Announcing FreeBSD on EC2

One of my largest complaints about Amazon EC2 ever since it launched has been my inability to run FreeBSD on it. Judging from the feedback I received to two earlier blog posts, I haven't been alone. The problems keeping FreeBSD out of EC2 have always been more FreeBSD-related than Amazon-related, however, and over the past month I've been hacking away at FreeBSD's Xen code, to the point where I can say something I've been waiting to say for a long time: FreeBSD now runs on Amazon EC2.

There are some caveats to this. First, at the moment only FreeBSD 9.0-CURRENT can run under EC2; I haven't merged bug fixes back to the stable branches. Second, at the moment FreeBSD only runs on t1.micro instances, for reasons I can't discuss (NDA) but hope will be resolved soon. Third, this code hasn't received very much testing and is almost certain to have more serious bugs, so it should be approached as an experimental, not-ready-for-production-use system for now. On the postive side, however: Thanks to Amazon's recently announced Free Usage Tier, if you're not already an AWS customer you can sign up now and play with FreeBSD for a year without paying a cent!

Being the guy who gets to make the announcement will probably make people think that I did all the work for this, but really I only did the final month of bug fixing and EC2 packaging. In no particular order, I'd like to thank Kip, Adrian, Justin, and Doug for the work they did to get FreeBSD's Xen code to where I started working on it; Robert, John, Kostik, and Scott for helping me track down some of the nastier bugs over the past month; and Martin, Jeff, James, Attila, Eden, Matt, Zeeshan, and Miles at Amazon for answering innumerable questions and helping me with testing my various attempts. I've seen people point to the years without FreeBSD and accuse Amazon of not listening to their customers; I'd like to dispel that myth right here: Amazon heard you, and there's no way I could ever have done this without the assistance they provided me.

Now let's bring some daemons to this cloud!

Posted at 2010-12-13 19:00 | Permanent link | Comments
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