(R)?ex the friendly automation framework



The Rex-1.12.2 release is now available on CPAN. It fixes various regressions, as well as bugs around file management. Upgrade is highly recommended for all users.


The Rex-1.12.1 release is now available on CPAN. It adds documentation for feature flags, and fixes a release packaging issue.


The Rex-1.12.0 release is now available on CPAN. It adds support for local rsync operations, improves tab completion for Bash and Zsh, and fixes related bugs. It also discontinues support for running Rex on Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, and older versions since both mainstream and extended support has already ended for these products.

Rex on StackShare

Thanks to the support from their amazing team, Rex is now listed on StackShare.


The Rex-1.11.0 release is now available on CPAN. It enhances the behaviour of sysctl and file management, fixes bugs about group management and OpenSSH connection options, and clarifies quite a bit of documentation.



Need Help?

Rex is a pure open source project, you can find community support in the following places:

Professional support is also available.

» Home » Docs » Guides » Cloud management » Manage your Amazon EC2 instances

Manage your Amazon EC2 instances

Starting Point

In this howto i will show you how to create and manage your Amazon EC2 instances.


Creating a Rexfile

At first you need to create a Rexfile in a directory of your choice.

$ mkdir amazon
$ cd amazon
$ touch Rexfile

Open the Rexfile in your preferred editor.

Insert the following code in your new Rexfile.

use Rex -feature => ['1.0'];
use Rex::Commands::Cloud;

user "root";
public_key "/path/to/your/just/created/amazon-public.key";
private_key "/path/to/your/just/downloaded/amazon-private-key.pem";

my $access_key        = "your-access-key";
my $secret_access_key = "your-secret-key";

cloud_service "Amazon";
cloud_auth "$access_key", "$secret_access_key";
cloud_region "ec2.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com";

task "create", sub {
    cloud_instance create => {
        image_id => "ami-02103876",
        name     => "static01",
        key      => "dev-test",

This task create a new Amazon EC2 instance with no EBS block device.

Create an instance with an EBS block volume

Sometimes you need an instance with a persistent storage volume. To achieve this your can use an EBS block volume.

task "create", sub {
    my $vol_id = cloud_volume create => { size => 1, zone => "eu-west-1a", };
    cloud_instance create => {
        image_id => "ami-02103876",
        name     => "static01",
        key      => "dev-test",
        volume   => $vol_id,
        zone     => "eu-west-1a",

Listing Regions and zones

To get a list of all regions and zone you can use the following functions.

task "list", sub {
    print Dumper get_cloud_regions;
    print Dumper get_cloud_availability_zones;

List your instances

To get a list of all your instances and volumes you can use these functions.

task "list", sub {
    print Dumper cloud_instance_list;
    print Dumper cloud_volume_list;

Destroy your instances / volumes

If you don't need your instances or volumes anymore, you can just destroy them.

task "destroy", sub {
    cloud_volume delete      => "$volume_id";
    cloud_instance terminate => "$instance_id";

Put all your EC2 instances in a host group

If you have many instances you can easily add them all into a hostgroup.

group ec2 => get_cloud_instances_as_group();

Installing some Software and run Rex

Now we need to add some software to our fresh EC2 instance.

task "prepare",
  group => "ec2",
  sub {
    run "apt-get update";
    install package => "apache2";

    service apache2 => "ensure", "started";

    # deploy your webapp, see Rex::Apache::Deploy for more information.
    deploy "my-site.tar.gz";

    # or upload some files
    file "/etc/passwd", source => "/etc/passwd";

    # do what ever you want
    use Rex::Commands::Iptables;
    close_port "all";

Now you can run Rex to create the instance and prepare the system for use.

$ rex create prepare
[2011-08-06 10:25:58] (5783) - INFO - Running task: create
[2011-08-06 10:26:38] (5783) - INFO - Running task: prepare
[2011-08-06 10:26:38] (5801) - INFO - Connecting to (root)
[2011-08-06 10:27:14] (5801) - INFO - Installing apache2.
[2011-08-06 10:27:30] (5801) - INFO - Uploadling files/index.html -> /var/www/index.html

Proudly powered by Statocles

Google Group / Twitter / GitHub / Mailinglist / irc.freenode.net #rex   -.ô.-   Disclaimer