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OpenGeo Suite Community Edition 2.1.3 For Amazon EC2 Web Services

OpenGeo has released the OpenGeo Suite Community Edition 2.1.3 for Amazon EC2. Linux (Ubuntu 9.10) and Windows (Server 2003) versions are available as public AMIs (Amazon Machine Instance) ready for deployment on Amazon Web Services. The OpenGeo Suite AMIs simplify deploying web mapping applications by providing a complete environment. When an instance is launched the OpenGeo Suite is ready to serve maps and data on the web.

The Community Edition Suite AMIs are built on S3 boot images, which provide the lowest cost of operation. Note that AMIs based on S3 boot images will loose all data and changes you have made if the instance is terminated. To ensure that data and applications are saved you can add an Elastic Block Storage (EBS) Volume to store your data—this is not included with the OpenGeo Suite Community Edition AMIs.

The first part of this article describes how to obtain security credentials if you are new to Amazon Web Services. If you are already an AWS customer then log into the AWS console to launch the OpenGeo Suite AMIs as described further down.

First time Amazon Web Service EC2 Users

You will need an Amazon Web Services account. If you don’t have and account, the registration page will walk you through the process. If you already have an AWS account, you can skip this section and start at Launching the OpenGeo Suite instance using the AWS Management Console.

Once you have logged in, you will need to generate a set of security credentials to manage your account and your AMIs. You will need the following credentials:

  • Access Credentials: Your Private Keys, X.509 Certificates, and Key Pairs for managing your AMIs
  • Sign-In Credentials: Your E-mail Address, Password for managing your account
  • Account Identifiers: Your AWS Account ID

Creating a X.509 certificate and a Private Key

The X.509 Certificate and Private Key are used by the command line tools and SOAP. The X.509 certificate and Private Key are used when starting or stopping instances and when creating new AMIs. You can download the private key file once. If you lose it, you will need to create a new certificate. Up to two certificates can be active at any time.

  1. Log into the AWS Web Site.
  2. Click on Your Account and select Security Credentials
  3. Click the X.509 Certificates tabcreate-x509-cert
  4. Click Create a New Certificate and download the certificate and private key files.


5. Create a .ec2 directory in your home directory, and save these files to it with the filenames offered by your browser.

Generate a Key Pair using the AWS Management Console

A key pair is used when logging into an Amazon EC2 instance.

  1. Log into the AWS Management Console and click on the Amazon EC2 tab
  2. Click on Key Pairs in the Navigation pane on the
  3. Click on Create Key Pair, enter a name, and click Createcreate-keypair
  4. The key pair will be downloaded automatically, keep the file in a safe
  5. If you are using Linux, OS X, or any unix based OS, set the file permissions to be readable by you
$ chmod 600 my-keypair

Launching the OpenGeo Suite instance using the AWS Management Console

You can launch the OpenGeo Suite AMI using the Management Console using your security credentials.

  1. Log in the AWS Management Console and click the Amazon EC2 tab
  2. Click on AMIs in the Navigation side menu
  3. In the Amazon Machine Images pane, select Public Images and All Platforms in the drop down menus.
  4. Copy and paste the OpenGeo Suite image AMI ID into the text box and hit enter.Windows AMI: ami-ea1cf683
    Linux AMI: ami-041cf66d

    The selected instance is displayed below


  5. To start or launch the instance, select the check box and click on the Launch button.
  • Enter 1 in the Number of Instances field.
  • Select the m1.small Instance Type option.
  • Select the Availability Zone, if desired.
  • Select the key pair that you created from the Key Pair Name list box.
  • Select default from the Security Groups list box.

The instance(s) begin launching.


Logging into the OpenGeo Suite Instance

This section describes how to log into the OpenGeo Suite instance from either the command line or through Windows RDP client. Before you can log into your instance you will need to find the Public DNS address for your instance. To find the Public DNS address in the AWS Console, click on Instances, select the check box for the instance, and copy the value for Public DNS in the panel below.


Logging in from the command line for the OpenGeo Suite Linux instance

Using a ssh client on (such as OpenSSH, Xming, Putty) type:

$ ssh -Xi my-keypair
  • The -i option uses your key pair to authenticate (no passwords),
  • the -X option enables X11 forwarding which allows you to use the desktop tools of the OpenGeo Suite (if your ssh client supports trusted X11 forwarding, use the -Y option),
  • and the Linux version of the Suite on AWS is built on Ubuntu 9.10 which uses “ubuntu” as the default user.

Once your are logged into the Linux instance, you can launch the Dashboard to start the OpenGeo Suite by typing:

$ ./bin/opengeo-dashboard

Click on Getting Started in the Dashboard to begin serving maps and data on the web.

Logging into the OpenGeo Suite Windows instance through the Windows RDP Client

Getting the password for the Windows instance

The Windows instance of the OpenGeo Suite does not user key pairs. A new administrator password is generated each time a Windows instance is launched. You can retrieve the password using the AWS Console.

  1. Log in the AWS Management Console and click the Amazon EC2 tab
  2. Click on Instances in the Navigation side menu
  3. Click on the checkbox for the Windows instance
  4. Click on Instance Actions drop down and select Get Windows Admin Password get-windows-password
  5. A window will appear prompting you to paste the contents of your Private Key into a text box, paste your private keycopy-key-pair
  6. The AWS Console returns a window with the Decrypted Password, copy the password and save it to a text file or write it

Logging into the OpenGeo Suite Windows instance

You can log into the Windows instance using an RDP Client (CoRD for OS X, rdesktop for linux, Remote Desktop Connection for Windows). This example users Remote Desktop Connection to connect to your OpenGeo Suite Windows EC2 instance:

  1. On the taskbar, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to Communications, and click Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. The Remote Desktop Connection dialog box appears.
  3. Enter the Public DNS address in the Computer field.
  4. Enter ‘administrator’ in the User name field.rdc-login
  5. Enter the password in the Password field.rdc-password

After logging in, you can launch the Dashboard and start the OpenGeo Suite. Click on Getting Started in the Dashboard to begin serving maps and data on the web.


*Note: The OpenGeo Suite Community edition currently does not have an option to run as service in Windows. Logging off the instance will shutdown the Suite. To keep the Suite running, disconnect by clicking on the Close button at the top of the screen.

Boundless Geo

Boundless has over 14 years of experience in the open GIS technology industry; serving as the leading open mapping software and solutions provider to government and commercial sector clients. As an active member of the open source community, including OSGeo and LocationTech, Boundless contributes to over 140 projects repositories. Boundless resides in the USA and has over 80 employees spread across the globe.