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Move EC2 AMIs Between Regions

Today I spent some time figuring out how to move EBS-backed AMIs between different EC2 regions. To save you the effort, here’s a quick summary:

  • create a volume from the snapshot backing the AMI

  • attach this volume to a running instance and mount it

  • create a new volume in the target region

  • attach to a running instance, format and mount

  • in the source region, connect to your instance

  • rsync (over ssh, so no messing with security groups) the mounted volume to the target volume

  • once the rsync is done, create a snapshot in the target region

  • register this snapsho as new AMI with ec2-register

Not rocket science, but definitely not as good as just being able to share your own AMIs between regions…

Update: Robert J. Berger wrote this detailed step by step guide based on my short summary, you should go check it out!