(R)?ex the friendly automation framework



Rex-1.14.3 is now available on CPAN. It contains bug fixes for local package installation, command existence checks, and Git tests.


The Rex-1.14.2 release is now available on CPAN. It contains bug fixes for running local commands on Windows, cloning git repositories, and test suite fixes for the upcoming perl-5.38.0 release.

Call for papers TPRC 2023

Dean Hamstead from the The Perl and Raku Foundation Marketing Committee has sent an invitation to present about Rex at TPRC 2023. I’m posting it here to increase visibility.


The Rex-1.14.1 release is now available on CPAN. It contains bug fixes and documentation updates.


The Rex-1.14.0 release is now available on CPAN. It contains improved Rexfile loading, documentation updates, and bumps the minimum required Perl version to 5.12.5.


Learning automation using Rex

Ferenc Erki (FErki) will be the guest of Gábor Szabó on the next Code Maven live stream to learn about automation using Rex. Register for the free event via Code Maven or Meetup, and join the discussion!

Unexpected use cases with Rex

Unexpected use cases with Rex at the 22nd German Perl/Raku Workshop 2020 in Erlangen by Ferenc Erki (FErki).

Rex & Friends

Rex & Friends talk at the Barcelona Perl & Friends 2019 by Ferenc Erki (FErki).

» 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

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