FreeBSD/EC2 history

A couple years ago Jeff Barr published a blog post with a timeline of EC2 instances. I thought at the time that I should write up a timeline of the FreeBSD/EC2 platform, but I didn't get around to it; but last week, as I prepared to ask for sponsorship for my work I decided that it was time to sit down and collect together the long history of how the platform has evolved and improved over the years.

Normally I don't edit blog posts after publishing them (with the exception of occasional typographical corrections), but I do plan on keeping this post up to date with future developments.

The current status

The latest FreeBSD release (13.0) supports: IPv6, Enhanced Networking (both generations), Amazon Elastic File System, Amazon Time Sync Service, both consoles (Serial + VGA), and every EC2 instance type except arm64 "bare metal" (although I'm not sure if FreeBSD has drivers to make use of the FPGA or GPU hardware on those instances).

On arm64, device hot-plug does not currently work; nor does "power management" via the EC2 API — "reboot" has no effect while "shutdown" does nothing until EC2 times out and forcibly halts the instance.

There is a known issue affecting timekeeping on T3 instances.

When a FreeBSD/EC2 instance first launches, it uses configinit to perform any desired configuration based on user-data scripts, and then (unless configinit is used to change this) resizes its root filesystem to fit the provided root disk, downloads and installs critical updates, sets up the ec2-user user for SSH access, and prints SSH host keys to the consoles.

If there's something else you think FreeBSD should support or a change you'd like to see to the default configuration, please let me know.

Posted at 2018-02-12 19:50 | Permanent link | Comments
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