When you lose your Amazon Web Services EC2 key pair

Ummm... So, a friend of mine, hypothetically speaking that is, might have, maybe, lost his or her Amazon Web Services Ec2 key pair. Okay, in reality I lost my key pair.

Like all of the other key pairs / passwords I use I figured that the next time I needed to access my instance I would visit the AWS Management Console and download a new key pair. No!

How to regenerate an AWS EC2 key pair for an EBS backed instance

  1. Shut down your instance
  2. Select Instance Actions for the instance and generate an AMI from the instance
  3. Launch a new instance and select the AMI you just created
  4. Select and download the new key pair
  5. Start your new instance and confirm that the new key pair works (on my Ubuntu instance the key is set to work with user ubuntu)
  6. Terminate your original instance

It didn't take to long and now my new instance is up and running with all of the old data. I now have backed up my private key somewhere that I hopefully will not lose it again.