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Former2 is a website that allows you to generate IaC (Infrastructure as Code) templates (such as CloudFormation, CDK, Terraform, etc) from existing AWS resources and is mentioned on AWS Open Source Blog (Accelerate infrastructure as code development with open source Former2 and How DNAnexus used the open source Former2 project to create infrastructure as code templates for their disaster recovery pipeline).

Some users have security concerns around entering their AWS credentials on an external website and prefer a private web instance. However, Former2 requires browser helper extension that only works with websites that has domain names, localhost, and

This CloudFormation template provisions a EC2 instance hosting former2 web codes, so that users can remote in from their browsers to generate IaC templates and download them.

Getting started

Download the CloudFormation template and use it in your AWS CloudFormation console. The EC2 instance to be provisioned must be in a network with internet connectivity; you can select default VPC and one of the default subnets.

Once provisioned, go to Outputs section.


Use the SSMSessionManager link value to change ec2-user password and RemoteWebConsole link value to login to graphical desktop in your browser. Within the session, open a browser to http://localhost to use Former2


Refer to Accelerate infrastructure as code development with open source Former2 blog post for Former2 usage instructions.


CloudFormation template downloads Former2 web codes from Ian Mckay's GitHub repo which are released under MIT license.

Updating web codes

Former2 is under active development. To download latest codes, login to EC2 instance and run /home/ec2-user/update-former2 script.

About remote web console

Remote web access is provided by NICE DCV server, and supports file transfer. Usage indicates acceptance of NICE DCV EULA.

file transfer

Native clients can be downloaded from

EC2 instance in private subnet

The CloudFormation template is designed to provision EC2 instance in public subnet. To provision EC2 in private subnet with internet connectivity, set displayPublicIP option to No


See CONTRIBUTING for more information.


This library is licensed under the MIT-0 License. See the LICENSE file.


Provisions EC2 web instance running former2 for generating IaC scripts from existing AWS resources




Code of conduct

Security policy