Ubuntu 14.04 Server HVM with EBS Free Tier AMI

tralston asked:

I’m looking through the AWS Marketplace and Community AMI’s to launch an instance on my newly registered free tier on Amazon. I’m very confused by the advertising of what’s included in the free tier vs what offered in the AMI store.

For instance:

  • The AWS documentation and store seem selling the t2.micro instances for the free tier (t1.micro is the “older-generation” and is grayed out)
  • The t2.micro instance only supports HVM virtualization
  • Under “Quick Start” for Launching an Instance, if I choose “Free Tier only” there’s only one Ubuntu option: 14.04 LTS with PV virtualization … not compatible with the t2.micro instace type.
  • I found other instances on Ubuntu’s AMI locator. When I follow the link, I am able to selct t2.micro and it says “free tier” (I’m guessing for the instance type, not the OS). But when I search for the AMI by its ID (e.g. ami-09b4b74c), it says nothing about the free tier.

I feel like I’m crazy, going in circles. Do the community AMI’s qualify for the free tier? I’ve seen conflicting info about it. Say they don’t. Why would the only free tier eligible Ubuntu image not be compatible with the only instance type I can get on the free tier?

My answer:

t2.micro instances can only be HVM, while older t1.micro instances can only be PV. Whichever the AMI supports dictates which instance types will be available.

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