Amazon EC2 enables you to share your AMIs with other AWS accounts. You can allow all AWS accounts to launch the AMI (make the AMI public), or only allow a few specific accounts to launch the AMI (see Sharing an AMI with Specific AWS Accounts). You are not billed when your AMI is launched by other AWS accounts; only the accounts launching the AMI are billed.


Its important to have Amazon Machine Images not older than 6 months as it make sure the images are not vulnerable to external attacks. 


For checking EC2 AMI is public, it is available in Community AMIs when you launch an instance in the same region using the console. It can take a short while for an AMI to be removed from Community AMIs after you make it private.

To share a public AMI using the console

  • Open the Amazon EC2 console at
  • In the navigation pane, choose AMIs.
  • Select your AMI from the list, and then choose Actions, Modify Image Permissions.
  • Choose Private and choose Save.


Each AMI has a launchPermission property that controls which AWS accounts, besides the owner's, are allowed to use that AMI to launch instances. By modifying the launchPermission property of an AMI, you can make the AMI public (which grants launch permissions to all AWS accounts) or share it with only the AWS accounts that you specify.