Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a popular web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. EC2 instances can be launched in a variety of ways, including using Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), which are pre-configured images that include an operating system and any necessary software. These instances are launched with a key pair, which consists of a public key and a private key. In order to connect to an EC2 instance, you need to have the private key in PEM format. This article will explain how to convert an EC2 key pair to PEM format.
What is an EC2 Key Pair?
An EC2 key pair is a pair of cryptographic keys that are used to encrypt and decrypt data. There are two types of keys in a key pair: a public key and a private key. The public key is used to encrypt data, while the private key is used to decrypt data. In the context of EC2, the key pair is used to encrypt and decrypt login information for instances.
What is PEM Format?
PEM stands for Privacy Enhanced Mail, which is a format for storing cryptographic keys. PEM format is a base64-encoded ASCII format that includes header and footer lines. The header line begins with “—–BEGIN”, while the footer line begins with “—–END”. PEM format is commonly used for storing SSL certificates, private keys, and public keys.
Converting an EC2 Key Pair to PEM Format
To convert an EC2 key pair to PEM format, you will need to use the OpenSSL command-line tool. OpenSSL is a widely-used open source library that provides a range of cryptographic functions. Here are the steps to convert an EC2 key pair to PEM format:
Step 1: Log in to the EC2 Instance
First, you will need to log in to the EC2 instance using SSH. This requires that you have the private key in the original format that was downloaded when you launched the instance.
Step 2: Copy the Private Key to the Local Machine
Once you are logged in to the EC2 instance, you will need to copy the private key to your local machine. You can do this using the scp command. Here is an example command:
scp -i <path_to_pem_key> ec2-user@<public_dns_name>:/home/ec2-user/<key_name>.pem .
This command copies the private key file from the EC2 instance to the current directory on your local machine. Replace
<path_to_pem_key> with the path to your PEM key,
<public_dns_name> with the public DNS name of your EC2 instance, and
<key_name> with the name of your key pair.
Step 3: Convert the Private Key to PEM Format
Once you have the private key file on your local machine, you can convert it to PEM format using the OpenSSL command-line tool. Here is the command:
openssl rsa -in <key_name>.pem -outform PEM > <key_name>.pem
This command reads in the private key file in the original format and outputs it in PEM format. Replace
<key_name> with the name of your key pair.
Step 4: Verify the PEM Key
Finally, you can verify that the private key has been converted to PEM format by opening the file in a text editor. The key should begin with “—–BEGIN” and end with “—–END”. You can also use the OpenSSL command-line tool to verify the key:
openssl rsa -in <key_name>.pem -noout -text
This command will output information about the key, including its format and the public key.
FAQs for Amazon EC2 Convert Key to PEM
What is Amazon EC2?
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
What is a key pair in Amazon EC2?
In Amazon EC2, a key pair is a set of public and private keys that you can use to securely SSH into your instances. The private key is used to decrypt messages encrypted with the public key, while the public key is used to encrypt messages encrypted with the private key.
What is a PEM file?
A PEM file is a format for storing a public or private key. PEM stands for Privacy Enhanced Mail, a format that was originally used for secure email. PEM files are commonly used in the context of web servers and SSH clients to store SSL certificates and private keys.
How do I convert a key pair to PEM format in Amazon EC2?
To convert a key pair to PEM format in Amazon EC2, you can use the AWS Management Console, AWS CLI, or an SDK. In the AWS Management Console, navigate to the EC2 Dashboard, select the key pair you want to convert, and click on the “Actions” button. From the dropdown menu, select “Export public key” or “Export private key” to download the PEM files.
What is the difference between a public key and a private key?
A public key is used for encrypting messages or data, while a private key is used for decrypting messages or data. In the context of Amazon EC2, a public key is used to encrypt login credentials, while a private key is used to decrypt those credentials and authenticate the user.
What are the benefits of using a PEM file?
Using a PEM file makes it easy to manage your key pairs in Amazon EC2. The file format is widely supported by SSH clients and web servers, making it easy to use your key pair across multiple environments. Additionally, PEM files are small and can be easily shared with other developers or system administrators.