AWS EC2 User Data Shell Script

Creators of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances may stuff a script into the “user data” which will be executed on the instance’s initial boot. This script may be useful to mount Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes as file systems since those volumes cannot be attached to the instance until after the instance has been created and started.

This article presents a script which leverages the functions provided in the aws.rc script described in a previous article. The “user data” script described herein provides the following services to Redhat and CentOS instances:

  1. Update OS software:

    a. yum update

    b. Install/Update Python

    c. Install AWS CLI

  2. Create users, install their SSH authorized keys, and configure sudo

  3. Attach volumes, create file systems (if neccessary), mount, and update /etc/fstab

AWS Configuration

The scripts require specific configuration in AWS. These requirements are described in the next subsections.

Users

The script will configure all users specified in the instance’s http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/public-keys/. These key pairs must be imported either through AWS Management Console or the AWS CLI. The name of the key pair must be the same as the user name.

A primary use case is to create and configure ec2-user on CentOS images to be consistent with Amazon’s Linux images.

EBS File System Volumes

Any EBS volume that will be mounted as a file system must be configured with the following tags:

  • host
  • fstype
  • mntpt

Where host is the http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/local-ipv4 address of the newly created instance, fstype is a file system type compatible with the mkfs(8) and mount(8) commands’-t argument, and mntpt is the local directory on which the file system will be mounted.

Once the EBS volume is formatted with a valid file system, the volume’s uuid tag should be updated with the file system’s UUID. The user-data.bash script will not format the volume if the uuid tag is present. The user-data.bash script will update the volume’s uuid tag if it successfully creates a file system on the volume.

Finally, the script will configure /etc/fstab to mount the EBS volume on the mntpt directory.

Theory of Operation

The script:

  1. Update the operating system software
  2. Configures the users whose keys are specified in http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/public-keys/
  3. Attaches, formats, and mounts any EBS volumes tagged with this instance’s http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/local-ipv4 address

The corresponding parts fo the user-data.bash script are described in detail in the following subsections.

Software Update

The software update consists of:

  1. Updating all packages managed by yum(8)
  2. Install and update python(1)
  3. Install the AWS Command Line Interface
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
export LC_ALL=${LANG}

yum -y update
yum -y install python
easy_install --prefix /usr pip
pip install --prefix /usr --upgrade pip
pip install --prefix /usr --upgrade awscli

Users Configuration

For each public key specified in http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/public-keys/:

  1. If they do not exist, create the user specified by the key name and create that user’s home directory
  2. Add the openssh-key value to the user’s ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
  3. Configure the user in sudoers(5)
for key in $(metadata public-keys/); do
    username=${key#*=}

    useradd -G wheel -m -s /bin/bash -U ${username}
    userhome=$(eval echo ~${username})

    mkdir -p ${userhome}/.ssh
    echo "$(metadata public-keys/${key%%=*}/openssh-key)" \
         >> ${userhome}/.ssh/authorized_keys
    chown -R ${username}:${username} ${userhome}/.ssh
    chmod -R go-rwx ${userhome}/.ssh

    file=/etc/sudoers.d/user-data-${username}
    echo "${username} ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL" > /Users/ball/hcf-dev/blog/2018-08-22-aws-user-data-script/pom.xml
    chmod a-wx,o-r /Users/ball/hcf-dev/blog/2018-08-22-aws-user-data-script/pom.xml
done

Attach and Mount EBS Volumes

For each EBS volume tagged with host equalling the value at http://169.254.169.254/latest/meta-data/local-ipv4, a non-nil fstype, and non-nil mntpt:

  1. Attach the EBS volume to this instance
  2. Test if the volume contains data known to file(1) and, if it does not, create a file system of type specified by fstype
  3. Determine the UUID of the file system and add an entry to /etc/fstab
export HOST=$(metadata local-ipv4)
export VOLUMES=$(ec2 describe-volumes \
                       --filters Name=tag:host,Values=${HOST} \
                       --output text --query 'Volumes[*].VolumeId')

if [ -n "${VOLUMES}" ]; then
    for volume in ${VOLUMES}; do
        fstype=$(ec2-get-tag-value ${volume} fstype)

        if [ "${fstype}" != "" ]; then
            device=$(next-unattached-block-device)

            ec2-attach-volume ${volume} ${device}

            if [ "$(file -b -s ${device})" == "data" ]; then
                volume-mkfs ${volume} ${device} ${fstype}
            fi

            uuid=$(ec2-get-tag-value ${volume} uuid)
            mntpt=$(ec2-get-tag-value ${volume} mntpt)

            if [ "${uuid}" != "" -a "${mntpt}" != "" ]; then
                mkdir -p ${mntpt}
                echo "UUID=${uuid} ${mntpt} ${fstype} defaults 0 2" \
                     >> /etc/fstab
            fi
        fi
    done
fi

At this point in the script, the file system could be mounted with mount -a. However, the script reboots the instance and the file systems are booted on start-up.

user-data.bash

For reference, the complete user-data.bash Ansible template is included below. The aws.rc script is included through a relative path. If another tool than Ansible is used, the aws.rc script must be included to provide the functions through that tool’s appropriate mechanism.

#!/bin/bash
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
# $Id: README.md 4596 2019-09-17 03:24:46Z ball $
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8
export LC_ALL=${LANG}

yum -y update
yum -y install python
easy_install --prefix /usr pip
pip install --prefix /usr --upgrade pip
pip install --prefix /usr --upgrade awscli
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Functions
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
{{ lookup('template', '../../aws.rc/templates/etc/aws.rc') }}
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Create users and install respective .ssh/authorized_keys for public-keys'
# metadata
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
for key in $(metadata public-keys/); do
    username=${key#*=}

    useradd -G wheel -m -s /bin/bash -U ${username}
    userhome=$(eval echo ~${username})

    mkdir -p ${userhome}/.ssh
    echo "$(metadata public-keys/${key%%=*}/openssh-key)" \
         >> ${userhome}/.ssh/authorized_keys
    chown -R ${username}:${username} ${userhome}/.ssh
    chmod -R go-rwx ${userhome}/.ssh

    file=/etc/sudoers.d/user-data-${username}
    echo "${username} ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:ALL" > /Users/ball/hcf-dev/blog/2018-08-22-aws-user-data-script/pom.xml
    chmod a-wx,o-r /Users/ball/hcf-dev/blog/2018-08-22-aws-user-data-script/pom.xml
done
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Attach local volumes and manage file systems
#
# File system volumes must define the following tags:
#         host
#         fstype
#         mntpt
#
# This script will update the volume's "uuid" tag.
# ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
export HOST=$(metadata local-ipv4)
export VOLUMES=$(ec2 describe-volumes \
                       --filters Name=tag:host,Values=${HOST} \
                       --output text --query 'Volumes[*].VolumeId')

if [ -n "${VOLUMES}" ]; then
    for volume in ${VOLUMES}; do
        fstype=$(ec2-get-tag-value ${volume} fstype)

        if [ "${fstype}" != "" ]; then
            device=$(next-unattached-block-device)

            ec2-attach-volume ${volume} ${device}

            if [ "$(file -b -s ${device})" == "data" ]; then
                volume-mkfs ${volume} ${device} ${fstype}
            fi

            uuid=$(ec2-get-tag-value ${volume} uuid)
            mntpt=$(ec2-get-tag-value ${volume} mntpt)

            if [ "${uuid}" != "" -a "${mntpt}" != "" ]; then
                mkdir -p ${mntpt}
                echo "UUID=${uuid} ${mntpt} ${fstype} defaults 0 2" \
                     >> /etc/fstab
            fi
        fi
    done
fi

#mount -a
shutdown -r now

exit 0

Within Ansible, the user-data.bash can be expanded from the template into a “fact:”

- name: user-data script
  set_fact:
    user_data: >
      {{ lookup('template', 'user-data.bash') }}

An example fragment for creating the EC2 instance with the user-data.bash script is given below.

- name: 172.31.0.4
  ec2:
    ...
    instance_profile_name: ec2-user
    key_name: ec2-user
    user_data: >
      {{ user_data }}
    ...

References