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Installing the Amazon Lightsail container services plugin

Last updated: November 12, 2020

You can use the Amazon Lightsail console to create your Lightsail container services, and create deployments using container images from on an online public registry, such as Docker Hub. But to create your own container images, and push them to your container service, you must install the following additional software on the same computer on which you plan to create your container images:

  • Docker – Allows you to run, test, and create your own container images that you can then use with your Lightsail container service.

  • AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) – Allows you to specify parameters of the container images you create, and then push them to your Lightsail container service. Version 2.1.1 and later will work with the Lightsail Control plugin.

  • Lightsail Control (lightsailctl) plugin – Enables the AWS CLI to access the container images that are on the local machine.

The following sections of this guide describe where to go to download these software packages, and how to install them. For more information about container services, see Container services in Amazon Lightsail.

Install Docker

Docker is a technology that allows you to build, run, test, and deploy distributed applications that are based on Linux containers. You must install and use Docker software if you want to create your own container images that you can then use with your Lightsail container service. For more information, see Creating container images for your Amazon Lightsail container services.

Docker is available for many different operating systems, including most modern Linux distributions, like Ubuntu, and even macOS and Windows. For more information about how to install Docker on your particular operating system, see the Docker installation guide.

Note

Always install the latest version of Docker. Older versions of Docker are not guaranteed to work with the AWS CLI and Lightsail Control (lightsailctl) plugin described later in this guide.

Install the AWS CLI

The AWS CLI is an open source tool that enables you to interact with AWS services, such as Lightsail, using commands in your command-line shell. You must install and use the AWS CLI to push your container images, created on your local machine, to your Lightsail container service.

The AWS is available in the following versions:

  • Version 2.x – The current, generally available release of the AWS CLI. This is the most recent major version of the AWS CLI and supports all of the latest features, including the ability to push container images to your Lightsail container services. Version 2.1.1 and later will work with the Lightsail Control plugin.

  • Version 1.x – The previous version of the AWS CLI that is available for backwards compatibility. This version does not support the ability to push your container images to your Lightsail container services. Therefore, you must install the AWS CLI version 2 instead.

The AWS CLI version 2 is available for Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems. For instructions on how to install the AWS CLI on those operating systems, see Installing the AWS CLI version 2 in the AWS CLI User Guide.

Install the Lightsail Control plugin

The Lightsail Control (lightsailctl) plugin is a lightweight application that allows the AWS CLI to access the container images that you created on your local machine. It allows you to push container images to your Lightsail container service, so that you can deploy them to your service.

System requirements

  • A Windows, macOS, or Linux operating system with 64-bit support.

  • AWS CLI version 2 must be installed on your local machine in order to use the lightsailctl plugin. For more information, see the Install the AWS CLI section earlier in this guide.

Use the latest version of the lightsailctl plugin

The lightsailctl plugin is updated occasionally with enhanced functionality. Each time you use the lightsailctl plugin, it performs a check to confirm you're using the latest version. If it finds that a new version is available, it prompts you to update to the latest version to take advantage of the latest features. When an updated version is available, you must repeat the installation process to get the latest version of the lightsailctl plugin.

The following lists all releases of the lightsailctl plugin and the features and enhancements included with each version.

  • v1.0.0 (released November 12, 2020) – Initial release adds functionality for the AWS CLI version 2 to push container images to a Lightsail container service.

Install the lightsailctl plugin on Windows

Complete the following procedure to install the lightsailctl plugin on Windows.

  1. Download the installer from the following URL, and save it to the C:\Temp\lightsailctl\ directory.

    https://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/lightsailctl/latest/windows-amd64/lightsailctl.exe
  2. Choose the Windows Start button, and then search for cmd.

  3. Right-click the Command Prompt application in the results, and choose Run as administrator.

    Run Command Prompt as administrator

    Note

    You may see a prompt that asks if you want to allow Command Prompt to make changes to your device. You must choose Yes to continue with the installation.

  4. Enter the following command to set a path environment variable that points to the C:\Temp\lightsailctl\ directory where you saved the lightsailctl plugin.

    setx PATH "%PATH%;C:\Temp\lightsailctl" /M

    You should see a result similar to the following example.

    Command line response to setx command

    You are now ready to use the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) to push container images to your Lightsail container service. For more information, see Pushing and managing container images on your Amazon Lightsail container services.

Install the lightsailctl plugin on macOS

Complete the following procedure to install the lightsailctl plugin on macOS.

  1. Open a terminal window.

  2. Enter the following command to download the lightsailctl plugin and copy it to the bin folder.

    curl "https://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/lightsailctl/latest/darwin-amd64/lightsailctl" -o "/usr/local/bin/lightsailctl"
  3. Enter the following command to make the plugin executable.

    chmod +x /usr/local/bin/lightsailctl
  4. Enter the following command to clear extended attributes for the plugin.

    xattr -c /usr/local/bin/lightsailctl

    You are now ready to use the AWS CLI to push container images to your Lightsail container service. For more information, see Pushing and managing container images on your Amazon Lightsail container services.

Install the lightsailctl plugin on Linux

Complete the following procedure to install the Lightsail container services plugin on Linux.

  1. Open a terminal window.

  2. Enter the following command to download the lightsailctl plugin.

    • For the AMD 64-bit architecture version of the plugin:

      curl "https://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/lightsailctl/latest/linux-amd64/lightsailctl" -o "/usr/local/bin/lightsailctl"
    • For the ARM 64-bit architecture version of the plugin:

      curl "https://s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/lightsailctl/latest/linux-arm64/lightsailctl" -o "/usr/local/bin/lightsailctl"
  3. Enter the following command to make the plugin executable.

    sudo chmod +x /usr/local/bin/lightsailctl

    You are now ready to use the AWS CLI to push container images to your Lightsail container service. For more information, see Pushing and managing container images on your Amazon Lightsail container services.

Next steps after installing the required software

After you install the required software, get started with creating container images on your local machine. For more information, see Creating container images for your Amazon Lightsail container services.

After you create your container images, push them to your Lightsail container service when you're ready to deploy them. For more information, see Pushing and managing container images on your Amazon Lightsail container services.

Additional information about container services

These are the general steps to manage your Lightsail container service after it's up and running:

  1. Get familiar with all of the elements of Lightsail container services. For more information, see Container services in Amazon Lightsail.

  2. Create your container service in your Lightsail account. For more information, see Creating Amazon Lightsail container services.

  3. If you plan to use container images from a public registry, find container images that you want to use from a public registry like Docker Hub. For more information, see Docker Hub Quickstart in the Docker documentation.

  4. If you plan to push container images from your local machine to your service, install software on your local machine that you need to create your own container images and push them to your Lightsail container service. For more information, see the following guides:

  5. Create a deployment in your container service that configures and launches your containers. For more information, see Creating and managing deployments for your Amazon Lightsail container services.

  6. View previous deployments for your container service. You can create a new deployment using a previous deployment version. For more information, see Viewing and managing deployment versions of your Amazon Lightsail container services.

  7. View the logs of containers on your container service. For more information, see Viewing the container logs of your Amazon Lightsail container services.

  8. Create an SSL/TLS certificate for the domains that you want to use with your containers. For more information, see Creating SSL/TLS certificates for your Amazon Lightsail container services.

  9. Validate the SSL/TLS certificate by adding records to the DNS of your domains. For more information, see Validating SSL/TLS certificates for your Amazon Lightsail container services.

  10. Enable custom domains by attaching a valid SSL/TLS certificate to your container service. For more information, see Enabling and managing custom domains for your Amazon Lightsail container services.

  11. Monitor the utilization metrics of your container service. For more information, see Viewing container service metrics in Amazon Lightsail.

  12. (Optional) Scale the capacity of your container service vertically, by increasing its power specification, and horizontally, by increasing its scale specification. For more information, see Changing the capacity of your Amazon Lightsail container services.

  13. Delete your container service if you're not using it to avoid incurring monthly charges. For more information, see Deleting Amazon Lightsail container services.