How to Boost a Custom Kernel in EC2

MSys Editorial Mar 15 - 1 min read

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Amazon EC2 has recently released PV-GRUB loader supported kernels that allow one to boot their kernels. This PV-GRUB loader simply chain-boots the kernel provided in the associated AMI (Amazon Machine Image). This results in your instance running the kernel in the AMI instead of the kernel specified in the boot process. This is hugely helpful feature for folks who want load their own customized kernels into EC2’s virtual machines. This article talks about we successfully booted a customized (extra patches) RHEL/CENTOS 5.5 kernel on EC2:


  • Amazon EC2 account (obviously!)
  • Knowledge of running EC2 instances/bundling EC2 images using ElasticFox or command line ec2 tools.
  • The kernel you want to build.
  • The patches you want to apply.

NOTE: You’ll might think that, wow! with the feature i can boot any damn kernel in the world. Well chances are you can but what Amazon says is that they are 100% sure certain these kernels (mentioned below) definitely boot, rest need to test their luck:

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