First, you need to register for an account. You can either do this manually or login using OpenID.
In either case, you'll next be moved to a display that will let you set up the resources on EC2 for your server. To do this you need to have an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account.
Setting up an AWS account is about as easy as setting up an Amazon account to buy books, In fact, if you have an Amazon account, you're already half way to getting an AWS account. Once you have an AWS account you have to sign up for EC2 itself.
You will be asked to provide a payment method for Amazon EC2 services. These are charged on an hourly basis (e.g., 9 cents per hour for a small cloud server).
Once that's done you'll need to get your AWS access credentials.
Once you have both your Access Key ID and your Secret Access Key, you're ready to move on to setting up your server on EC2. You simply cut and paste these alphanumeric keys into the field and then...
You pick out which level of service you want. Let's say you're just exploring. In that case you'll want either the Hobby option or try out micro servers. TurnKey Linux won't charge you a thing for its hobby option, but Amazon will if you don't use a micro-instance. If you want to pay the absolute minimum, go for the micro-server option. With it, Amazon won't charge you for your first year of use of micro-servers.
Next, you can either enable backup storage on Amazon's Simple Storage Service S3 cloud or start setting up your first server. TurnKey and Amazon gives you 10GBs of free S3 storage for starters so you can skip setting up an S3 backup until you know that you've got a server you really want to work with.
At the next page, you pick out which server you want to take out for a run from a pull-down menu. Just for a giggle I'll set up my own BitTorrent server.
Now, you need to decide which Amazon EC2 cloud site you'll use, how big a server you want to use, the Internet name of your server, and so on. While it's optional, I highly recommend you pick out your root and application passwords at this time. Then hit the launch button.
Now the server will start launching. After its initial launch, the server will automatically install the most recent patches. With TurnKey Linux, your server is always up-to-date.
You can see that my baby BitTorrent server has one virtual CPU, 613MBs of RAM to play with, and 10GBs of storage. I didn't have to decide on any of that. TurnKey took care of it.
While waiting for all the patches to be installed, I can tune my firewall. I'm a security wonk though. By default the TurnKey Linux appliances come with just the necessary network ports open for it to do its job and all the others are closed.
Ta-da my server says its ready to go! Is it?
Yep, there's the Web site ready to go. I had to get to it by its IPv4 address since its domain name won't have had time yet to propagate through the Domain Name System.
OK, so my BitTorrent server is up but can I get to its Webmin administration display? Yes, it's working too.