance. Amazon itself doesn’t recommend it for production environment. I recommend T2.small for low traffic website. Select the instance type you want from the list and click Configure Instance Details.

Configure Instance Details

You can leave most options here as default. One setting you must change is Enable termination protection. It disables the terminate button from the console until you disable termination protection. And it’s a good idea to set Shutdown behavior to Stop as well.

aws configure instance details

Add Storage

Step 4 of launch an amazon ec2 instance process is adding storage to your instance. Charges for storage isn’t covered on EC2 pricing. You’ll be charged a separate fee for storage you add here. However, free tier includes 30GB of free storage. And it’s a good starting point. You can always add more storage volumes later.

Add Tags

It’s safe to ignore this section. But I usually create a name tag with the main domain I’m planning to host. This is great for identification purposes.

Configure Security Group

Probably the most important part of the launching process. You get to create your EC2 security group here. Security group controls how your EC2 instance communicate with the world. You can allow or block access to your instance using security groups.

Make sure Create a new security group is selected and give it a friendly name. I’ll call it Virtualmin. Type a little description, may be describing which ports are allowed. Talking about ports, you’ll need port 22, 80, 443 and 10000 open for this EC2 instance to serve as a web server. SSH will be added already. Add the other ports as below.

HTTP
Allows connections on port 80. This is where users connect to your website. Set the Source to anywhere.
HTTPS
Allows connections on port 443. This is the default port for SSL connections. Set the Source to anywhere.
Custom TCP
Type 10000 on the port range field. This is where you connect to Virtualmin control panel. This port doesn’t have to be open to public traffic. So you can type your IP address in source field to only allow connections from your IP. You must have a static IP address for that. Or you’ll be locked when your IP address changes.

ec2 virtualmin security group

Virtualmin and services it install use few other ports. All of them are listed on List of Virtualmin Ports topic. You can review and add them as you need.

Review Instance Launch

Nothing much to say here. Review all the options you selected so far and click Launch.

Create a new key pair

Passwords are disabled on EC2 instances by default. Authentication between you and EC2 instance will be done using a SSH key pair. A pop up will appear asking you to select an existing key pair or create a new one. If this is your first time creating an EC2 instance, you probably won’t have key pair. So create a new one. You’ll be able to launch the instance after downloading the key file.

Keep the key file safe as you’ll need it to login to your server. That concludes the instructions to launch an amazon ec2 instance. It’ll take a minute or two for your instance to launch. In the meantime, allocate an Elastic IP address to your account with your instance as it’s an important requirement for Virtualmin and any web server.

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Tharindu

Hey!! I'm Tharindu. I'm from Sri Lanka. I'm a part time freelancer and this is my blog where I write about everything I think might be useful to readers. If you read a tutorial here and want to hire me, contact me here.

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