How to connect to a private EC2 instance from a local Visual Studio Code IDE with Session Manager and AWS SSO (CLI)

2 minute read
Content level: Intermediate
3

Easily and securely develop on private EC2 instances from a local VS Code

In this article, I show you how to connect your local VS Code IDE to an EC2 instance that is running in a private subnet by using AWS Systems Manager Session Manager and AWS Single Sign-On (SSO).
This is useful when you want to benefit from the capabilities of EC2 instances, while having consistent rich development experience. Because we use Session Manager here, no public access to the EC2 instance is needed.

Prerequisites

Method

The following steps are tested on Mac. Similar process should work on other Operating Systems.

  1. Add the following lines into your ~/.ssh/config file.
    Replace the i-00aa22bb33cc44dd5 with your EC2 instance ID. Replace the <SSO_PROFILE_NAME> and <REGION> with the actual values.

    Host i-00aa22bb33cc44dd5
      User ec2-user
      ProxyCommand sh -c "aws sso login --profile <SSO_PROFILE_NAME>; export AWS_PROFILE=<SSO_PROFILE_NAME>; export AWS_REGION=<REGION>; aws ssm start-session --target %h --document-name AWS-StartSSHSession --parameters 'portNumber=%p'"
  2. On VS Code, "Open a Remote Window" as shown in the following images.

    Enter image description here

    Enter image description here

  3. This opens your default browser and begins the login process for your AWS SSO account, the typical way when using AWS CLI with SSO.
    Follow the steps on your browser to Allow the Authorize request.

    • If the connection failed (timeout), it can be due to a long delay when you are going through the browser flow to Allow the Authorize request. In this case, simply click on Retry and Allow the request on browser again (shown below). Enter image description here
  4. You should now be connected to the EC2 and be able to open folders on EC2 the same way you do for your local code.

    Enter image description here

Enjoy coding!

AWS
EXPERT
published 2 years ago9666 views
6 Comments

Nice solution :)

replied 2 years ago

Good article

profile pictureAWS
SUPPORT ENGINEER
replied a year ago

Don't you need a pem file for the keys to your instance?

replied a year ago

Does it work without the pem file?

vnp1990
replied 6 months ago

So I did all this but have a "Could not establish connection to "i-xxxxxxxxxx": Permission denied (publickey,gssapi-keyex,gssapi-with-mic)." on both Ubuntu and AL2. My instance is in a public net with an IPv4, and has no pem key. What is wrong?

Olivier
replied 5 months ago

Unfortunately, it is not working. I experienced same case as @Olivier.. This article should provide additional guide. :(

So I did all this but have a "Could not establish connection to "i-xxxxxxxxxx": Permission denied (publickey,gssapi-keyex,gssapi-with-mic)." on both Ubuntu and AL2. My instance is in a public net with an IPv4, and has no pem key. What is wrong?

replied 2 months ago