setting up minecraft and teamspeak servers on ec2

Always wanted to try the Amazon EC2 instances for something. Kids wanted a Minecraft server, and I did not wish start hosting them inhouse and letting some random kids in the network. So EC2 seemed an interesting choice. There are good guide to do the basic setup all over the internets. Just a few notes of interest:

Opening ports requires setting them open in the security groups. I started by creating a new security group and adding the gameserver ports there. Then spent few hours trying to figure our why I cannot even telnet to the port even if everything seems to be right. Well, it turns out when I launched the instance, a security group was created with the default SSH rule in it. Then the instance is associated to a single security group, which was this group.. And when I created a new group it had nothing to do with my instance. So adding this instance to the group with the SSH rule made it work. Whooppee. Used a few lines of Python hello world socket server to test with telnet. Was handy.

The free instances are also limited to some 700+ hours per month for a year. What does this mean then for the pricing? How is it calculated I ask.. Well if I stop the instance I figure it stops charging those hours while they are stopped. I can also create several instances and they all combine to contribute and suck up my 700+ hours per month. So running 2 instances gives me some 350+ hours per month. But stopping them when not in use makes it possible to use them longer. Extra work though to start and stop them for the kids.

So I installed a Teamspeak server on another instance. And created new users for that. Did not open ports for filetransfer as I do not see any reason for files to be transferred there. Will see if it works..

Also, wanted to run the server software on “screen” to keep it going. But the problem is, I wanted to create a new user for that. And this user had no permission to create a screen as I had to “su username” to log in as that user. Well, couldn’t really SSH in as them either due to only key auth and blaablaa. Info here helped address it:

So I ran “script /dev/null” to be able to start screen for the new user. Works whooppee.

Well, thats that. I think some of that information could be useful for any use of EC2 instances, but whatever..

As a final note, there sure seem to be a lot of nice services there on Amazon WS. Should try them out more, seem rather handy, they do..


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