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Accessing AWS ECS Task (EC2) via SSH

DevOps, AWS1 min read


Amazon ECS is a fully managed container orchestration service for deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications. However, there may be times when issues arise in applications deployed on ECS, and direct access to an ECS Task via SSH can be useful for debugging. This blog post guides you through the process of accessing an AWS ECS(Task) via SSH.


Amazon ECS Cluster Setup: You need an AWS account with the necessary permissions to create and manage ECS clusters. EC2 Key Pair Creation: An EC2 Key Pair is required for SSH access to ECS instances.

Accessing ECS Task via SSH

1. Log in to ECS Task

Navigate to the ECS console, select the cluster you want to manage, choose the "Tasks" tab, and select the desired Task on the Task details page.

2. Obtain Public IP

On the Task details page, find the Public IP address of the EC2 instance running the Task. This address will be used later when connecting via SSH.

3. Connect to EC2 Instance

Use a terminal or an SSH client to connect to the EC2 instance. The following command is an example:

In this command, /path/to/your/keypair.pem represents the path to the EC2 Key Pair created earlier.

4. Move into ECS Task

Once successfully logged into the EC2 instance, you need to enter the actual running container. Use the following command to enter the Docker container:

Here, your-container-id is the ID of the running container.

5. Debug and Investigate

Now, you have SSH access to the container, enabling you to perform necessary debugging or investigation tasks. Check log files, inspect environment variables, or perform any required troubleshooting.


  • SSH access requires careful consideration for security. Whenever possible, manage SSH keys appropriately and restrict access by configuring security groups and network ACLs.
  • After completing your tasks, close the SSH session, and manage security by either deleting or properly securing the EC2 Key Pair.

This brief guide provides an overview of accessing AWS ECS(Task) via SSH. Use this method as needed to debug and resolve issues with deployed applications.

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