How to Access EC2 Instance with Lost Keypair: Cloning a New Instance with a New Keypair Strategy


Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. EC2 instances are virtual machines that can be accessed through secure shell (SSH) connections using key pairs. These key pairs are used for authentication purposes and ensure that only authorized users can access the instances. However, if you lose your keypair, you may not be able to access your EC2 instance. In this blog post, we will discuss how to access an EC2 instance with a lost keypair by cloning a new instance with a new keypair strategy.

Step 1: Create a New Keypair

To access an EC2 instance with a lost keypair, you need to create a new keypair. You can do this using the Amazon EC2 console or the AWS Command Line Interface (CLI). For this example, we will use the EC2 console.

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console.
  2. Click on “Key Pairs” in the left navigation menu.
  3. Click on the “Create Key Pair” button.
  4. Give your keypair a name and click on “Create Key Pair.”
  5. Download the private key file (.pem) and store it in a secure location.

Step 2: Stop the Instance with Lost Keypair

To clone an instance, you first need to stop it.

  1. In the EC2 console, select the instance you want to clone.
  2. Click on the “Actions” button and select “Instance State” > “Stop.”
  3. Click on “Yes, Stop” to confirm.

Step 3: Create an AMI from the Instance

To clone an instance, you need to create an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) from it.

  1. In the EC2 console, select the instance you just stopped.
  2. Click on the “Actions” button and select “Create Image.”
  3. Give your AMI a name and description.
  4. Click on “Create Image.”

Step 4: Launch a New Instance from the AMI with the New Keypair

Now that you have created an AMI from the instance, you can launch a new instance from it with the new keypair.

  1. In the EC2 console, click on “AMIs” in the left navigation menu.
  2. Select the AMI you just created and click on “Launch.”
  3. Choose an instance type, and click “Next: Configure Instance Details.”
  4. Configure your instance settings as required, and then click “Next: Add Storage.”
  5. Configure your storage settings as required, and then click “Next: Add Tags.”
  6. Add any tags you require, and then click “Next: Configure Security Group.”
  7. Select “Create a new security group” and configure your security group settings as required.
  8. Add a rule to allow SSH access from your IP address.
  9. Click “Review and Launch.”
  10. Review your instance settings, and then click “Launch.”
  11. In the “Select an existing key pair or create a new key pair” section, select “Choose an existing key pair.”
  12. Select the new keypair you just created, and then click “Launch Instances.”

Step 5: Connect to the New Instance

Now that you have launched a new instance from the AMI with the new keypair, you can connect to it.

  1. In the EC2 console, select the new instance you just launched.
  2. Click on the “Connect” button.
  3. Follow the instructions to connect to the instance using the new keypair.

Losing access to an EC2 instance due to a lost keypair can be a frustrating experience. However, by following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can create a new keypair, clone the instance as an AMI, and launch a new instance with the new keypair. This strategy allows you to regain access to your instance and continue working without losing any data or configurations. It is essential to always have a backup plan in case of any unforeseen circumstances, and creating a new keypair and cloning the instance can be an effective solution for accessing your EC2 instance.

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