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Amazon recently introduced a micro size instance for their popular EC2 service, making it very affordable to run infrequently used web applications.

We've been running tests to benchmark this type of instances against Slicehost 256 offering. Before you go down the path of setting up an instance for your own use, there is one big problem to be aware of. If you're using an Ubuntu image, the instance won't come back properly after a reboot or restart.

Because micro instance have no ephemeral storage at all, after a restart mountall will wait indefinitely for /dev/sda2, which is never going to be present. You can follow this bug for more details.

As a workaround, make sure to login into your instance right after it's been created and edit the /etc/fstab file as follow to add the nobootwait parameter.

/dev/sda2    /mnt    auto  defaults,comment=cloudconfig,nobootwait