Ajeet Raina Docker Captain, ARM Innovator & Docker Bangalore Community Leader.

Running LinuxKit on AWS Platform made easy

2 min read

With around 2800+ GITHUB stars, 54 contributors,  28 external, 50+ commits per week since the DockerCon launch, LinuxKit has really gained a lot of momentum among the community users. LinuxKit today supports multiple platforms – AWS, Hyper V, Azure, MacOS, Google Cloud Platform, Packets.net, VMware Fusion, QEMU & Local Hypervisors. Installation of LinuxKit on macOS has been simplified using Homebrew. Just 2 simple brew commands and moby is ready to build up your LinuxKit OS image.


Soon after DockerCon 2017, I wrote a blog post on how to get started with LinuxKit for Google Cloud Platform. Since then I have been closely keeping eye on the latest features, enablements & releases of LinuxKit. Under this blog post, I bring up a simplified approach to get LinuxKit OS instance running on top of Amazon Web Services(AWS) Platform.

Here we go..


  1. Install AWS CLI on macOS(Using Homebrew)
  2. Installing LinuxKit & Moby Tool(Using Homebrew)
  3. Configuring AWS S3 bucket
  4. Building a RAW image with Moby tool
  5. Configuring VM Import Service Role
  6. Upload the aws.raw Image to remote AWS S3 bucket using LinuxKit
  7. Run the LinuxKit OS as EC2 Instance 

Installing AWS CLI on macOS


Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 8.11.00 AM

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 8.12.14 AM


Setting the AWS_REGION environment variable as this is used by the AWS Go SDK:


$export AWS_REGION=ap-south-1


Installing LinuxKit & Moby tool:


$brew tap linuxkit/linuxkit

$brew install –HEAD moby

$brew install –HEAD linuxkit



Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 7.47.54 AM

Screen Shot 2017-06-20 at 8.08.07 AM


Creating/Configuring AWS S3 bucket:

Open up AWS Management console and click on S3 under AWS Services. It will open up the below page:

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 10.14.01 PM

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 10.15.19 PM

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 10.15.51 PM

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 10.16.28 PM


Building AWS RAW Image using Moby:

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 10.44.35 PM

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 10.46.30 PM


This builds up aws.raw which we need to push to AWS S3 bucket using the below command:


$linuxkit push aws -bucket linuxkit-images  -timeout 1200 aws.raw


This will throw the below error:

“…The sevice role <vmimport> does not exist or does not have sufficient permissions for the service to continue. status code: 400, request id: 0ce661fb-e9b4-40b8-af07-9da6a6fc3c94..”

Follow the next section to get it fixed..

Configuring VM Import Service Role 

VM Import requires a role to perform certain operations in your account, such as downloading disk images from an Amazon S3 bucket. You must create a role named vmimport with a trust relationship policy document that allows VM Import to assume the role, and you must attach an IAM policy to the role. I used this script to setup everything in a single shot:

Upload the aws.raw Image to remote AWS S3 bucket using LinuxKit

It’s time to push the RAW Image to S3 bucket:


$linuxkit push aws -bucket linuxkit-images -timeout 1200 aws.raw

Created AMI: ami-0a81fe65


Creating an instance


$linuxkit run aws aws

Created instance i-02b28f9f8eee1dcf2

Instance i-02b28f9f8eee1dcf2 is running



Open up your AWS Management console and you will soon see new instance coming up.

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 12.41.11 AM


Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 12.45.15 AM


Here you go.. AWS E2 instance running LinuxKit OS is up and running..

Did you find this blog helpful?  Feel free to share your experience. Get in touch @ajeetsraina

If you are looking out for contribution/discussion, join me at Docker Community Slack Channel.

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Ajeet Raina Docker Captain, ARM Innovator & Docker Bangalore Community Leader.

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