Create copy of EC2 instance and launch as new instances


I setup one mail server in one EC2 instances. I want to copy the whole instance and launch as another new instance.

I’m very confused about snapshot and AMI, so please suggest how to do it.


When talking about creating a copy or clone of an instance, there’s two aspects to consider:

  • The configuration of the instance itself, such as Instance Type, Security Group, IAM Role and network subnet
  • The contents of the disk volume(s)

To launch an instance with the same instance configuration, use the Launch More Like This option in the actions menu, which can launch a new instance with the same configuration. This will also select the original AMI used to launch the initial instance — please note that this means it will have the same disk as sued when launching the initial instance, but will not have a copy of all data stored/changed on the initial instance since it was first started.

If you wish to make a perfect copy of the instance, including the contents of the disk volume(s), then create an AMI (see documentation for Linux and Windows). This will make a copy of the disk volume(s) so that any instance launched from the AMI will have the same data on disk. Then, launch a new instance from that AMI.

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