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ec2-net-utils for Fedora/systemd

This is a fork of Amazon's ec2-utils with modifications to support Elastic Network Interfaces (ENI) under systemd.

The spec file produces two RPMs: ec2-utils and ec2-net-utils. The ec2-net-utils RPM contains ENI support. It allows you to attach an ENI to a running instance and have it work as you would expect. Hurray!

The ec2-utils RPM just contains a shell script to lookup instance metadata.


Builds are available on Copr. Drop the .repo in your repos.d, then yum install ec2-net-utils

  • Imporant! Don't forget to enable the elastic-network-interfaces systemd unit, or ENI's won't work at boot!

OS Support

  • ✓ Fedora 20
  • ? Fedora 21 (should work, as it is using network-scripts according to the cloud kickstart)
  • ? Fedora 19 not tested with recent changes
  • ? CentOS7 I don't think there's an official AMI yet
  • ✗ RHEL7 - the AMI uses Network Manager

How does it work

A udev rule runs ec2net.hotplug when a device is added or removed, which is a script that writes interface config, including source route setup. It relies on the primary interface having come up so it can query AWS metadata.

Another udev rule starts the ec2-ifup@ service when an interface is added, and a third one runs /sbin/ifdown on device removal. The original version from AWS relied on net.hotplug to do this, which has been removed from Fedora.

Finally, elastic-network-interfaces.service is run late in the boot process. It calls ec2ifscan which fires another udev add event for any interface which is not configured. This handles the case of booting with an ENI that ec2net.hotplug hasn't had a chance to configure yet.


  • udev add events are fired during boot, during 'attach', and a second time during boot for the unconfigured case. Meanwhile, network-scripts expects to manage any interface with a cfg that exists at boot. So the udev events have to be ignored in the appropriate cases.
  • Fedora 20 uses a kernel feature (address lifetime) which removes expired addresses, even if dhclient isn't running. So dhclient must be kept running or the address will be dropped.
  • Systemd kills any long-running processes that are spawned by scripts that are run by udev. To be kept alive, dhclient must be started by a service started by udev (hence ec2-ifup@).

This is a mess!

Yeah, but it's not easy to untangle it from network-scripts without porting to NetworkManager, and it's not clear if NetworkManager is even the way forward (with systemd-networkd on the horizon). If Amazon Linux ever switches to systemd, they'll probably come up with a cleaner solution.