Want to make your Jenkins installation faster, more reliable, and easier to manage? Learn how to create a custom AMI of Jenkins that's perfect for your environment.

Create Custom AMI of Jenkins | DevOps

  • Last Modified: 01 Sep, 2023

A comprehensive guide to roll out your own custom Jenkins AMI, perfect for those who want a hassle-free, tailor-made Continuous Integration environment.

Get Yours Today

Discover our wide range of products designed for IT professionals. From stylish t-shirts to cutting-edge tech gadgets, we've got you covered.

Explore Our Collection 🚀


Hey there, cloud enthusiasts and DevOps aficionados! 🌩️ Have you ever found yourself spending countless hours setting up Jenkins servers from scratch? Ever wished you could automate the set-up process, installing all your favorite plugins, and even choosing a specific Jenkins version, all without breaking a sweat? Well, if you’re nodding your head, I’ve got a treat for you—a custom Amazon Machine Image (AMI) tailor-made for Jenkins. Yep, you read that right! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unpack how you can create an AMI that’s got everything you need for your Jenkins setup.

What’s An AMI Anyway?

For the uninitiated, Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) are like the DNA for your AWS EC2 instances. These images contain all the essential ingredients—operating system, software applications, and configurations—needed to birth a fully-functional virtual machine in the AWS ecosystem. Imagine having a ready-to-go computer set up just the way you like it, available to be cloned whenever you want. That’s what an AMI does for you.

And Jenkins? What’s the Big Deal?

Jenkins is the darling of the DevOps world—a versatile open-source automation server used for building, testing, and deploying your code. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD). You know you need it, but setting it up and keeping it running smoothly can sometimes feel like a full-time job.

Why Combine Jenkins and AMI?

Okay, here comes the fun part. Melding Jenkins with a custom AMI is like having your cake and eating it too. You get a ready-to-use Jenkins setup, replete with all your must-have plugins and configurations, immortalized in an AMI. Need to launch a new Jenkins environment? Just summon this AMI, and voila! You have a fully configured Jenkins server faster than you can say “DevOps.”

By the end of this guide, not only will you know how to create your own Jenkins AMI, but you’ll also understand why this should be part of your DevOps best practices. So, if you’re as excited as I am, let’s dive into this step-by-step journey together!

Why Create a Custom AMI for Jenkins?

So, you might be asking yourself, “Why can’t I just use a pre-made AMI or set up Jenkins manually every time? What’s all this custom AMI fuss about?”

No More Plugin Juggling 🤹

First off, let’s talk plugins. If you’ve worked with Jenkins, you know that plugins are the spice of life—or, at least, of your CI/CD pipeline. From Git and Docker to Kubernetes, these extensions make Jenkins super versatile. But installing and configuring them each time you set up a new Jenkins instance? That’s a snooze fest. With a custom AMI, you can have all your go-to plugins pre-installed. It’s like having a pizza delivered with all your favorite toppings, without needing to order each time.

Version Control, But For Your Server 🔄

Next up, Jenkins versions. The Jenkins community is bustling, and updates are frequent. While that’s great for getting new features, it can be a double-edged sword if you’re trying to maintain consistency across multiple environments. A custom AMI lets you lock in a specific Jenkins version so you can maintain uniformity, without the upgrade nags or compatibility concerns.

Take the Driver’s Seat 🚗

Lastly, let’s talk flexibility. The default Jenkins port is 8080, but what if you want to change that? Maybe you’ve got other applications hogging that port, or you just like to march to the beat of your own drum. A custom AMI gives you the reins to define specific settings—like your preferred port—right from the get-go.


In short, a custom Jenkins AMI saves you time, gives you control, and brings peace of mind to your DevOps operations. It’s like having a “Jenkins server-in-a-box” that you can unpack whenever you need it. Pretty cool, right?

Did You Know? Intriguing Facts About Jenkins and AMIs

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of creating a custom Jenkins AMI, let’s take a brief detour and explore some fascinating tidbits about these two tech wonders. A spoonful of trivia makes the learning go down smoother, right?

The Butler Did It 🎩

Did you know that Jenkins was initially called “Hudson”? However, due to a trademark dispute, the project was renamed Jenkins, inspired by the notion of a helpful butler serving your software development needs.

Open Source for the Win 🎉

Jenkins has over 1,000 plugins available in its Update Center. That’s the power of open-source for you! Anyone can develop a plugin and contribute, making Jenkins one of the most flexible CI/CD tools around.

AMIs Go International 🌍

Although AMIs are regional resources, meaning they are specific to individual AWS regions, you can easily copy an AMI from one region to another. So, your custom Jenkins AMI isn’t tied down to just one part of the world!

An AWS Original 🏆

Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) were one of the original features introduced when Amazon Web Services launched in 2006. Yep, they’ve been around for a while and are as crucial as ever for cloud computing.

Versioning Matters 📊

With custom AMIs, you can even create version-controlled instances. Just like how Git helps you maintain versions of your code, AMIs can help you maintain different versions of your server setup. That’s right, versioning isn’t just for code anymore!

Hope these fun facts add a little extra flavor to your journey into the world of Jenkins and AMIs!

Roll Up Your Sleeves: Preliminary Steps for Crafting Your Custom AMI 🛠️

Before we dive into the cloud and start spinning up instances, there are a few things we need to square away. Consider this the mise-en-place of our Jenkins AMI recipe—a little prep work to make the main event run smoothly.

Step 1: Launch a Basic Instance 🚀

First things first, hop onto your AWS console and launch a spanking new EC2 instance. You’re the chef, so pick your flavor of Linux—be it Amazon Linux 2, Ubuntu, or something else. For this guide, let’s assume we’re using Amazon Linux 2, the Swiss Army knife of AWS Linux distributions.

Step 2: SSH into Your New Home 🏠

Once your instance is up and running, it’s time to SSH in. Fire up your terminal and get connected. You’re one sudo yum update -y away from having the latest and greatest packages.

Step 3: Say Hello to Java ☕

Jenkins runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), so Java is a must-have. If Java were a concert, Jenkins would be the headliner. Install it with a simple sudo amazon-linux-extras install java-openjdk11 -y.

Step 4: Secure the Bag (or the Key) 🔐

To ensure that we’re getting our Jenkins package from a legit source, we’ll import its RPM key. Think of it as a secret handshake between you and Jenkins. Run sudo rpm --import https://pkg.jenkins.io/redhat-stable/jenkins.io.key to make it official.

Step 5: One More Round of Updates 🔄

Got the key? Great, let’s lock in those updates with another sudo yum update -y.

Alright, those are our preliminary steps. You’ve got a basic instance, you’ve SSH’d in, Java’s installed, and we’ve got the Jenkins key. How’s that for a warm-up, eh?

Ready, Set, Jenkins: Installing and Setting Up Your Jenkins Server 🌟

So we’ve laid the groundwork; now let’s get to the fun part—installing Jenkins and setting it up for prime time!

Step 6: Install Jenkins Like a Pro 🛠️

With the stage set, installing Jenkins is a breeze. Use the following commands to download and install Jenkins:

sudo wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/jenkins.repo https://pkg.jenkins.io/redhat-stable/jenkins.repo
sudo yum install -y jenkins

This isn’t just installing Jenkins; it’s installing confidence. Yep, you’re on your way to automating all the things!

Step 7: Start the Engine 🏎️

Now that Jenkins is installed, it’s time to start the service and ensure it starts up automatically after system reboots:

sudo systemctl enable jenkins
sudo systemctl start jenkins

Step 8: Are We Live? 🎬

After kicking off Jenkins, it’s good practice to check its status. You can do this with the simple command:

sudo systemctl status jenkins

Step 9: The Password is the Key 🔑

To access your Jenkins server, you’ll need an admin password. Here’s how you can find it:

sudo cat /var/lib/jenkins/secrets/initialAdminPassword

Step 10: Plugin Paradise 🌴

Head over to the Jenkins web interface and log in with your newly found admin password. Once in, you’ll be greeted with an option to install plugins. This is your playground—explore and install plugins that align with your project needs.

Feeling good? You should be! You’ve just completed the installation and basic setup of your Jenkins server. High five! 🙌

The Grand Finale: Adding Flavor to Your Jenkins Experience 🎉🍾

You’ve been rocking this so far, like the Neil Armstrong of DevOps—planting flags on unknown territories and whatnot. But wait, the grand finale is upon us! Hold onto your keyboards!

Step 11: Be the Boss—Add an Admin User 🎩

This is like that part in superhero movies where the protagonist finally suits up. You’re about to become the admin—the head honcho, the big cheese, the Grandmaster Flash of your Jenkins universe. So pop that collar and set up an admin user. This way, you can make changes without having to play ‘Mother May I?’ with Jenkins. It’s like getting the keys to your own Batmobile.

Step 12: The Jenkins URL—Your Digital Street Address 🏡🌐

Imagine telling people you live “somewhere near that old gas station”—not very helpful, right? Similarly, your Jenkins URL is the GPS coordinates to your digital Batcave. Make it clear, make it intuitive, and for the love of code, make sure it works! This is your kingdom’s gateway; no room for “404 Page Not Found” here!

Step 13: Say ‘Cheese!’—Creating Your Custom AMI 📸

Remember those perfect family photos that took a million tries to get just right? Creating a custom AMI is like capturing that perfect snapshot. This is the frozen moment in time that holds all your intricate settings, tailored plugins, and custom configurations. The golden ticket that lets you recreate this picture-perfect Jenkins setup whenever you want. It’s the selfie you’ll want to show off!

Step 14: Interesting Facts about Jenkins 🎤🔍

Did you know Jenkins has a butler as a mascot? He’s not just for show; he represents the service aspect of Jenkins—always there to assist you with your builds. Jenkins was also forked from a project called Hudson when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems. Drama, right? It’s like the soap opera of the software world!

The Grand Unveiling: You, the Jenkins Maestro! 🎼🌟

Take a moment. Step back and look at what you’ve created—a custom AMI for Jenkins that’s as perfect as a cup of artisanal, single-origin, fair-trade coffee. ☕ You’ve orchestrated this masterpiece, balancing plugins, admin rights, and URLs, all like a seasoned maestro wielding his baton before a grand orchestra.

This is more than code. This is your digital symphony, ready to play the harmonious melodies of Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment. You’ve not only climbed the mountain but also did a little moonwalk at the summit. 🕺🏔️

So go ahead, pour yourself that celebratory drink—be it chamomile tea or a smoky Islay whisky. You’ve earned it. Here’s to endless seamless builds, and zero “Jenkins is down” messages in your future!

Cheers, Maestro! 🥂👏

The Encore: Your Next Steps as a Jenkins Virtuoso 🎸🚀

Okay, let’s not pretend this is the end. You’ve mastered the art of custom AMIs in Jenkins, but the world of DevOps is as expansive as a Tolkien trilogy—there’s always another chapter. Maybe you’ll dive into automating your entire build pipeline next, or perhaps you’ll be the brave soul who finally makes sense of Kubernetes. The sky—or should I say, the cloud—is the limit! ☁️🌈

And hey, if you’ve got a cool Jenkins hack or a hair-pulling hurdle you managed to leap over, share it with the community! You’re a part of the DevOps fellowship now, and sharing is caring, folks.

So what are you waiting for? The stage is set, the audience is waiting. Grab your DevOps guitar and play us another tune. 🎶🎸

Until Our Next Jenkins Jam Session… Keep Rocking! 🤘💥

Get Yours Today

Discover our wide range of products designed for IT professionals. From stylish t-shirts to cutting-edge tech gadgets, we've got you covered.

Explore Our Collection 🚀

See Also

comments powered by Disqus