Access Your AWS VMs

In the previous lab, Create a CIS-194 Stack, you created two Windows VMs. In this lab you will access those VMs and, importantly, shut them down when you’re done with them.

About AWS VMs

AWS doesn’t have any way to access a VMs console like VirtualBox and VMWare does. That means your Windows VMs must have remote desktop enabled and accessible for you to use them. Further, it is not safe to update the IP addresses of your VMs because that disrupts your ability to contact them. If you lose contact with your Windows VMs you will have to delete the entire stack and re-create it.

I have developed images (called AMIs) with RDP enabled and default users and passwords. The stack contains the following:

  • Windows 10

    • Username: Student

    • Password: Cabri11o

  • Windows Server 2019 Base

    • Username: Administrator

    • Password: Cabri11o

Before You Begin

You need to have a RDP client installed on your system. Windows comes with an RDP client out of the box so no action is necessary. You can download the official MacOS client from Microsoft from here:

I use Remmina on Ubuntu, which can be installed via apt.

Step 1: Go to the EC2 Console

From the AWS console search for and find the EC2 console as shown.

Search for EC2

Step 2: Go to the Instances Panel

On the left, select the instances link as shown.

Select Instances

Step 3: Select One of Your VMs

The instances from your stack should be present and in the running state. Select one of them (it doesn’t matter which one at this stage because you will repeat this). When you have an insance selected the “Connect” button becomes available.

Select a VM

Step 4: Connect via RDP

Pressing the connect button brings up the dialog show. Download the Remote Desktop File and execute it. How that works will depend on your system.

Download the RDP File

Step 5: Your VM’s Desktop

Executing the RDP file will take you to your desktop. You will need the usernames and passwords at the top of the page. During class and for assignments you will use your VMs.

It costs $$ every minute your VM is running!

The credit you have is plenty of time if you remember to shut down your VMs when you’re not using them. Otherwise you may run out of credit before the end of the semester.

When you first connect Windows will ask you if you want to enable discover. Say yes.

Enable Discovery

Step 6: Shutdown Your VM

Use the start menu to shut down your VM as shown.

Shutdown Windows

Step 7: Repeat!

Repeat steps 3 through 6 on your other VM.

Turn In

When you’re done both VMs should be shutdown as shown. Take a screenshot similar to the one below and submit it on Canvas.

Shutdown VMs