Ultra-lightweight EC2 ami builds from json recipes
Kujenga is a lightweight way to build EC2 images using Python, boto and fabric.
Kujenga uses simple JSON based scripts as recipies to build images
in Amazon EC2. It does this by spinning up a base instance, uploading
any local files, and then executing a set of commands to configure the
instance. Finally it snapshots the image.
During the process it generates temporary keys and temporary security
groups that are used to connect to the running image using Fabric.
After the image has been created, the instance is terminated and
the temporary keys and security groups are deleted.
Kujenga is different from other EC2 script based solutions in that it attempts
to deal with the unpredictable delays and eventual consistancy issues of
EC2 rather than leaving that as an exercise for the user. It is meant to
be used in an automated stack.
Because of the boto dependency, Kujenga does not work with Python 3.
Using Amazon EC2 requires having an account there and setting the
following environment variables
export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=<your aws access key>
export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=<your aws secret access key>
An example of a minimal Kujenga recipe is the following:
"description": "Desktop image in cloud for use with remote desktop",
"doc-string": "These are the U14.04 amd64 ebs images as of 3-Aug-2014",
"doc-string": "Everthing in the source dir will be uploaded to target_directory",
"commands": [ "apt-get update",
"apt-get upgrade -y",
"apt-get install emacs -y",
The **name** and **description** values will be used to annotate the image
in EC2. Kujenga will use the EC2 region specified by the **region**
value to create the image. The **user** value is used to ssh into the
running instance in order to configure it. It must be part of the
The **instance_type** value will be used as the machine
type for the instance. Note that it must be compatible with the ami
that is specified in the **base_image** dictionary. The **uploads**
dictionary gives directions on files to upload. Everything in the source
directory (full path) will be uploaded to the target directory (full path).
These files can then be referred to in the commands section for installation
of custom software etc.
Every entry in the **commands** section will be executed verbatim by
the sudo command.
Finally, Kujenga snapshots the instance to make a new ami and cleans up
by shutting down the instance and deletes temporary keys and security groups