Amazon ec2 is cloud based hosting service which is free for 1 year for new customers. You can host your website, blog, any experiment project on dedicated Linux box.

I have been looking for VPS hosting service to host my Node.js demos because shared hosting is still not providing this service. After all my research, Amazon ec2 is my choice.

In this post i’ll take you through step by step configuration and installation of Nodejs development environment in Amazon EC2 linux box.

Agenda :

If you are going to follow each step then completion will take around 30-40 minutes. We are going to cover following steps. If you have done any already i suggest you to jump on next.

Step 1 : Create account at Amazon

Go to Amazon Ec2 pageand create new account. They will ask you to provide billing information so make sure you have supported credit card. They won’t charge you for first year but billing after completion of free year.

Step 2 : Launch EC2 instance

Login to AWS console. You should see screen like below, click on “EC2” present in “Compute” section.
Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.20.57 PM

Click on Instances and then click on “Launch Instances”. This will take you to a setup wizard. First step is choosing Operating System for your EC2 instance. Choose any which you are familiar with, i chose Amazon Linux.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.29.06 PM

Next you need to choose the Hardware configuration for your EC2 instance, this is little technical and choices may vary depending on your need. I chose Intel Xeon 2.5 GHZ 1 GB Ram Machine which is default and free for 1 Year.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.30.35 PM

Next step is configuration of EC2 instance, no need to worry about this click on Next and you should see storage configuration screen.

I chose default i.e 8 GB but in free tier you can use up to 30 GB storage. If you want more than that then they will setup billing accordingly and charge from your credit card.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.34.30 PM

Next step is tagging Instances which is not that important, you can skip it too. Next screen is important which is configuring the security group. In this you need to allow HTTP port 80 for your web application.

Click on Add rule, choose type as HTTP and it will automatically assign port 80 to it.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.38.17 PM

All right, this is it. Review your EC2 instance and click on launch. It will take few minutes to setup and you will see your Amazon EC2 running.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.39.34 PM

One more thing. Once you click on launch, Amazon will ask you to create key pair which is very important. Select create new pair and give a name to your private key, once done click on “Download keypair” and Launch the instance.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.41.24 PM

Download this key and store it some where, by using this you will be able to connect to your Linux box.

Click on Launch and you should see similar screen like this in a minute.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.44.18 PM

Congratulation ! Your Amazon EC2 is up and running.

Connecting to your Amazon EC2 Linux box.

I hope you have downloaded your private key somewhere in your computer. Now if you are using Windows you might need to use Putty. I use Mac and i will show you how to connect using basic SSH using our private keypair. You can use SSH on Linux machine too.

First of all, copy “Public DNS” from instance screen shown in step 2. Open up your terminal and switch to the folder where you have downloaded the key file.

First set the access mode to this file to readable to you only else Amazon will not consider this file and gives you message regarding public mode and threat to security. So run this command.

sudo chmod 400

Now to connect to your Amazon EC2 Linux box, run following command in your Terminal.

sudo ssh -i  [email protected]

sudo ssh -i sample.pem [email protected]

Here is my screen.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 1.55.56 PM

All right. You are now connected to your Amazon EC2 box. Its time to install Node.js and NPM and run simple Express server.

Installing Node.js and NPM on Amazon EC2

Switch to the home folder using following command.

cd /home/ec2-user/

First of all update the Amazon system using following command.

sudo yum update

This is going to take some time so be patient.
Screen Shot 2015-05-16 at 8.39.57 PM

Yum package manager have no direct node.js or node repository so you need to manually download and compile the node.js binary package. This step will take some time so make sure you grab a coffee before starting.

1 : Install GCC++ and Make.

sudo yum install gcc-c++ make

2 : Install openssl-dev.

sudo yum install openssl-devel

3: Install git

sudo yum install git

Execute these commands one by one and then run following.

1 : Download latest version of Node.js

git clone git://

Switch to node folder.

cd node

In order to install Node.js, you need to switch to latest branch of it. Current stable version at the time of writing this tutorial is v0.12.2.

Run this command to switch to branch.

git checkout v0.12.2

Run following command one by one.

sudo make install

Above steps will take around 10-15 minute to complete. Once done you should be able to use node.js in your Amazon EC2 system.

Install NPM :

Before installing any node modules in your system we need to add path where those modules should get installed. To do so, you need to edit sudoers file. Here is how to do so.

sudo su
vi /etc/sudoers

Once VI editor is opened, find this line.

Defaults    secure_path = /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin

Once found, press “i” key to go in insert mode in VI and at the end of this line add following.


Or replace it with this.

Defaults    secure_path = /sbin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/local/bin

In order to save your changes, press ESC key and type “wq” and hit ENTER in VI editor.

All right, let’s install NPM module.

1 : Clone the NPM.

git clone

2 : Install the NPM.

cd npm
sudo make install

Wait for few minutes and you are done !

Say “Hello World”

Congratulations ! We have finally setup and install the Amazon EC2 and Node.js. It’s time to test the setup. Let’s create one simple project and print “Hello World”.

Create a new folder and switch to that folder. create package.json using VI and paste this code.

"name": "sample",
"version": "0.0.1",
"dependencies": {
"express": "^4.12.3"


npm install

to install Express.

Create app.js file and paste following code.

var express = require("express");
var app = express();


Hello from EC2



Run this app using following command.

sudo node app.js

Make sure you use SUDO for it. Visit your public DNS and you should see screen like this.

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 2.29.08 PM

Conclusion :

Amazon is one of the best cloud provides and above all they let us try their System for free. You can use it to host your project, blog, website or anything. We have covered almost everything you need to get started but there are still some configuration left like mapping domains to EC2 instance. Will cover it later. Make sure you consider working with a design specialist if you have little knowledge about web design as they can help you in creating a good rating website.