How to start the Windows AMI and get the Administrator password?
You can find the Bitnami AMIs for Windows in the Amazon Management Console. Select the option "Public Images" in the "Viewing" selector and "Windows" platform. Fill in the filter field with the "bitnami" string or you may also try to look for the the latest version putting the identifier shown in the Bitnami download page "ami-...".
Once you have finished the launching process, you should wait until Amazon returns the Windows Administrator password (Please note that this may take several minutes). This password is generated on first boot and should be fetched before stopping the server in order to be able to connect to the machine.
In case you are using Amazon Console, you should choose "Get Windows Password" option and copy your Amazon private key to decrypt it to the real value.
Alternatively, you can get the password using the Amazon API tools as follows:
$ ec2-get-password i-xyz -C path/to/amazon/cert.pem -K path/to/amazon/key.pem -k path/to/server/private/key.pem
How to connect to the Windows AMI?
Unlike Linux based Amazon Machine Images, Windows AMIs are not accessible through the SSH protocol. In this case, you will need to use a graphical client in order to access to the machine. Before connecting you should:
- Get the auto-generated Administrator password after launching the instance as we described in previous section.
- Assure that the security group that you are using has the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) port open, that is TCP 3389.
Then, you can use several clients to connect to your Windows AMI.
On Linux: You can use rDesktop which usually is installed on most popular Linux distributions (we recommend to use rdesktop 1.7+). You can execute it directly from the command line:
$ rdesktop -u Administrator -p 'your-password' ec2-xyz.compute-1.amazonaws.com
On Windows: You can use the Remote Desktop Connection tool which you can find at "Start -> All Programs -> Accessories". The Windows user is "Administrator".
On OS X: The Apple Remote Desktop is a commercial tool that you can buy in the App Store. You can use the CoRD tool that you can find at http://cord.sourceforge.net/
Once connected, you will see Windows Server desktop like this: