Setting up GUI on Amazon EC2 Ubuntu Server — Part I

4 min readAug 31, 2018


Amazon Web Services (Source)

This is a multipart blog post demonstrating how to set up a GUI on Amazon EC2 Ubuntu Server using a Windows machine.

By default Amazon EC2 Ubuntu Servers do not come with GUI, In order to perform any operation SSH client like PuTTY has to be used. As not everybody is comfortable with writing commands through SSH client, I will guide here to set up a GUI on an Ubuntu server.

In this part, I will briefly explain how to create Ubuntu Server on Amazon EC2 instance and in the next I will explain how to setup GUI and access it from Windows Desktop.

The article is a bit long because I wanted to make everything clear, So that nobody gets stuck anywhere. Still, if anybody face any problem then feel free to comment. So let’s get started.

Please follow these steps to create Ubuntu Server on Amazon EC2 instance:

Step-1: Open your browser and go to

Step-2: Click on Sign In to the Console at the top right corner of the page

Step-3: Sign in to your AWS account with your relevant credentials

Step-4: Click on EC2 under “Compute” section

Step-5: Now Click on Launch Instance

Step-6: Select “Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS (HVM), SSD Volume Type” (or any other Ubuntu flavor of your choice) by clicking on Select button

Step-7: Configure the machine of your choice by selecting CPU, Memory, etc. of your choice

Note: If you are eligible for free tier then make sure you select t2.micro instance which comes under AWS free tier service otherwise you will be charged accordingly

Step-8: Click on Next: Configure Instance Details

Step-9: You can configure instance properties but we are keeping it default

Step-10: Now click on Next: Add Storage and select the size of a disk

Note: Maximum 30GB is available for free tier beyond that you will be charged accordingly

Step-11: Click on Next: Add Tags

Step-12: Click on Add Tag

Step-13: Create the following key value pair and then click on Next: Configure Security Group

Step-14: Create a new rule by clicking on Add Rule button, set the rule properties as below and then click Review and Launch

Step-15: Click on Launch

Step-16: If you have already created your public — private key pair then select “Choose an existing key pair” otherwise

  • Select “Create a new key pair” then enter key pair name and click on Download Key Pair. A private key will be downloaded to your machine, keep it safe it will be used for connecting to the EC2 instance.

Step-17: Click on Launch Instances

Step-18: Some processing will happen, wait for sometime then a window will appear, click on View Instances

Step-19: It might take a while (5–10 mins) to get your instance ready

Thank you for reading this post, If you like it then please clap and share it on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter so that other people get benefits from it.

Here is the link for Part II in this series

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Happy Coding!