033 AWS

16 Feb 2013

Amazon Web Services or AWS is a set of web based services by Amazon. We will use Elastic Cloud Compute to launch a simple html page as well as a hello world in NodeJS. Next, we will use Elastic Beanstalk to deploy a Sinatra hello world with GIT.

Download video: mp4

Sample code: Github

Similar episodes: 022 SSH

Background on AWS

  1. Amazon Web Services and its products & docs
  2. Developer Tools
  3. Cloud Formation

Things to learn with AWS

1. Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) for a simple index.html

  1. Go to the Amazon Management Console for EC2
  2. Click Launch Instance
  3. Create a New Instance > Classic Wizard

    • Choose an AMI > Amazon Linus AMI 2012.09 Free tier or any other Free Tier
    • Create Key Pair > Download *.pem and change its permission level on our local machine
    cd ~/Desktop
    chmod 600 mykey.pem
    • Configure Firewall > Create a new Security Group > Add SSH, HTTP, HTTPS
  4. Instance status should be running

  5. Copy the public DNS which should have the format of xxxxxxxxxxx.amazonaws.com

  6. login to the EC2 instance through ssh ssh -i mykey.pem ec2-user@[public-dns]

  7. connect as root user and install httpd

    sudo su -
    yum install httpd
  8. copy the simple html page to the folder var/www/html

    cd ../../var/www/html
    wget [dropbox index.html-public-url]
  9. connect as root user

    service httpd start
    service httpd status
  10. visit the public DNS address to view the index.html

  11. Terminate or stop the EC2 instance as you wish

2. Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) for node.js

  1. Setup another Free Tier Micro EC2 Instance
  2. connect to the instance with ssh:

    ssh -i mykey.pem ec2-user@[public-dns]
  3. Update EC2 Linux. Install Git, Node

    sudo yum update
    sudo yum install gcc-c++ make
    sudo yum install git
    git clone git://github.com/joyent/node.git
    cd node
    git checkout v0.8.19
    sudo make install
  4. Add the path to file /etc/sudoers

    sudo su
    vi /etc/sudoers
    • Press i to go into Insert Mode
    • find line Defaults secure_path = /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin and add :/usr/local/bin to it
    • Press ESC and then :wq! to save and exit 2.
  5. Install npm

    git clone https://github.com/isaacs/npm.git
    cd npm
    sudo make install
  6. Check all are installed

    git --version
    node --version
    npm --version
  7. Create a simple hello world in node and put it in the public folder of dropbox:

    var sys = require( "sys" );
    var http = require( "http" );
    var server = http.createServer(
      function( request, response ){
        response.writeHead( 200, {"content-type": "text/plain"} );
        response.write( "Hellow world from AWS!\n" );
    server.listen( 8080 );
  8. Make a new folder

    cd ~/var
    sudo mkdir site
    cd site
    sudo wget https://[dropbox-public-url]/server.js
  9. Add port forwarding

    sudo iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to 8080
  10. Start the node server and visit the public dns

    node server.js
  11. Install Forever to keep our Node.js application running even after we logout of our EC2 instance. If npm throws an error without sudo, change the ownership of the .npm directory with chown

    npm install forever -g
  12. Start the forever server and log out of EC2 and the server will still run!

    forever start server.js

3. Deploy Sinatra with Beanstalk

  1. download aws elastic beanstalk command line tools

    unzip AWS-ElasticBeanstalk-CLI-2.3.zip
  2. copy the directory AWS-ElasticBeanstalk-CLI-2.3/eb to /usr/local or any other folder that you wish.

  3. add export path to your bash profile or zsh profile file

    export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/eb/macosx/python2.7:$PATH
  4. restart command line or source bash profile or zsh profile

  5. eb --version in the command line to see that it has installed

  6. create a new folder for a hello world sinatra application

    • config.ru
    require './hello'
    run Sinatra::Application
    • hello.rb
    require 'sinatra'
    get '/' do
      "Hello World!"
    • Gemfile
    source 'http://rubygems.org'
    gem 'sinatra'
  7. Initiate a git repository

    git init
    git add .
    git commit -m "initial commit"
  8. initiate elastic beastalk with command line code eb init

  9. commit the newly create .gitignore

  10. start the elastic beanstalk with eb start and git aws.push

  11. eb stop to stop the application and eb delete to delete the application

More Resources on AWS

  1. Videos: AWS as an overview, launching a website, overview of EC2
  2. Developer Tools
  3. Starting with EC2, installing command line tools
  4. nodejs with EC2 complete guide and another blog post
  5. nodejs aws sdk
  6. Wordpress with ec2, rds, beastalk
  7. Deploy Sinatra with Elastic Beanstalk
  8. aws cli


  1. David Strada for pointing out why npm should not be run as root

Build Link of this Episode

A Practical Guide to HTML & CSS beginner's html and css