Launch ec2 instances, pronto
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Tired of wrestling with server provisioning? Sumo!

Want to fire up a one-off EC2 instance, pronto? ec2-run-instances got you down? Try Sumo.

$ sumo launch
---> Launching instance...    i-4f809c26 (1.5s)
---> Acquiring hostname... (26.7s)

Logging you in via ssh.  Type 'exit' or Ctrl-D to return to your local system.
Linux domU-12-31-39-04-31-37 #1 SMP Fri Feb 15 12:39:36 EST 2008 i686


$ sumo terminate scheduled for termination

You can manage multiple instances via “sumo list” and specifying hostname or instance id as arguments to the ssh or terminate commands.

Service installation with Chef

The launch command takes an argument, which is a server role (from roles/#{role}.json inside your cookbooks repo):

$ sumo launch redis
---> Launch instance...       i-b96c73d0 (1.3s)
---> Acquire hostname... (36.1s)
---> Wait for ssh...          done (9.0s)
---> Bootstrap chef...        done (61.3s)
---> Setup redis...           done (11.9s)
---> Opening firewall...      ports 6379 (5.2s)

Your instance is exporting the following resources:
  Redis: redis://

The instance can assume multiple roles if you like:

$ sumo launch redis,solr,couchdb



$ sudo gem install amazon-ec2 thor

Then create ~/.sumo/config.yml containing:

access_id: <your amazon access key id>
access_secret: <your amazon secret access key>

Optional config you can include any of the following in your config.yml:

user: root
ami: ami-ed46a784
 availability_zone: us-east-1b
cookbooks_url: git://

You'll need Bacon and Mocha if you want to run the specs, and Jewler if you want to create gems.

Managing volumes

Create and attach a volume to your running instance:

$ sumo create_volume
---> Create 5MB volume...     vol-8a9c6ae3 (1.1s)
$ sumo volumes
vol-8a9c6ae3    5MB  available
$ sumo attach
---> Attach vol-8a9c6ae3 to i-bc32cbd4 as /dev/sdc1... done (0.6s)

Log in to format and mount the volume:

$ sumo ssh
root@ip-10-251-122-175:~# mkfs.ext3 /dev/sdc1
mke2fs 1.41.4 (27-Jan-2009)
Filesystem label=
OS type: Linux
Block size=4096 (log=2)
$ mkdir /myvol
$ mount /dev/sdc1 /myvol
$ echo "I'm going to persist to a volume" > /myvol/hello.txt

To detach from a running instance (perhaps so you can attach elsewhere):

$ sumo detatch
---> Detach vol-8a9c6ae3...   done (0.6s)

Destroy it if you no longer want the data stored on it:

$ sumo destroy_volume
---> Destroy volume...        done (0.8s)

Some details you might want to know

Sumo creates its own keypair named sumo, which is stored in ~/.ssh/keypair.pem. Amazon doesn't let you upload your own ssh public key, which is lame, so this is the best option for making the launch-and-connect process a single step.

It will also create an Amazon security group called sumo, so that it can lower the firewall for services you configure via cookbook roles.

If you run any production machines from your EC2 account, I recommend setting up a separate account for use with Sumo. It does not prompt for confirmation when terminating an instance or differentiate between instances started by it vs. instances started by other tools.


Sumo is not a cloud management tool, a monitor tool, or anything more than a way to get an instance up right quick. If you're looking for a way to manage a cluster of production instances, try one of these fine tools.

  • Pool Party

  • RightScale

  • Engine Yard Cloud

  • Cloudkick


Created by Adam Wiggins

Patches contributed by Orion Henry, Blake Mizerany, Jesse Newland, Gert Goet, and Tim Lossen

Released under the MIT License: