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MT4 on EC2

By Byrne Reese
Posted June 16, 2007.

aws.gifIn yet another very exciting development coming from the re-invigorated Movable Type community, Tim Appnel of Appnel Solutions and Blogcast, has put together a Movable Type 4.0 Image on Amazon's EC2 Service (Elastic Compute Cloud).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with EC2, it is a Web service offered by Amazon that allows users to create virtual machines on the Internet quickly and easily. Need a Fedora Server? Click, done. Need a Ubuntu machine? Click, done. And now: need a machine running Movable Type 4? Click, done.

It really is that simple. It's kinda scary. Amazon is simply doing some amazing stuff in the arena of Web services, from EC2 to S3. And they are real. Smug Mug, for example, detailed exactly how they were migrating all of photos to use Amazon's S3 storage solution and it saved themselves millions of dollars in the process. I know Tim has used EC2 to setup obscure testing environments for software he was developing, and I use their web services to maintain a back up of all my personal photos and to power Media Manager. I have read a lot of blog posts from around the Interweb from people speculating on who the "next Google" will be. My money is on Amazon. Amazon: not just for retail anymore kids.

Anyways, back to MT4 and EC2; there is one small catch: EC2 a closed Beta. It requires that you have an Amazon Web Services account that has been granted access to EC2. For those of you have an EC2 account, keep reading this post for instructions on how to access the instance, for everyone else, create an account at Amazon and sign up to use the EC2 service.

I would like to extend my special thanks to Tim for his help, support and especially his ingenuity and initiative in getting this project off the ground. Very cool stuff.


For those of you that have gotten into Amazon's EC2 beta, Tim has created a Movable Type 4.0 instance and has shared it with the public so that anyone participating in the EC2 beta can launch it at will.

Here are the vitals:
  • AMI ID: ami-5691743f
  • URL: http://your.ec2.instance/cgi-bin/mt/mt.cgi
  • MT Username: Melody
  • MT Password: Nelson
The instance Tim created is completely ready to go, perfect for people wanted to experiment or review the application.

Notes on Configuration

While this instance gives you a working MT system out of the box, there is one configuration setting that you'll need to perform -- you'll need to adjust the URL of the default blog to reflect the domain name or IP that has been assigned to your instance by EC2.

   1. Login to MT
   2. From the Dashboard (the screen you get after logging in)
   3. Select Blog Settings from under the Preferences menu
   4. The click "Publishing" in the left hand navigation
   5. Change the Site URL field to reflect your EC2 instance domain name or IP
   6. Click Save Changes at the bottom

Getting Access to EC2

Tim is one of the lucky ones having gotten access to EC2. Even some of us die hards at Six Apart don't even have out beta accounts (drat!). So Tim has been gracious enough to offer helping people get the access they need should they require it. He can't promise anything, but he might be able to help. Be nice to Tim and don't abuse his good will!



tima []

tima [] on December 4, 2007, 1:53 p.m. Reply

Here are a couple of updates on the MT4 on EC2 image:

The EC2 beta program is now open to virtually anyone who signs up for an account.

Each time an Amazon machine image (AMI) is updated the identifier changes. The AMI listed above is no longer current. Check the images home page for the most current ID number and any changes in the setup and bundling of the software. on December 9, 2007, 6:34 p.m. Reply

Hello Tim. Is the MT4 image production worthy? Or should it only be used for Development?

Thanks, Mike

Mike Lawren

Mike Lawren on August 30, 2012, 2:23 a.m. Reply

How much does this service cost?

Helena Oxford

Helena Oxford on September 23, 2012, 9:35 p.m. Reply

Byrne, some links in your article are no longer active.

Inchirieri Masini

Inchirieri Masini on October 17, 2012, 1:08 p.m. Reply

How much does this service cost ?

Gabriela Johnson

Gabriela Johnson on October 18, 2012, 8:52 p.m. Reply

Is there some kind of online help from Amazon or you which can help us create such kind of virtual machine? I am getting difficult to create some.

Steven Jonson

Steven Jonson on November 6, 2012, 5:29 a.m. Reply

Who will be the next Google? I bet on Google to remain, because they have the money and power to steel every interesting idea around them and to recreated it with their brand. Yes, they suffered with Google Wave and probably with Google+, but made a great deal with scanning books and giving them for free.

Emma Jones

Emma Jones on November 11, 2012, 10:29 p.m. Reply

Is it the same as the demo site made by Mihai Buskaru? Mihai’s site seems to be pretty cool in my opinion or there is something more on the Amazon version?

Matilda Johnson

Matilda Johnson on December 12, 2012, 5:19 a.m. Reply

This service looks great. Is it free of charge or there is a payment?

Lina Torstein

Lina Torstein on December 20, 2012, 6:52 a.m. Reply

Hi, I tried to log in into Amazon services, but it gave an error. For an user name Amazon wants e-mail, not a user name so I can use Melody as an user name. Can you help me, plz…

Byrne Reese

Byrne Reese was previously the Product Manager of Movable Type at Six Apart, where he had also held positions as the Manager of Platform Technology and Product Manager for TypePad. Byrne is a huge supporter of the Movable Type user and developer community. He dedicates much of his time to promoting and educating people about Movable Type as well as building the tools and plugins for Movable Type that are showcased on Majordojo. He contributes regularly to open source; and he is an advocate for open protocols and standards like Atom and OpenID.