Official FreeBSD AMIs for AWS

There has been some really good news recently for users of AWS, who -like me- have a keen interest in running FreeBSD there. Previously there was only an unofficial source for FreeBSD AMIs (or semi-official, given that the person behind it is a former FreeBSD Security Officer). However, a couple of weeks ago, the FreeBSD team have included the generation of fresh AMIs into their regular snapshot schedule.

If you have been following FreeBSD's progress in AWS, you are certainly aware that Colin Percival of Daemonology (and former FreeBSD security officer) has spent a hell of a lot of effort over the years to get FreeBSD into AWS. That required quite a bit of hackery, and there wasn't a clean update path (because freebsd-update required a GENERIC kernel, which was incompatible with AWS). This made it rather difficult to use FreeBSD for anything serious on more than a few EC2 instances.

Thanks to his continued efforts, though, all his patches went into the GENERIC kernel eventually, and on top of that he's created a few supportive tools which make the whole experience of running FreeBSD in AWS a lot smoother, namely configinit.

Colin suggested back in May that weekly(ish) AMIs should be available soon, and indeed they are now coming! Glen Barber has announced their availability for 10-STABLE on the freebsd-snapshot mailing list on 2nd June and today. I can personally confirm that they work splendidly (at least in EU-West-1; haven't tested the other regions). If you are planning on using FreeBSD in AWS, you should subscribe to the freebsd-snapshot mailing list ASAP so that you won't miss the latest official snapshots. For the brave, 11-CURRENT snapshots are available as well (check the other posts on the mailing list).

Excellent news, and a big thanks to Colin, Glen and everybody else involved in making this happen!

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