This is a guide on how to set up a AWS EC2 free tier with GUI. The EC2 instance will be able to connect via Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or SSH.
You need to create a AWS account: https://portal.aws.amazon.com/billing/signup. You may need to provide your credit card information during the signup process.
Sign in to your AWS Account and go to the AWS EC2 Console: https://aws.amazon.com/console/
Defining the security groups before setting up the instance. Setting up the security groups first can give you a better understanding on what inbound/outbound traffic is allowed in the instances you are going to create.
Choose Security Groups at the left menu of your EC2 Dashboard. Create 2 security groups:
rdp: Allow inbound traffic via port
ssh: Allow inbound traffic via port
- Allow all outbound traffic
Choose Services > EC2 from the menu. At the EC2 Dashboard , choose Instances.
Click the Launch Instance and choose the suitable AMI (Amazon Machine Image). Here I choose a
t2.micro instance with
Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS image. Choose the suitable Storage as not all kinds of storage are free. In this example I set up a
30GB General Purpose storage.
Choose the security groups created in the previous step:
You should create the key file. If you don’t create this and link it to the instance, you will not be able to connect to the instance via SSH or RDP. Here I create a new key file named
After that, click Download Key Pair and keep the key file safe.
We better to make sure that the
ssh_private_key.pem downloaded is just read-only. Run
chmod to change the permission:
❯ ll ~/Downloads/ | grep "ssh_private_key.pem" -rw-r--r--@ 1 BEN staff 1.7K Jul 2 18:41 ssh_private_key.pem ❯ chmod 400 ~/Downloads/ssh_private_key.pem ❯ ll ~/Downloads/ | grep "ssh_private_key.pem" -r--------@ 1 BEN staff 1.7K Jul 2 18:41 ssh_private_key.pem
Once you click the Launch instance , you should be able to see your instance in running state in the web console. Then, you can connect to the EC2 via ssh using the
pem key file. Assuming that your DNS name of your EC2 is
ec2-0-1-2-3.ap-northeast-1.compute.amazonaws.com and it is running at
ap-northeast-1 region, you can connect to it using user
❯ ssh -i ~/Downloads/ssh_private_key.pem firstname.lastname@example.org The authenticity of host 'ec2-0-1-2-3.region-name.compute.amazonaws.com (0.1.2.3)' can't be established. ECDSA key fingerprint is SHA256:8t8ey5IqoiGOKGc9WuDc5SXaYqFHPnKph1mRtzbQNTc. Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no/[fingerprint])?
You need to confirm your fingerprint at the first connection attempt.
Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS (GNU/Linux 5.3.0-1023-aws x86_64) * Documentation: https://help.ubuntu.com * Management: https://landscape.canonical.com * Support: https://ubuntu.com/advantage System information as of Thu Jul 2 10:54:37 UTC 2020 System load: 0.0 Processes: 90 Usage of /: 3.7% of 29.02GB Users logged in: 0 Memory usage: 16% IP address for eth0: 172.31.4.8 Swap usage: 0% 0 packages can be updated. 0 updates are security updates. The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software; the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright. Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by applicable law. To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>". See "man sudo_root" for details. ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~$
I choose LXDE as the GUI of the ubuntu server: https://lxde.sourceforge.net/about.html.
LXDE is a new project aimed to provide a new desktop environment which is lightweight and fast
xrdp is an open-source Remote Desktop Protocol server: http://xrdp.org
xrdp provides a graphical login to remote machines using RDP (Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol)
Install the packages:
sudo apt-get update -y sudo apt-get install lxde -y sudo apt-get install xrdp -y
You need to also set up a password for the user ubuntu. This is for your later use in RDP as RDP only allows you to login an password-protected account.
sudo passwd ubuntu
For mac user, you need to download the Microsoft Remote Desktop. If you are using Windows, you should already have the Remote Desktop application preinstalled.
Login with user
ubuntu and the password you set in the previous step.
If you want to type Japanese, Chinese, etc. you may need to install an input method. For cangjie, you can install Cangjians via the terminal:
sudo apt-get install ibus-cangjie
Midori Browser is a browser web light, fast, secure, free software & open source
Download .deb file: https://astian.org/en/midori-browser/download/ or using
cd ~/Downloads sudo wget -qnc https://packages.astian.org/pool/main/m/midori/midori_9.0.0-1_amd64.deb ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~/Downloads$ ll total 1492 drwxr-xr-x 2 ubuntu ubuntu 4096 Jul 2 11:29 ./ drwxr-xr-x 17 ubuntu ubuntu 4096 Jul 2 11:22 ../ -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 1517328 Jan 11 23:26 midori_9.0.0-1_amd64.deb
After that, install the
deb package using
sudo dpkg -i midori_9.0.0-1_amd64.deb
You may see the
dependency problems like the following:
ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~/Downloads$ sudo dpkg --configure -a dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of midori: midori depends on libpeas-1.0-0 (>= 1.15); however: Package libpeas-1.0-0 is not installed. midori depends on libxml2-utils; however: Package libxml2-utils is not installed. midori depends on gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad; however: Package gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad is not installed. midori depends on gstreamer1.0-libav; however: Package gstreamer1.0-libav is not installed. dpkg: error processing package midori (--configure): dependency problems - leaving unconfigured Errors were encountered while processing: midori
In this case, update the packages and reinstall midori:
sudo dpkg --configure -a sudo apt-get -f install sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install midori
ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~$ sudo fallocate -l 1G /swapfile ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~$ sudo chmod 600 /swapfile ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~$ sudo mkswap /swapfile Setting up swapspace version 1, size = 1024 MiB (1073737728 bytes) no label, UUID=9a121c2c-cd6f-48bf-b928-e550095a3efd ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~$ sudo swapon /swapfile ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~$ sudo swapon --show NAME TYPE SIZE USED PRIO /swapfile file 1024M 0B -2 ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~$ sudo nano /etc/fstab /swapfile swap swap defaults 0 0
After that, reboot the machine.
Create a new security group allows all TCP and UDP inbound connections and add this security group to the EC2 instance:
This repo contains scripts for VPN server set up and profile management. Install it into your EC2:
Download the script:
sudo apt update sudo apt upgrade -y mkdir ~/vpn && cd ~/vpn wget https://git.io/vpn -O openvpn-install.sh ubuntu@ip-172-31-4-8:~/vpn$ ll total 32 drwxrwxr-x 2 ubuntu ubuntu 4096 Jul 2 12:11 ./ drwxr-xr-x 19 ubuntu ubuntu 4096 Jul 2 12:11 ../ -rw-rw-r-- 1 ubuntu ubuntu 23085 Jul 2 12:11 openvpn-install.sh
openvpn-install.sh exectable in your EC2:
chmod +x openvpn-install.sh sudo ./openvpn-install.sh
Add a new profile by running
Welcome to this OpenVPN road warrior installer! This server is behind NAT. What is the public IPv4 address or hostname? Public IPv4 address / hostname [22.214.171.124]: Which protocol should OpenVPN use? 1) UDP (recommended) 2) TCP Protocol : 1 What port should OpenVPN listen to? Port : Select a DNS server for the clients: 1) Current system resolvers 2) Google 3) 126.96.36.199 4) OpenDNS 5) Quad9 6) AdGuard DNS server : 1 Enter a name for the first client: Name [client]: demo-ec2-client OpenVPN installation is ready to begin. Press any key to continue... Finished! The client configuration is available in: /home/ubuntu/demo-ec2-client.ovpn New clients can be added by running this script again.
Use another Terminal to download the
.ovpn file. Assuming that the machine name is
ec2-0-1-2-3.ap-northeast-1.compute.amazonaws.com and the generated
.ovpn file is place under
scp -i ssh_private_key.pem email@example.com:~/demo-ec2-client.ovpn ~/Downloads/demo-ec2-client.ovpn
Pritunl Client is a easy-to-use OpenVPN client. Downlaod and install it.
Launch the client and click Import Profile :
After that, click the burger menu of the profile and Connect.