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Amazon ECS

How to get started with Bottlerocket on Amazon ECS

In this quickstart, we use a number of techniques/tools like jq and environment variables to make the quickstart experience as simple and straightforward as possible. These tools are not absolutely necessary to use Bottlerocket on ECS.


There are some preliminary tasks to complete in order to use ECS. You need to both set up your AWS account for use with ECS and have an IAM role for ECS configured:

  • Complete the steps in Setting up with Amazon ECS.
  • Ensure that the AWS user you use for this quickstart has the permissions specified in the Amazon ECS First Run Wizard Permissions IAM policy example.
  • Ensure that you have an IAM role created named ecsInstanceRole and configured according to the AWS ECS Developer Guide.
    • Be sure to follow both the AWS Console steps as well as the AWS CLI steps (section labeled “To create the ecsInstanceRole role (AWS CLI)” - the AWS CLI steps cover an important aspect: adding an Instance Profile to the role)

In this quickstart, the following software is used to interact with AWS and parse the responses received:

  • aws-cli: Used to interact with AWS services.
  • jq: Used for parsing response data from aws-cli.

Create a Cluster

First, set some environment variables to use throughout this quickstart:

export AWS_REGION=us-west-2
export ECS_CLUSTER_NAME=bottlerocket-quickstart-ecs
export ECS_INSTANCE_ROLE_NAME=ecsInstanceRole

Then, create an ECS cluster with the AWS CLI as follows:

aws ecs --region $AWS_REGION create-cluster --cluster-name $ECS_CLUSTER_NAME

You should see output confirming your new cluster similar to the following:

    "cluster": {
        "clusterArn": "arn:aws:ecs:us-west-2:xxxxxxxxxxxx:cluster/bottlerocket-quickstart-ecs",
        "clusterName": "bottlerocket-quickstart-ecs",
        "status": "ACTIVE",
        "registeredContainerInstancesCount": 0,
        "runningTasksCount": 0,
        "pendingTasksCount": 0,
        "activeServicesCount": 0,
        "statistics": [],
        "tags": [],
        "settings": [
                "name": "containerInsights",
                "value": "disabled"
        "capacityProviders": [],
        "defaultCapacityProviderStrategy": []

Launching Instances Into Your Cluster

After your ECS cluster is created, you can add instances to it.

Enabling SSM

Enable SSM on the ecsInstanceRole IAM role by attaching the AmazonSSMManagedInstanceCore managed policy to the role:

aws iam attach-role-policy \
   --role-name $ECS_INSTANCE_ROLE_NAME \
   --policy-arn arn:aws:iam::aws:policy/AmazonSSMManagedInstanceCore

Connecting To Your Cluster

In order to communicate with ECS, configure each node with the name of the cluster. The following command will create a file named quickstart-ecs-user-data.toml with the appropriate contents:

cat << EOF > quickstart-ecs-user-data.toml
cluster = "$ECS_CLUSTER_NAME"


Now you can add Bottlerocket instances to your ECS cluster! There are some values that you need to set in your environment first such as the Subnet ID, Bottlerocket AMI ID, and ECS Instance Profile Name. You can get the information you need using the AWS CLI:

export ECS_VPC_ID=$(aws ec2 describe-vpcs \
   --region $AWS_REGION \
   --filters=Name=isDefault,Values=true \
   | jq --raw-output '.Vpcs[].VpcId')
export ECS_SUBNET_ID=$(aws ec2 describe-subnets \
   --region $AWS_REGION \
   --filter=Name=vpc-id,Values=$ECS_VPC_ID \
   | jq --raw-output '.Subnets[0] | {id: .SubnetId, public: .MapPublicIpOnLaunch, az: .AvailabilityZone} | .id')
export BOTTLEROCKET_AMI_ID="resolve:ssm:/aws/service/bottlerocket/aws-ecs-2/x86_64/latest/image_id"
export ECS_INSTANCE_PROFILE_NAME=$(aws iam list-instance-profiles-for-role \
   --role-name $ECS_INSTANCE_ROLE_NAME \
   --query "InstanceProfiles[*].InstanceProfileName" \
   --output text)

Then launch an instance into your cluster:

aws ec2 run-instances \
   --subnet-id $ECS_SUBNET_ID \
   --image-id $BOTTLEROCKET_AMI_ID \
   --instance-type m5.large \
   --region $AWS_REGION \
   --tag-specifications "ResourceType=instance,Tags=[{Key=ecs-cluster,Value=$ECS_CLUSTER_NAME}]" \
   --user-data file://quickstart-ecs-user-data.toml \
   --iam-instance-profile Name=$ECS_INSTANCE_PROFILE_NAME

Once the instance launches, you should be able to run tasks on your Bottlerocket instance using either the ECS API or web console.

Confirming Your Instances Are Running

To confirm that nodes are running in your cluster, you can run the following command to list your ECS cluster nodes:

aws ec2 describe-instances \
   --no-cli-pager \
   --filters "Name=tag:ecs-cluster,Values=$ECS_CLUSTER_NAME" \
   --query "Reservations[*].Instances[*].{PrivateDNS:PrivateDnsName,InstanceID:InstanceId,Cluster:Tags[?Key=='ecs-cluster']|[0].Value,State:State.Name}" \

You should see output that contains a column similar to the following:

... |     InstanceID       | ...
    |  i-04c2b2087...      |

Interacting With Your Cluster

To confirm in depth that an instance is running Bottlerocket, save the instance ID and follow the steps in the Host Containers Quickstart.

Congratulations! You now have a Bottlerocket cluster running on ECS.