Tool to create AWS EC2 instances consistently with pre-configured settings. The pre-configured settings are stored in the profiles folder of the current project directory. Example:
- profiles/default.yml: Default settings. Used when no profile is specified.
- profiles/myserver.yml: myserver profile. Used when
--profile myserveris specified.
How It Works
In a nutshell, the profile parameters are passed to the ruby aws-sdk AWS::EC2::Client#run_instances method. This allows you to specify any parameter you wish that is available in the aws-sdk. To check out what a profile looks like check out example default profile.
Usage: Quick Start
forger new ec2 # generates starter skeleton project cd ec2 forger create myserver # creates instance
Useful new options
forger new generates a project with some starting values for the files in the
profiles folders. You likely want to edit these values using your own values. Things like security groups, subnets, iam role, and the s3_folder option are useful settings to modify. You can also specify a lot of these values as a part of the
new command. Example:
forger new ec2 --security-group sg-11223344 --iam MyIamRole --key-name my-keypair --s3-folder my-bucket/my-folder
Notably, using the
--s3-folder option generates a project that make use of the
app/scripts files and inserts some bash code into your user-data script that downloads and extracts the files. For more help:
forger new -h
Usage: More Details
forger create NAME --profile PROFILE forger create myserver --profile myserver
You can do a test run with the
--noop flag. This will print out what settings will be used to launch the instance. This is one good way to inspect the generated user-data script.
forger create myserver --profile myserver --noop cat /tmp/forger/ec2/user-data.txt # to view generated user-data script
Conventional Profile Name
If there is a profile name that matches the EC2 specified instance name, you can omit the
--profile flag. Example
forger create webserver --profile webserver forger create webserver # same as above
It is useful to add a random string to the end of your server name, but not use it for the
--profile flag. Example:
forger create myserver-abc --profile myserver forger create myserver-123 --profile myserver
You can use the
--randomize option to do this automatically:
forger create myserver --randomize
|app/helpers||Custom helpers methods. Define them as modules and their methods are made available whenever ERB is available:
|app/partials||Your partials that can to be included in other scripts. This is used in conjunction with the
|app/scripts||Where you define common scripts that can be used to configure the server. These scripts can be automatically uploaded to an s3 bucket for later downloading in your user-data script by setting the
|app/user_data||Your user-data scripts that are used to bootstrap EC2 instance.|
|app/user_data/layouts||user-data scripts support layouts. You user-data layouts go in here.|
|config/[FORGER_ENV].yml||The config file where you set configs that you want available in your templating logic. Examples are:
|profiles||Your profile files. These files mainly contain parameters that are passed to the aws-sdk run_instances API method.|
|tmp||Where the generated scripts get compiled to. You can manually invoke the compilation via
You can use ERB in the profile files. Some useful helper methods are documented here:
|user_data||Allows you to embed a generated user_data script. More details on the user-data are provided in the user data section below.|
|config||Access to the variables set in config/[AWS_EC2_ENV].yml. Examples are
|latest_ami||Returns an AMI id by searching the AMI name pattern and sorting in reverse order. Example:
|search_ami||Returns a collection of AMI image objects based on a search pattern. The query searches on the AMI name.|
|extract_scripts||Use this in your bash script to extract the
For a full list of all the template helpers check out: lib/forger/template/helper.
You can also define custom helpers in the
app/helpers folder as ruby modules with the naming convention
*_helper.rb. For example, you would define a
module FooHelper in
app/helpers/foo_helper.rb. Custom helpers are first-class citizens and have access to the same variables, methods, and scope as built-in helpers.
You can provide a user-data script to customize the server upon launch. The user-data scripts are located under the
app/user_data folder. Example:
The user-data script is generated on the machine that is running the forger command. If this is your local macosx machine, then the context of your local macosx machine is available. To see the generated user-data script, you can run the create command in
--noop mode and then inspect the generated script. Example:
forger create myserver --noop cat /tmp/forger/ec2/user-data.txt
Another way to view the generated user-data scripts is the
forger compile command. It generates the files in the
tmp folder. Example:
forger compile # generates files in tmp folder
To use the user-data script when creating an EC2 instance, use the
user_data helper method in the profile file. Here's a grep of an example profile that uses the helper to show you want it looks like. Be sure to surround the ERB call with quotes because the user-data script context is base64 encoded.
$ grep user_data profiles/default.yml user_data: "<%= user_data("bootstrap") %>"
User-data scripts support layouts. This is useful if you have common setup and finish code with your user-data scripts. Here's an example:
#!/bin/bash # do some setup <%= yield %> # finish work
yum install -y vim
The resulting generated user-data script will be:
#!/bin/bash # do some setup yum install -y vim # finish work
You can specify the layout to use when you call the
user_data helper method in your profile. Example:
--- ... user_data: <%= user_data("box.sh", layout: "mylayout" ) %> ...
If there's a
layouts/default.sh, then it will automatically be used without having to specify the layout option. You can disable this behavior by passing in
layout: false or by deleting the
You can set variables in a config file and they are available when ERB is available: profiles, user-data, scripts, etc. Example
--- subnets: - subnet-123 - subnet-456 - subnet-789 security_group_ids: - sg-123
The variables are accessed via the
config helper method. Here's a filtered example where it shows the relevant part of a profile:
image_id: ami-4fffc834 # Amazon Lambda AMI instance_type: t2.medium security_group_ids: <%= config["security_group_ids"] %> subnet_id: <%= config["subnets"].shuffle %> ...
config/settings.yml file controls the internal behavior of forger. It is different from config files which are meant for user defined varibles. Settings variables are for internal use. Example:
development: # By setting s3_folder, forger will automatically tarball and upload your scripts # to set. You then can then use the extract_scripts helper method to download # the scripts onto the server. s3_folder: my-bucket/forger # compile_clean: true # uncomment to clean at the end of a compile # extract_scripts: # to: "/opt" # as: "ec2-user" production:
There is only one hook:
before_run_instances. You can configure this with
--- before_run_instances: /path/to/my/script.sh
This will run
/path/to/my/script.sh as a shelled out command before the
Dotenv File Support
You can set and configure environment variables in
.env* files. Examples of this are in the example project. The env files are loaded in this order of precedence.
An concrete example,
FORGER_ENV=development (development is the default)
You are able to reference these values in the
config/[FORGER_ENV].yml files with ERB.
To create AMIs you can use the
forger ami command. This command launches an EC2 instance with the specified profile and creates an AMI after the user-data script successfully completes. It does this by appending an AMI creation script at the end of the user-data script. It is recommended to use the
set -e option in your user-data script so that any error halts the script and the AMI does not get created.
After the AMI is successfully created, the instance will also terminate itself automatically so you do not have to worry about cleanup. This is also done with an appended script. For more help run
forger ami help.
For the instance to image and terminate itself, the EC2 IAM role for the instance requires IAM permissions for:
- aws ec2 create-image
- aws ec2 cancel-spot-instance-requests # in case a spot instance was used
- aws ec2 terminate-instances
Spot Instance Support
Spot instance is natively supported by the AWS
run_instances command by adding the
instance_market_options to the parameters in the profile file. The available spot market options are available here:
An example of a spot instance profile is provided in example/profiles/spot.yml.
The output of the logs like
/var/log/cloud-init-output.log can get sent to CloudWatch. This gets enabled with the
--cloudwatch flag. Example:
forger create myserver --cloudwatch
CloudWatch support only works for some OSes and is still somewhat experimental. Here's the OS check in the source: lib/forger/scripts/cloudwatch.sh.
Note, CloudWatch logs take a few seconds to send from the EC2 instance to CloudWatch. So when using the
--auto-terminate option the instance might be terminated before all the logs get sent. So you might not capture all the logs. You can add a sleep 10 at the bottom of your user-data script if you think this is happening.
forger create help forger ami help forger compile help forger help # general help
Examples are in the example folder. You will have to update settings like your subnet and security group ids.
gem install forger
This tool mainly uses the ruby aws-sdk. Though it does use the aws cli to check your region:
aws configure get region. It also the uses
aws s3 sync to perform the scripts upload. So it is dependent on the the
- Fork it
- Create your feature branch (
git checkout -b my-new-feature)
- Commit your changes (
git commit -am "Add some feature")
- Push to the branch (
git push origin my-new-feature)
- Create new Pull Request