Jenkins on AWS

Jenkins is an open-source automation server that integrates with a number of AWS Services, such as AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeDeploy, Amazon EC2 Spot, and Amazon EC2 Fleet. You can use Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) to deploy a Jenkins application on AWS in a matter of minutes.

This tutorial walks you through the process of deploying a Jenkins application. You will launch an EC2 instance, install Jenkins on that instance, and configure Jenkins to automatically spin up Jenkins agents if build abilities need to be augmented on the instance.

In this tutorial, you will perform the following steps:

  1. Prerequisites

  2. Create a key pair using Amazon EC2 if you already have one, you can skip this step

  3. Create a security group for your Amazon EC2 instance if you already have one, you can skip this step

  4. Launch an Amazon EC2 instance

  5. Install and configure Jenkins

  6. Clean up


  1. An AWS account, if you don’t have one, you can register here

  2. An Amazon EC2 key pair, if you don’t have one, see the [Create a key pair using Amazon EC2] section.

Create a key pair

To create your key pair:

  1. Open the Amazon EC2 console at and sign in.

  2. In the navigation pane, under NETWORK & SECURITY, choose Key Pairs.

  3. Select Create key pair.

  4. For Name, enter a descriptive name for the key pair. Amazon EC2 associates the public key with the name that you specify as the key name. A key name can include up to 255 ASCII characters. It can’t include leading or trailing spaces.

  5. For File format, choose the format in which to save the private key. To save the private key in a format that can be used with OpenSSH, choose pem. To save the private key in a format that can be used with PuTTY, choose ppk.

  6. Select Create key pair.

  7. The private key file is automatically downloaded by your browser. The base file name is the name you specified as the name of your key pair, and the file name extension is determined by the file format you chose. Save the private key file in a safe place.

    This is the only chance for you to save the private key file.
  8. If you will use an SSH client on a macOS or Linux computer to connect to your Linux instance, use the following command to set the permissions of your private key file so that only you can read it.

$ chmod 400 <key_pair_name>.pem
If you do not set these permissions, then you cannot connect to your instance using this key pair. For more information, see Error: Unprotected private key file.

Create a security group

A security group acts as a firewall that controls the traffic allowed to reach one or more EC2 instances. When you launch an instance, you can assign it one or more security groups. You add rules to each security group that control the traffic allowed to reach the instances in the security group. Note that you can modify the rules for a security group at any time; the new rules take effect immediately.

For this tutorial, you will create a security group and add the following rules: * Allow inbound HTTP access from anywhere. * Allow inbound SSH traffic from your computer’s public IP address so that you can connect to your instance.

To create and configure your security group:

  • Decide who may access your instance, for example, a single computer or all trusted computers on a network. For this tutorial, you can use the public IP address of your computer. To find your IP address, use the checkip service from AWS3 or search for the phrase "what is my IP address" in any Internet search engine. If you are connecting through an ISP or from behind your firewall without a static IP address, you will need to find the range of IP addresses used by client computers. If you don’t know this address range, you can use for this tutorial. However, this is unsafe for production environments because it allows everyone to access your instance using SSH.

  • Sign in to the AWS Management Console.

  • Open the Amazon EC2 console by choosing EC2 under Compute.

ec2 service
  • In the left-hand navigation bar, choose Security Groups, and then click Create Security Group.

create security group
  • In Security group name enter WebServerSG or any preferred name of your choice and provide a description.

  • Choose your VPC from the list, you can use the default VPC.

  • On the Inbound tab, add the rules as follows:

    • Click Add Rule, and then choose SSH from the Type list. Under Source, select Custom and in the text box enter <public IP address range that you decided on in step 1>/32 i.e

    • Click Add Rule, and then choose HTTP from the Type list.

    • Click Add Rule, and then choose Custom TCP Rule from the Type list. Under Port Range enter 8080.

  • Click Create.

For more information, see Security Groups in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Linux Instances.

Launch an Amazon EC2 instance

To launch an EC2 instance:

  • Sign in to the the AWS Management Console.

  • Open the Amazon EC2 console by choosing EC2 under Compute.

  • From the Amazon EC2 dashboard, choose Launch Instance.

ec2 launch instance
  • The Choose an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) page displays a list of basic configurations called Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) that serve as templates for your instance. Select the HVM edition of the Amazon Linux AMI. Notice that this configuration is marked Free tier eligible.

ec2 choose ami
  • On the Choose an Instance Type page, the t2.micro instance is selected by default. Keep this instance type to stay within the free tier. Review and Launch.

ec2 choose instance type
  • On the Review Instance Launch page, click Edit security groups.

ec2 review instance launch
  • On the Configure Security Group page:

    • Select Select an existing security group.

    • Select the WebServerSG security group that you created.

    • Click Review and Launch.

select security group
  • On the Review Instance Launch page, click Launch.

review instance launch
  • In the Select an existing key pair or create a new key pair dialog box, select Choose an existing key pair, and then select the key pair you created in the [Create a key pair using Amazon EC2] section above or any existing key pair you intend to use.

select key pair
  • In the left-hand navigation bar, choose Instances to see the status of your instance. Initially, the status of your instance is pending. After the status changes to running, your instance is ready for use.

ec2 view created instance

Install and configure Jenkins

In this step you will deploy Jenkins on your EC2 instance by completing the following tasks:

Connect to your Linux instance

After you launch your instance, you can connect to it and use it the way that you would use your local machine.

Before you connect to your instance, get the public DNS name of the instance using the Amazon EC2 console. Select the instance and locate Public DNS.

ec2 public dns
If your instance doesn’t have a public DNS name, open the VPC console, select the VPC, and check the Summary tab. If either DNS resolution or DNS hostnames is no, click Edit and change the value to yes.


The tool that you use to connect to your Linux instance depends on the operating system running on your computer. If your computer runs Windows, you will connect using PuTTY. If your computer runs Linux or Mac OS X, you will connect using the SSH client. These tools require the use of your key pair. Be sure that you created your key pair as described in [Create a key pair using Amazon EC2].

Using PuTTY to connect to your instance

  • From the Start menu, choose All Programs > PuTTY > PuTTY.

  • In the Category pane, select Session, and complete the following fields:

    • In Host Name, enter ec2-user@public_dns_name.

    • Ensure that Port is 22.

ec2 putty
  • In the Category pane, expand Connection, expand SSH, and then select Auth. Complete the following:

    • Click Browse.

    • Select the .ppk file that you generated for your key pair, as described in [Create a key pair using Amazon EC2] and then click Open.

    • Click Open to start the PuTTY session.

putty select key pair

Using SSH to connect to your instance

  • Use the ssh command to connect to the instance. You will specify the private key (.pem) file and ec2-user@public_dns_name.

$ ssh -i /path/my-key-pair.pem ec2-user@ec2-198-51-

You will see a response like the following:

The authenticity of host ' (' cant be

RSA key fingerprint is 1f:51:ae:28:bf:89:e9:d8:1f:25:5d:37:2d:7d:b8:ca:9f:f5:f1:6f.

Are you sure you want to continue connecting
  • Enter yes.

You will see a response like the following:

Warning: Permanently added '' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.

Download and install Jenkins

To download and install Jenkins:

  • To ensure that your software packages are up to date on your instance, use the following command to perform a quick software update:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum update –y
  • Add the Jenkins repo using the following command:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/jenkins.repo \
  • Import a key file from Jenkins-CI to enable installation from the package:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo rpm --import
[ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum upgrade
  • Install Java:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo amazon-linux-extras install java-openjdk11 -y
  • Install Jenkins:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo yum install jenkins -y
  • Enable the Jenkins service to start at boot:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo systemctl enable jenkins
  • Start Jenkins as a service:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo systemctl start jenkins

You can check the status of the Jenkins service using the command:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo systemctl status jenkins

Configure Jenkins

Jenkins is now installed and running on your EC2 instance. To configure Jenkins:

  • Connect to http://<your_server_public_DNS>:8080 from your favorite browser. You will be able to access Jenkins through its management interface:

unlock jenkins
  • As prompted, enter the password found in /var/lib/jenkins/secrets/initialAdminPassword.

Use the following command to display this password:

[ec2-user ~]$ sudo cat /var/lib/jenkins/secrets/initialAdminPassword
  • The Jenkins installation script directs you to the Customize Jenkins page. Click Install suggested plugins.

  • Once the installation is complete, Create First Admin User, click Save and Continue.

create admin user
  • On the left-hand side, click Manage Jenkins, and then click Manage Plugins.

  • Click on the Available tab, and then enter Amazon EC2 plugin at the top right.

  • Select the checkbox next to Amazon EC2 plugin, and then click Install without restart.

install ec2 plugin
  • Once the installation is done, click Back to Dashboard.

  • Click on Configure a cloud.

configure cloud
  • Click Add a new cloud, and select Amazon EC2. A collection of new fields appears.

  • Fill out all the fields. (Note: You will have to Add Credentials of the kind AWS Credentials.)

You are now ready to use EC2 instances as Jenkins agents.

Clean up

After completing this tutorial, be sure to delete the AWS resources that you created so that you do not continue to accrue charges.

Delete your EC2 instance

  1. In the left-hand navigation bar of the Amazon EC2 console, choose Instances.

  2. Right-click on the instance you created earlier and select Terminate.

terminate instance