AWS Systems Manager, or SSM, is AWS’ main tool for visibility and management of the EC2 infrastructure. It works across different server types (e.g. Linux of different distros, Windows) and it lets the user see and take action, from inventory and file management, to automated actions such as patching, installing components or even running more complex automated workflows. SSM allows to manage the entire fleet without having to manually log in and run ad-hoc commands.
Every instance of Ubuntu server and Ubuntu Pro server comes with the AWS Systems Manager (SSM) agent installed. To enable it, it is only necessary to attach an IAM role that will allow the agent to interact with SSM.
In this how-to, we are going to see how to use AWS SSM Session Manager to log in into your instance without having to open SSH connections, avoiding opening ports, maintaining a KeyPair file or deploying bastion hosts for accessing your servers.
What you’ll learn
- How to create the role needed for enabling SSM in your Ubuntu instance
- What is a managed instance in SSM
- How to log in into your server without using SSH
What you’ll need
- An AWS account
- Basic understanding of AWS: EC2, IAM Roles
- A security group with outbound access to port 443