VM Conversion Using EBS Direct APIs

You can convert a VMware, Azure, or Hyper-V VM to an Amazon EC2 instance using the EBS direct APIs.

For Amazon EBS volumes that were created from Amazon EBS snapshots, the storage blocks must be pulled down from Amazon S3 and written to the Amazon EBS volume before you can access them. This preliminary action takes time and can cause a significant increase in the latency of I/O operations the first time each block is accessed. Amazon EBS volume performance is achieved after all blocks have been downloaded and written to the Amazon EBS volume.


Windows Source VMs

  • Configure your host firewall (Windows firewall or similar) to allow access to Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Network discovery. Otherwise, you cannot access your instance after the conversion is complete.

  • Enable RDP.

Linux Source VMs

  • Linux VMs must use the old network interface naming, such as eth0, instead of ens192, enp1s0, etc. For more information, see Ethernet Naming Conventions for RHEL, CentOS, Oracle Linux, and Suse Linux.

  • Enable Secure Shell (SSH) for remote access.

  • The host firewall (such as Linux iptables) must permit access to SSH.

  • Ensure that Linux VMs use GRUB (GRUB legacy) or GRUB 2 as the bootloader.

  • Linux VMs must use one of the following for the root file system: ext2, ext3, ext4, Btrfs, JFS, or XFS.

  • Linux VM /etc/fstab entries should use UUIDs instead of device names, because device names might change during replication. For information about updating fstab entries to use UUIDs, see Updating fstab Entries to Use UUIDs.


When converting the Linux source VM to AWS, you must use DHCP. If the source VMs use static IPs, use the import method instead. See, VM Conversion Using the Import Method.

Disk Space Requirements

  • Ensure that there is a minimum of 2 GB free space on the C: drive.

Configuring Source VMs for EBS Direct Write

For Windows and Linux guest VMs, you must install the required drivers to the source VMs and then perform a new conversion. For more information, see Preparing the Source VM.

When performing conversion for an Active Directory domain controller, upgrade the PV drivers as described in Upgrade a Domain Controller (AWS PV Upgrade).

EBS Direct Write Process

Supported VMware Guest Operating Systems


  • Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 (Standard, Web Server, Datacenter, Enterprise) (64-bit only). For VM conversion or live sync replication of guest VMs that run Windows Server 2008 R2 versions:

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 (Standard, Datacenter) (64-bit only)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 (Standard, Datacenter) (64-bit only) (Nano Server installation not supported)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 (Standard, Datacenter) (64-bit only)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 1709 (Standard, Datacenter) (64-bit only)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 1803 (Standard, Datacenter) (64-bit only)

  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 (Standard, Datacenter) (64-bit only)

  • Microsoft Windows 10 (Home, Professional, Enterprise, Education) (US English) (64-bit only)


  • CentOS 6.x

  • CentOS 7.x

  • CentOS 8.x

  • Oracle Linux 6.x

  • Oracle Linux 7.x

  • Oracle Linux 8.x

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.x

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7.x

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.x

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 and above

  • Ubuntu 14.04

  • Ubuntu 14.10

  • Ubuntu 15.04

  • Ubuntu 16.04

  • Ubuntu 16.10

  • Ubuntu 17.04

  • Ubuntu 18.04

  • Ubuntu 20.04

  • Ubuntu 21.10

  • Ubuntu 22.x

Supported Volume and File System Types


You can convert instances with volumes that use Master Boot Record (MBR) partitioning. Volumes that use GUID Partition Table (GPT) partitioning are not supported.


You can convert Linux VMs that use one of the following for the root file system: ext2, ext3, ext4, Btrfs, JFS, or XFS.


  1. Create empty snapshots in the destination zone, region, or account using the StartSnapshot API.

  2. Write data by running the PutSnapshotBlock API.

  3. Complete the snapshots using the CompleteSnapshot API.

  4. Create volumes from snapshots.

  5. Create an instance and attach the new volumes.

  6. Delete the snapshots created.


You can install the required drivers manually during conversion. For more information, see Installing Drivers Manually for EBS Direct API Conversion from Amazon Web Services.

Initialize Amazon EBS Volumes